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Mechanisms of forming the «national brand» of the French Republic

The experience of forming "national brand" of the French Republic on the basis of S. Anholt's theory is considered in the article. The authors take as a basis the study of the idea of "French Brand" originating from 2003, which should contribute to the creation of intangible capital necessary for the formation of the country's brand. The article reviews the programs created to attract investments and develop tourism and French production. The importance of cultural policy in forming the country's image is also noted. The role of cultural institutions and services is also discussed. The work of the French Alliance around the world, the activity of "Campus France" as a guide between French education and foreign students, as well as the work of "Unifrance" and "Francophonie", which are representatives of French culture and language, are studied. The importance of forming "brand cities" is noted. The authors believe that the formation of "national brand" has a regional character and each region and city is also a "brand". The authors note the importance of creating new mechanisms that will form the "national identity" of the country's residents, without which it is impossible to form a prosperous "national brand". Nevertheless, the authors believes that the experience of the French Republic is quite successful and promising.


The pandemic associated with the spread of the COVID-19 virus has led to a rethinking of some problems and challenges facing the world community.Quarantine has exposed many acute problem spots in some countries, and mass protests have begun, not only related to restrictive quarantine measures, but also to economic, both external and internal political problems. "Black lives matter" movement in the USA, rallies in Belarus, caricature scandal in France and as a result, murder of a man, outbreaks of Islamophobia and protest movements against France in many Islamic states and other events affected not very favorable for these countries, despite that some of the above mentioned countries did not lose their positions in the world.

And here it is important to note the importance of the role of the country's image, which will keep the country's reputation on the world arena, despite the events taking place in it. It is important to competently build a "national brand", which will cover all spheres of life and create an image of the country in the world arena.

Methodology and research methods

The research was based on the analysis of available scientific developments in foreign literature. The method of analysis, systematization and synthesis of the obtained results was used while considering the problems.


The phenomenon of "national branding" was discussed in the Western scientific community in the 2000s, describing a practical area of knowledge aimed at forming and managing the reputation of countries and in a more global sense, strengthening the economic potential of countries. The founders of the concept are Western scientists: C. C. Dinney, S. Anholt, F. Kotler, J. Fan, W. Olins and others.

The first term "national branding" was introduced by S. Anholt on the basis of his concept, which says that the state is like a product with a certain brand in the export of goods and services, tourism, investment, and immigration laws, culture and traditions, foreign and domestic policy and the population of the country [1, p. 50].

Today it is obvious that in international relations and foreign policy the brand, as well as the image, becomes an important intangible resource of the state, its competitive advantage. Proper brand management creates a sense of location, trust in the country and forms the loyalty to it of other actors in international relations. The brand reflects international, political authority of the state, creates conditions for attracting partner countries, attracts foreign investors, specialists, students and tourists. The brand contributes to the translation of national culture, values and achievements of the country, helps to consolidate political success in the world arena. And one of the countries with a successfully formed brand can be rightly called France. Modern France is not only an influential player in the world arena, but also a historical cultural center, a country with an authentic culture. The country has long realized that the brand of the state is capital in the modern era and as a result, the most important tool to ensure the interests of the country in the international arena, as well as in economic and political spheres.

France has attracted a lot of interest over the years and even centuries. This is largely due to the history of this beautiful country. Nevertheless, the state is constantly and intensively working on forming its national image and brand.

The concept of "national branding" is based on the "S. Anholt hexagon", which reflects the main areas for such a campaign, such as:

  • export of goods and services;
  • tourism;
  • investment and immigration law;
  • culture and traditions;
  • foreign and domestic policy;
  • the country's population [2, 20].

To improve its brand, France has developed programs for each of the six areas in the Anholt hexagon, which were shaped using public diplomacy and marketing techniques. At the heart of the projects is the key idea of forming a "French brand", reflecting the increasingly positive characteristics of a country with a large historical and cultural heritage. The formation of a positive image of the "brand of France" was entrusted to F. Lenchener in 2003. The main goal of the project was to increase the attractiveness of the country and its regions in the eyes of foreign investors, as well as to strengthen the existing image [3].

The "Brand of France" should aim at creating a positive image of the country with its national companies and products manufactured in France and exported to other countries. This would strengthen the reputation of the economy and make local regions more attractive to foreign investors. The "Made in France" brand is more than just a "Made in France" brand; it should contribute to the creation of intangible capital as well, represent the uniqueness and identity of the country. The "Made in France" brand has become the core of the existing branding map of the state, which is built on all the areas outlined in S. Anholt's theory.

To attract investments, the project "Invest in France" was developed and the agency of the same name (Invest in France - IFA) was established in 2001, under the auspices of the Ministries of Finance and Regional Development. The activity of offices of this structure, carried out all over the world, is aimed at increasing the investment attractiveness of France [3].

The agency "Invest in France" exists since 2001, reporting to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Regional Development. It is responsible for attracting international investments, strengthening the economic attractiveness of the country. The network of agencies operates at international, national and regional levels. There are 160 employees in 26 offices around the world [2, 22].

Quality of goods is one of the elements of national branding. Back in 1993, when the French Chamber of Commerce conducted the campaign "Our purchases are our jobs" (Nos emplettes sont nos employs) in order to promote France as a manufacturing country, primarily for internal audiences: the French were encouraged to buy goods produced in France. In 2010, the "Pro France" Association was created, was initiated by the deputies of the party "Union for People' s Movement" (Union pour un mouvement populaire) Antoine Wei and His Yves. In 2011, the brand "True French Guarantee" (Origine France Garantie - OFG) was presented. For the first year, the list of products included 300 items. These events were initiated by manufacturers, economists and market analysts. In 2012, as part of the Association was created a club "Produire en France" (Produire en France) designed to maintain a dialogue between the government and domestic producers. Deputy Yves Ego, initiator of the club, notes that the future of France is to protect the value of French experience in manual and industrial production, jobs, as well as to promote the concept of responsible consumption of products (dissemination of information about goods and services to consumers) to promote the "French brand" abroad [2, 22].

Promotion of the French manufacturer occurs through:

  • creation of non-profit organizations, unions of producers;
  • working with the media to draw attention to regional producers;
  • government support for non-profit public initiatives;
  • educational work of noncommercial public initiatives (sites about French goods, creating ratings and lists of French producers).

Also for the formation of a favorable image of the country outside of it is very important enough successful tourism. France has never been famous for the absence of tourists in its country, but nevertheless it always works to improve the quality of this sector. Thus, in 1987, on the initiative of the Ministry of Tourism of France, the organization " House of France " (Maison de la France) was created to promote the country as a tourist destination. Later it was transformed into the agency for tourism development "Sleeve of France" (Atout France). In 2008, the agency for tourism development together with the Ministry of Tourism of France developed the program "France Destination 2020" (Destination France 2020) to improve the tourist attractiveness of the country. The purpose of this program is to increase annual revenues from the tourism sector by 3.5% and to establish France as the first tourist destination in Europe [2, 23].

On June 19, 2014, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Laurent Fabius, and the Minister of Production Recovery, Arnaud Monbur, presented a new strategy for tourism development, in which 30 theses of the country's development as a tourist destination were voiced:

  • emphasis on the uniqueness of France in the areas of gastronomy/wine growing, mountainous are- as/sports, urban tourism;
  • improvement of conditions for tourists on the territory of France [2, 23].

Atout France also implements a long-term program "Meet in France" (Rendez-vous en France) - promoting the country as a tourist destination. At the heart of the Atout France logo - the image of a recognizable by all girls Marianne, the heroine of the painting by Eugène Delacroix "Liberty. Equality. Brotherhood" (Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité). Interestingly, it is made in the colors of the French tricolor, thus traces the idea of the inseparability of any initiative with the state power (Pic. 1).

Atout France implements projects to attract tourists in different areas, using different communication tools: creation of information platforms, news distribution, interaction with the media (organization of press tours of foreign journalists), holding special events. Thus, in November 2014, a large-scale project "Taste of France - Good France" (Gout de France - Good France) was launched [2, 23].

Another important point in building a "brand of the country" is culture and all its components. And here France as well as one of the pioneer countries has achieved a lot of positive results. Among them is the development of "cultural diplomacy". The vocabulary of French foreign policy includes such terms as "cultural diplomacy", "educational diplomacy", "scientific diplomacy", "francophony", "foreign relations of regional authorities". Directs all activities in these areas "the General Directorate for Globalization, Development and Partners" (Direction général de la mondialisation, du développement et des partenairiats) of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the French Republic. It is composed of departments such as the Directorate for Cultural, University and Research Cooperation, the Cultural Exchange and Audiovisual Group Abroad, the French Language and Education Group, the Section for Higher Education, the Section for Science and Scientific Exchange, the Civil Society and Partners Relations Group and the External Relations Group of the Regional Authorities. In addition to the cultural departments of the embassies, a significant part of the work in the field of French cultural diplomacy has for many years been carried out by French cultural centers (institutes) abroad. From 2011 to the present, the system of French cultural centers abroad is undergoing a transformation into French institutions.


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The head organization " CulturesFrance ", which previously led French cultural centers abroad from the French capital, was transformed in 2011 into the "French Institute". [4, 262].

The cultural services of embassies and French institutions in the field have recently been increasingly linked to the "Alliance française " (Pic. 2). The "Alliance française" is an organization that has existed since the late nineteenth century, with the official aim of spreading the French language and culture abroad through a network of relevant public associations. Unlike the French Institute, the "Alliance française" is registered in France as a public non-profit organization, and abroad there are local public organizations registered under national law with the right to the name "Alliance française". In total, more than 900 organizations under the name of "Alliance française" work in different countries of the world. The number of alliance organizations can reach several dozens in one country (in China, for example). A special case of "Alliance française" is India, where here are 16 associations of the Alliance, but until recently there was no French cultural center or institute [2, 267].

As a representative of the French education, which to some extent is one of the brands of France, the agency "Campus France" is responsible. "CampusFrance" is the French Agency for the Promotion of Higher Education, Admission and International Mobility, an institution created in 2007 [4, 267]. The offices of Campus-France, often located in French institutes, provide assistance to students wishing to study in France. It should be noted, however, that this institution provides mainly informational and advisory services. It is noteworthy that the French Institutes generally do not offer scholarships to international students to pursue higher education in France. However, a certain number of scholarships are usually distributed by French embassy services.

French music and cinematography is one of the most popular and highly regarded in the world. France is also active in this field and has several institutions responsible for it. The Bureau for the Export of French Music is an institution created in 1993 to help export French music. The Bureau works to support the commercial interests of the French music community, being a form of mixed economy enterprise and combining private and public funding. The Bureau has offices in the five most important countries in the world in this field, some of which are attached to embassies and French institutions.

"Unifrance Films International is an organization that specializes in supporting the distribution of French films abroad and has agreements with the French Institute for the Distribution of French Cinematography Abroad (Fig. 3).

The brand "France" is the French language as well. It is recognized as the language of "love and romance" by millions of people around the world. It is also the language of diplomacy, which is recognized as a major language in many international organizations. At present, France has developed a well-thought-out, comprehensive system of measures aimed at solving the problems of language presence abroad and countering the influence of English. The general management of these activities, as well as of all foreign cultural policy, is carried out by the state through a system of ministries and public structures, but in practice they are most actively implemented through other mechanisms: through the network of the above mentioned French alliances (Alliance Française), French institutes, cultural centers, various educational programs. In recent years, the most active role in this direction has been played by the Francophonie movement and the International Organization of Francophonie at the head of this movement (Pic. 4).

Серия «История. Философия». № 1(101)/2021

The Charter of Francophonie says that the organization supports the preservation and dissemination of French as a means of international communication. Within this organization, France is engaged in a wide range of educational activities, including the study of the French language. For example, the International University of French Language offers such programs as French language and cultural and linguistic diversity.

In 1970, France supported the creation of the International Organization of Francophonie (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, OIF). At present, it has 77 member states and observers. The French language is also promoted by the French Institute (Institut Francais), created in 2010 under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its predecessor was the Association of French Expansion and Cultural Exchange (Association française d'expansion et d'échanges artistiques), created at the end of the First World War. Even then, the French government was aware of the need to develop and spread French culture and to promote French cultural heritage [2, 25].

The organization implements a large number of linguistic programs, supports the publication of books in French, and combats illiteracy. The linguistic policy within the organization is carried out through three entities: the International French Language Network (Rifram), which brings together various state and nonstate institutions of French-speaking countries interested in expanding the use of French and improving the quality of its teaching, the International Network for the use of technology to support the French language and the languages of the partner countries (Rifal) and finally, the International Network of French-speaking Literature (Rilif) [5, 220].

Today, French is the 2nd most frequently studied language in the world after English; according to some data, about 40% of the world population uses French [5, 220].

Another indicator of the formation of a national brand is the indicators that occupy cities of individual countries in the world rankings of cities. This is largely due to the fact that individual cities form the whole country and are a kind of "puzzles", as well as forming the image of the country. And in this area, France has achieved quite high results. France chooses a strategy that implies that the image is not built around large cities (Paris, Lyon, Marseille), but based on the fact that each city in France is unique and represented for all target audiences. Thus, the promotion of the "France" brand has a strong regional character.

The regional approach to positioning the country only emphasizes its identity and attractiveness. Tourists form ideas about local producers and the uniqueness of nature. Normandy will be associated with oysters, Provence - with lavender, picturesque parks and cities-reserves, Alsace - with Christmas and mulled wine.

Another good example is Cannes and its festival. The slogan of the city is "Everyone goes to Cannes, and you?" (Tout le monde va a Cannes. Et vous?). Karin Osmuk, a representative of the press service of the Palais des Cannes, said in an interview that despite the popularity of the city, there is always a special work with journalists who come to Cannes on business, press tours or holidays. She noted that the city is interested in leaving only positive impressions and is ready to grow even more thanks to the comments. Cannes is an expensive and popular city, a brand. However, any brand loses its value without maintaining its ingredients. Therefore, the target audience needs to be constantly reminded of the city [2, 24].

There is also no doubt that France is a country with rich history and as a result has a rich cultural heritage. To stimulate the interest of both domestic and foreign audiences in French culture, the country is implementing numerous projects in this area. In 2013, Marseille was declared the European Capital of Culture. To promote the image of the city, a special program of cultural events was developed, a system of PR and marketing communications was created, a website and accounts in social networks were launched. Also from the site was set up redirect to the site of Provence, where in addition to practical information about


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the region published announcements of cultural events. At the end of the project was published a report, which noted that during the year Marseille was visited by more than 11 million guests. This included visitors (both paid and free events), who during this time have only once visited museums, exhibitions and installations. The results are impressive, especially in comparison with 2004, when the cultural capital was Lille (about 9 million visitors). [2, 24].

The promotion of French cities takes place through, firstly, online activity. Each town/village has its own website or the website of the City Hall, which is the source of tourist information. Offline activity (each, even the smallest village, has its own Tourism Office (Office de tourisme), which offers a wide range of relevant practical information. As well as through participation in industry-specific tourism events and holding your own events. Thus, with a properly built "image of the city" can be said that each city is unique and for each city will find its own tourist and investor.

Formation of the "national brand" is also carried out primarily through the population of the country. And here the importance of such a concept as "national identity" should be noted. How the Frenchman positions himself outside of his country. The large flow of emigrants and the policy of "multiculturalism" obviously slightly erases the concept of "national identity" and in this direction it is necessary to introduce new mechanisms that will form a real "French identity".

Nevertheless, France has quite positive results in forming its "national brand", to which the above mentioned mechanisms are a good proof.


As a result of research, the author conducted an analysis of existing programs for the formation of "national brand", "country image" of the French Republic. Ways of forming the national branding, as well as the main components of the country's image were considered.

The analysis of the French experience of forming a "national brand" showed that the example of this country is quite successful. As a result of the study, the authors concluded that the preservation of positive trends is possible with further strengthened work in this direction, as well as constructive dialogue between regional authorities and all interested groups, including entrepreneurs and the population of France, which represents the country around the world and is also a brand.



  1. Anholt, S. (2007). Sozdanie brenda strany [Creation of a brand of the country]. Brend-menedzhment — Brand management, 1(32), 50–52 [in Russian].
  2. Kobyakina, O. (2015). Natsionalnyi brendinh Frantsii [National branding of France]. Mediaalmanakh — Media almanac, 4(69), 19–27 [in Russian].
  3. Devdariani, N.V., & Rubcova, E.V. Analiz zarubezhnoi praktiki primeneniia kommunikatsionnykh tekhnolohii v prodvizhenii natsionalnoho brendinha [Analysis of foreign practice of application of communication technologies in promotion of national branding]. innov.ru. Retrieved from: http://www.innov.ru/science/economy/analiz-zarubezhnoypraktiki-primene/ [in Russian].
  4. Belyaev, S.A., & Makarova, I.N. (2014). O kulturnoi diplomatii Frantsuzskoi Respubliki [About cultural diplomacy of the French Republic]. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia — International relations, 2, 262–271 [in Russian].
  5. Bogolyubova, N.M., & Nikolaeva, Yu.V. Yazykovoi aspekt vneshnei kulturnoi politiki sovremennoi Frantsii [Linguistic aspect of the foreign cultural policy of modern France]. cyberleninka.ru. Retrieved from: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/yazykovoy- aspekt-vneshney [in Russian].

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International relations

International relations



Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection between textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics.[

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Technical science