It has long been established that marketing theories can have wide application in practice. Marketing is no longer to be seen and practised solely in the domain of business firms. The broadened context of marketing sees its application in politics, education, public services, planned social change, religion, and in the marketing of nations where the marketing of place is now widespread both in practice and in academia. The concept of branding is now commonly applied to place marketing, and yet this concept does not have universal acceptance. The issues are further complicated as studies into a place's brand identity are closely linked to studies of national identity, which is itself closely linked to the concept of a nation's cultural and political identity. This paper therefore attempts to unravel the complex relationship between nationhood, national and cultural identity, and a place's brand identity by means of a literature review that examines these concepts from a wide range of disciplines. The result is an original model that conceptualises the nation brand identity as a whole, identifies both what affects the nation brand and what is affected by the nation brand, and how the nation brand identity is created and communicated.