If countries were consumer products, which nation would be the best brand? Sweden takes the top spot according to the Anholt-GMI Nation’s Brands Index, a unique barometer of global opinion and a clear measurement of national brand power.
“When we express a preference for French holidays, German cars, or Italian opera; when we instinctively trust the policies of the Swedish government, comment on the ambition of the Japanes, the bluntness of Americans or the courtesy of the British; when we avoid investing in Russia, favor Turkey’s entry into Europe or admire the heritage of China and India, we are responding to brand images in exactly the same way as when we’re shopping for clothing or food. But these are far bigger brands than Nike or Nestle. They are the brands of nations,” Simon Anholt, co-founder of the Anholt-GMI Nation’s Brand Index and a world authority on nation brands explains.
The Index is the first analytical rating of the brands of the world’s nations based on consumer perceptions of the cultural, political, commercial and human assets, investment potential and tourist appeal. Representative samples of consumers in Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom, and the United States were collected. A total of 10,000 consumers were surveyed, or 1,000 consumer per country. Consumers were not asked questions about their own country. The survey has a three percent margin of error.
The full ranking of the nation brands are (from most to least positive):
4. US/Germany (tie)
8. South Korea
Nation brand is an important concept, today more than ever. Globalization means countries as well as companies compete with each other for attention, respect, consumers and all the things which drive economies. A powerful and positive nation brand in the media and among the people of other countries is a significant competitive advantage. It is essential for countries to understand how they are perceived by people around the world. A country’s brand image reflects how the nation’s achievements, failures, assets, liabilities, people and products are regarded by the rest of the world.