US has top national brand: study

NEW YORK: Despite ongoing economic woes, the United States has the best national reputation worldwide, according to the 2011 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index.

NEW YORK: Despite ongoing economic woes, the United States has the best national reputation worldwide, according to the 2011 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index.

The US has retained the No. 1 spot in the survey since 2009, when it jumped to the top position from seventh. It is followed by Germany, the UK, France, and Japan in the top five. The UK pushed ahead of France this year to place third, while France fell from third to fourth.

The US ranked first again partly because of economic and political upheaval across Europe, said Xiaoyan Zhao, SVP and director of the Nation Brands Index study at GfK.

“Compared to us, some countries have suffered more severely in terms of economic situations and natural disasters,” said Zhao.

The US brand also has a number of attractive attributes despite economic problems at home and wars abroad, she said.

“Brand America still has a strong reputation as a vibrant place with educational and business opportunities,” said Zhao.

The US' reputation was less consistent across six survey categories: tourism, people, culture, governance, exports, and immigration/investment. The US fared well in areas like culture and exports, but its image in governance, both domestic and international, was poor, said Zhao.

Zhao cautioned that the top countries could have a decreasing influence over time, because their positive attributes were less appealing to the “digital generation,” or consumers ages 18 to 29.

“These very strong national brands haven't made the same impact on the digital generation,” she said. “Possibly it's because this generation is less informed, but it also means that they're more open to new models and information.”

GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications surveyed 20,337 people in 20 countries in July.

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