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US Retakes Position as Top “Nation Brand” from Germany

17.11.2015

Annual Anholt-GfK study ranks 50 nations on 23 attributes, from governance to culture

After being pushed out of the number one spot last year by Germany, the United States has taken back its position at the top of the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM (NBISM).

The United Kingdom remains in 3rd place, with France in 4th. Further down the ranking, Ukraine and Russia achieved large reputation gains, while Greece stands alone in suffering a steep drop.

The study measures global perceptions of 50 developed and developing countries – and is unmatched in the level of detail on which the nation ranking is judged. The study asks questions about 23 different national attributes, which are then combined into six overall “dimensions” on which the national image is based. Those dimensions are Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment.

Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM 
Overall Brand Ranking 2015 (Top 10 of 50 Nations) 

2015 rank
 
2014 rank
1
United States
2
2
Germany
1
3
United Kingdom
3
4
France
4
5
Canada
5
6
Japan
6
7
Italy
7
8
Switzerland
8
9
Australia
9
10
Sweden
10

Professor Simon Anholt, the independent policy advisor who created the Nation Brands Index in 2005, comments, “This year’s results stand as a reminder that although the images of countries are incredibly stable, changes can and do take place, particularly when people around the world sense that countries are contributing noticeably more or less to humanity and the planet. It’s their perceived impact on the world that affects countries’ reputation far more than their assets or achievements. Despite its continued perceived leadership in Europe, Germany has fallen back to second place, largely as a result of losing the gains it made last year. On top of that, Germany also lost ground on ‘governance’ (which incorporates both international and domestic behaviors) following its high-profile stance on European challenges such as immigration and struggling Eurozone economies. In particular, Russia’s perceptions of Germany’s governance dropped significantly, following Germany’s support of anti-Russian sanctions.”

The rest of the top ten ranking remains in the same order as last year, but with certain nations continuing to close in on the ones ahead. UK, steady in 3rd place, moved closer to the top nations and is followed by France in 4th place and Canada in 5th. Japan and Italy hold 6th and 7th places, respectively.

Greece, a nation facing chronic economic issues, has struggled to maintain its image, with notable falls across all indices. This means that it has slipped one place, to 21st position, in the overall ranking, with Brazil moving up to 20th.

Looking outside the top 20 nations, both Russia and Ukraine have seen impressive gains on all six indices that make up the overall NBISM ranking. Russia has risen from 25th last year to 22nd this year, overtaking China, along with Singapore and Argentina, while Ukraine has moved from 48th to 46th, overtaking Kenya and Qatar.

Vadim Volos, Senior Vice President and Director of NBISM at GfK, comments, “A country’s global reputation can make a critical difference to the success of its business, trade and tourism efforts, as well as its diplomatic and cultural relations with other nations. Our clients depend on the NBISM study because it is unbeaten in the depth of information that is included in forming the ranking – making it the most thorough and robust monitor of national reputation available.”

For more information on the full scope of findings from the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index, please contact Vadim Volos via Vadim.Volos@gfk.com or +1 212 240 5408.

About the Anholt-GfK Nations Brand IndexSM 2015
Conducted annually, the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM measures the image of 50 countries, with respect to Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment. For the 2015 study, a total of 20,342 interviews were conducted in 20major developed and developing countries that play important and diverse roles in international relations, trade and the flow of business, cultural and tourism activities. Interviews were conducted online with adults aged 18 or over. The most up-to-date online population parameters were used to weight the achieved sample in each country to reflect key demographic characteristics such as age, gender and education of the 2015 online population in that country.  Additionally, in the US, the UK, South Africa, India, and Brazil, race/ethnicity has been used for sample balancing. The report reflects the views and opinions of online populations in the 20 countries surveyed. Fieldwork was conducted from July 9 to July 27, 2015 (extended to July 28 in Egypt and South Korea).

About GfK
GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. GfK’s public affairs division specializes in customized public opinion polling, media and corporate communications research and reputation measurement globally. In addition to delivering a broad range of customized research studies, the division draws from GfK’s syndicated consumer tracking service, GfK Consumer Life, which monitors consumer values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors in around 25 countries each year. The division is also the official polling partner of the Associated Press, conducting the AP-GfK Poll (www.ap-gfkpoll.com).

For more information, please visit www.gfk.com or follow GfK on Twitter.

About Simon Anholt
Professor Simon Anholt is recognized as the world’s leading authority on national image and identity.  Professor Anholt was Vice-Chair of the UK Government’s Public Diplomacy Board for several years, and has worked as an independent policy advisor to the Heads of State and Heads of Government of more than 50 other countries.  Anholt developed the concept of the Nation Brands IndexSM and the City Brands IndexSM in 2005.  He launched the Good Country Index in 2014 and is President of the Anholt Institute in Copenhagen. He is the founder and Editor Emeritus of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, and the author of Brand New Justice, Brand America, Competitive Identity, and Places: Image, Identity, Reputation. Anholt was awarded the 2009 Nobels Colloquia Prize for Economics and an Honorary Professorship in Political Science by the University of East Anglia in 2013.

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