• Transform magazine
  • January 18, 2020

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Japan scales country brand rankings

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According to FutureBrand, not every country is a brand, but a strong nation brand can have a positive impact on international relations, tourism, and investment.

The concept of nation branding, and the original Nation Brands Index, was created by British government advisor Simon Anholt.

The index, now named the Anholt-GfK Roper Brands Index, is published by the GfK market research agency and polls around 20,000 people in 20 different countries. The 2014 report is due to be released in the coming week.

Today FutureBrand has revealed its popular Country Brand Index. Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and Canada make-up the top five.

The top ranking countries in the FutureBrand index rate highly for either technology and innovation or environmental awareness and sustainability. This suggests that countries are judged favourably if they are seen to have a sense of global responsibility or to be contributing to world progress.

Also making-up the top 10 were Norway, United States, Australia, Denmark and Austria. Of the 75 brands studied just 22 are classified as brands by FutureBrand.

A country’s brand is largely the product of the consumer brands associated with it. For example, Japan is associated with the high quality products delivered by Toyota, Nintendo, Honda, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic.

Tom Adams, global head of strategy at FutureBrand and co-author of the report said of the findings, “This year’s research shows that having a strong country brand brings measureable competitive advantage in terms of visitation, advocacy and investment, as well as consumer preference for products and services. So it continues to be vital to manage country identity and reputation as you might a corporate or consumer brand. For those countries that do not yet qualify as ‘brands’, the Country Brand Index offers valuable insight into the levers you can pull for stronger perception across the dimensions that drive visitor choice.”

The Country Brand Index was last launched in 2012. This year 2,530 people were surveyed in 17 different countries.