• Transform magazine
  • September 29, 2020


Best city brands are authentic and unique on global scale, report shows


The best city brands make a difference with their authenticity and attract stakeholders from all around the world, standing out in brand consultancy Saffron’s ‘City Business Brand Barometer’ (CBBB). The report examines what creates a strong business brand for a city, providing advice on how to attract investors and become a durable financial hub.

Analysing aspects ranging from corporate tax law to quality of life and connectivity, Saffron’s CBBB has ranked global cities based on their assets, identifying the most attractive locations for investment and business opportunities. Saffron’s report proves that the strongest brands are authentic to their city, relevant to the audience they’re trying to attract, while still making a difference on a global scale. In order to build a strong brand and compete with the rest of the world, the most ambitious cities need to build their brand as a commercial company would, with the aim of attracting investment or talent.

The most attractive brands are authentic and unique, according to the report. Cultural and financial hubs for all investors and stakeholders, they appeal all around the world and set examples for the most ambitious towns, with high quality of life and ease of doing business. GDP per capita was a key factor in reaching the top of the 75 cities. And, beyond the top 10 brands, Saffron has examined the ‘challengers,’ the ‘under performers’ and the ‘ones to watch,’ praising the potential of several global towns and giving advice for those that could have aimed higher. Despite a lower GDP per capita, the rising cities convey a strong sense of place and pose a threat even to Saffron’s top 10, which could see some new entries in the future.

By providing a detailed report about global business cities, Saffron’s work indirectly completes the data gathered by FutureBrand’s 2019 Country Index, which has shown the best country brands all around the world. Although the two reports have come to different conclusions on the best place brands on a global scale, they are complementary to understand the rise and importance of place and nation branding in recent years, and to paint a comprehensive picture of the world we live in.

To craft the report, the consultancy has revisited its methodology since the first CBBB in 2015, taking into account changes in business and geopolitical conditions. Despite all that’s changed, New York still stands as the top business brand, attracting investors and appealing to stakeholders all around the globe. Brexit hasn’t shaken London from its grounds, and the UK capital holds a solid second place, with Singapore and Hong Kong to follow. But even the lowest ranked cities have the potential to shine, through hard work on their best assets to leverage their qualities to their advantage.

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Saffron's Top 10 City Business Brands:
  1. New York
  2. London
  3. Singapore
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Amsterdam
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Chicago
  8. Dubai
  9. Boston
  10. Washington DC