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Nation Brands Index

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Nation Brands Index

Nation branding aims to measure, build and manage the reputation of countries (closely related to place branding). Some approaches applied, such as an increasing importance on the symbolic value of products, have led countries to emphasise their distinctive characteristics. The branding and image of a nation-state "and the successful transference of this image to its exports - is just as important as what they actually produce and sell."[1] This is also referred to as country-of-origin effect. Nation branding is still a developing field in which scholars continue their search for a unified theoretical framework. Many governments have resource dedicated to Nation Branding. Their aim is to improve their country's standing, as the image and reputation of a nation can dramatically influence its success in attracting tourism receipts and investment capital; in exports; in attracting a talented and creative workforce and in its cultural and political influence in the world.

Nation branding in practice

Nation branding appears to be practised by many states, including Canada, the United States, France, United Kingdom (where it is officially referred to as trade and even political relations with other states. Developing nations such as Tanzania and Colombia are creating smaller nation branding programs aimed at increased overall image and with the case of Colombia, changing international perception.

Nation branding in academia

Nation Branding can be approached in academics as a field in social sciences, political sciences, humanities, communication, marketing and international relations. Scholars such as Evan H. Potter at the University of Ottawa have conceptualized nation brands as a form of national soft power. All efforts by government (at any level) to support the nation brand - either directly or indirectly - becomes public diplomacy.

Anti-globalisation proponents often claim that globalisation diminishes and threatens local diversity, but there is evidence that in order to compete against the backdrop of global cultural homogeneity, nations strive to accentuate and promote local distinctiveness as a competitive advantage.[2]

Nations Brands Index

The concept of measuring global perceptions of countries across several dimensions (culture, governance, people, exports, tourism, investment and immigration) was developed by Simon Anholt. His original survey, the Anholt Nations Brands Index, was launched in 2005 and fielded four times a year.

Rank Country NBI 2012[3] Country NBI 2011[4] Country NBI 2010[5]
1 United States United States (69.09) United States United States United States United States
2 Germany Germany (67.72) Germany Germany Germany Germany
3 United Kingdom United Kingdom (67.14) United Kingdom United Kingdom France France
4 France France (66.58) France France United Kingdom United Kingdom
5 Canada Canada (65.90) Japan Japan Japan Japan
6 Japan Japan (65.87) Canada Canada Canada Canada
7 Italy Italy (65.08) Italy Italy Italy Italy
8 Switzerland Switzerland (64.61) Australia Australia Switzerland Switzerland
9 Australia Australia (64.36) Switzerland Switzerland Australia Australia
10 Sweden Sweden (63.49) Sweden Sweden Sweden Sweden

Monocle Soft Power Survey

Monocle released its third annual Soft Power Survey in 2012,[6] ranking nations according to their soft power; the amount of attractiveness and thus influence a country has within the world. Ranking nations according to their standard of government, diplomatic infrastructure, cultural output, capacity for education and appeal to business, the list is calculated using around 50 factors that indicate the use of soft power, including the number of cultural missions, Olympic medals, the quality of a country’s architecture and business brands.[7]

Rank Country
1 United Kingdom United Kingdom Increase
2 United States United States Decrease
3 Germany Germany Increase
4 France France Decrease
5 Sweden Sweden Increase
6 Japan Japan Increase
7 Denmark Denmark Increase
8 Switzerland Switzerland Steady
9 Australia Australia Decrease
10 Canada Canada Decrease
11 South Korea South Korea Increase
12 Norway Norway Decrease
13 Finland Finland Increase
14 Italy Italy Increase
15 Netherlands Netherlands Decrease
16 Spain Spain Decrease
17 Brazil Brazil Increase
18 Austria Austria Steady
19 Belgium Belgium Steady
20 Turkey Turkey Increase


Further reading

  • Chan, Rachel (April 20, 2011) Center on public diplomacy at the Annenberg School.
  • Townsend, Jake (August 8, 2011) "Branding Peace: Norway's Identity Put to the Test" Huffington Post.
  • Olins, Wally (2002) "Branding the nation – the historical context", Journal of Brand Management 9(4-5).
  • Fan, Y. (2006) "Nation branding: what is being branded?" Journal of Vacation Marketing 12(1): 5-14.
  • Council on Foreign Relations (November 9, 2007) Backgrounder on Nation Branding.
  • Entry on Nation Branding, Center for Media & Democracy's Sourcewatch
  • Meike Eitel, Marie Spiekermann (2005) Nation Branding : San Marino developing into a brand
  • Risen, Clay (March 13, 2005) article, Boston Globe.
  • Weiner, Eric (January 11, 2006) Feature of National Public Radio's "Day to Day",
  • Gubel, Peter (May 29, 2005) article in Time Magazine.
  • Clay Risen (Dec 11, 2005) "Branding Nations", New York Times.
  • Andrew Stevens (June 8, 2011) "The Singapore brand offers a thoroughly modern city" City Mayors Foundation.
  • Rendon, Jim (November 23, 2003) "When Nations Need a Little Marketing", New York Times.
  • Anholt, Simon (2003) Brand New Justice: the upside of global branding, Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.
  • Johansson, Johny K. (2004) In Your Face: How American Marketing Fuels Anti-Americanism, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Financial Times/Prentice-Hall.
  • Kotler, Philip; Jatusripitak, Somkid; Maesincee, Suvit (1997) The Marketing of Nations: A Strategic Approach To Building National Wealth, The Free Press, New York.
  • Melerowicz, Mariana (2009) National Branding in Poland in: AICELS Law Review - Journal on Central European Law. No.1, Rincon: The American Institute for Central European Legal Studies (AICELS).
  • Potter, Evan (2009) Branding Canada: Projecting Canada's Soft Power through Public Diplomacy Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press.
  • True, Jacqui (2006) "Globalisation and Identity", in Raymond Miller (ed.) New Zealand Government and Politics, Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

External links

  • Corporate Sector Role in Place Branding
  • USC Public Diplomacy
  • Branding Greece: Greece as a Brand, the non-governmental Greek project for national branding
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