NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- FutureBrand reveals its latest ranking of the world's leading country brands. The key drivers of a 'country brand' include having a reputation for high quality products, a desire to visit or study in a country and perceptions of good infrastructure. Asia tops the Country Brand Index (CBI), with Japan at number one for the first time in the report's history.
The top 10 country brands of 2014 are:
- United States
North American countries performed strongly in the CBI with Canada #5 and The United States (US) at #7. Canada offers a valuable example of a country that deliberately uses international events to shape perceptions against its brand strategy and manages to connect improved awareness to the story it shares.
The strength of the US can be attributed to the fact that the country is seen as an expert across multiple categories, enjoying better than average perceptions across fourteen categories and performing particularly well in Technology. The US also ranked strongly against the dimensions 'Good for Business', 'Tourism' and 'Made In'. As a country, it is still very much perceived as a global powerhouse with huge political and economical influence around the world.
FutureBrand's research has revealed that not all of the 75 countries studied qualify as 'brands'. In fact, only 22 meet the criteria of a 'country brand' and can be shown to have a measurable competitive advantage over their peers.
Other key findings from the report include:
- Awareness does not make a country brand: For example, Italy enjoys higher awareness levels than Japan (89% compared to 84%), but is seventeen places lower in the rankings.
- Country brands are associated with consumer brands: On average, respondents demonstrated awareness of a larger number of consumer brands across more categories for the 22 country brands. For example, Japan elicited associations with Toyota, Nintendo, Honda, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic.
- Country brands are seen to have expertise across categories: France is most strongly associated with Fashion (65%), Germany with Automotive (77%) and Japan with Technology (78% - the highest score of a country in a category).
- Country brands have the most momentum in Technology, Innovation and Sustainability: Top country brands are seen to have more momentum in Technology and Innovation or Environmental Friendliness than Political, Economic or Cultural Significance.
- New York, London and Beijing will be the most influential global cities: There is often a correlation between perceptions of city influence and country brand strength, but not always. The ranking of the twenty most influential cities does not include any in Norway or Denmark – both top ten country brands. And seven of the most influential cities are not in the top twenty country brands.
Download a full version of 'The Country Brand Index' report here:
FutureBrand is the creative future company: a global brand and innovation consultancy, part of the Interpublic Group. Through traditional branding skills and foresight, we help companies create a positive future for their brands and businesses.
Whether branding a company, a product, a service or a country, we combine strategic thinking and creative inspiration to help our clients create, build and manage their brands.
We work in over 20 markets around the world with clients including American Airlines, Intel, Nestle, Dow, Xstrata, Brand Peru, Brand Mexico, Tahiti Tourism and Fiji Airways.
For further information, please contact Jenn Szekely at 212.546.7933 / [email protected]