The much awaited Country Brand Index by FutureBrand is here. Who is the winner? Any losers? Brought to you by Tourism-Review.com.
Brand USA climbed to the top position in the 2009 rankings with the infusion of global goodwill brought by the election of Barack Obama. More than just the symbolic effect of the election, the new administration softened the tone of America’s dealings in world affairs, as evidenced in part by President Obama’s recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize. The heavy-handed, “big stick” approach of the Bush administration has been replaced by discourse and diplomacy. With these changes, the US experienced significant improvement across a number of related image attributes: Political Freedom, Standard of Living, Most Like to Live In, Environmentalism, Safety and Rising Star.
After three consecutive years as the #1 ranked country brand, Australia fell to the #3 position after experiencing a modest softening across familiarity, preference, advocacy and several image attributes. There were no dramatic declines, but with the performance of the US and Canada in 2009, Australia dropped two places. The country remains one of the most compelling destinations, however, ranking #1 for both Desire to Visit/Visit Again and as a place to Extend a Business Trip.
With its “100% Pure” branding efforts, New Zealand has created a powerhouse country brand. The nation with the smallest population among the Top 10, New Zealand is strong on the political dimensions with Top 10 rankings in Political Freedom, Environmentalism and Safety. Top 10 rankings in Authenticity, Friendly Locals, Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities & Sports explain why New Zealand is also one of the most desirable tourist destinations.
The #1 most visited country, France vies with the US as the most famous country brand in the world. France is one of the best developed country brands overall with strengths across every measure from awareness to advocacy. Perhaps best known for its Art & Culture, Fine Dining, Nightlife and Shopping, France is also a Top 10 brand in Advanced Technology, History, Quality Products and Standard of Living.
At #7 overall, Japan has one of the strongest country brand images of any country in the Top 10. Affirming its strength as a business Japan is ranked #1 in Advanced Technology, Conferences, New Country for Business and Quality Products. However, Japan is also rated #1 for Nightlife and Authenticity and is in the Top 10 for Art & Culture, Fine Dining and Shopping, making this one of the most well-rounded nation brands.
Germany at #9 cracked the overall Top 10 in the Country Brand Index for the first time in 2009. It has been a strong nation brand in each of the four previous studies, finishing just out of the Top 10. This year—with #1 rankings for Ease of Travel and Standard of Living and Top 10 rankings in everything from Art & Culture, Families and Nightlife to Advanced Technology, Ideal for Business and Quality products—Germany earned a place among the leading country brands.