Brand Canada falters – Questions from SME’s as the brand sinks in world rankings!

NEW YORK – October 5, 2009 – Brand America is now ranked #1 by global citizens, according to the GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media, a division of GfK Custom Research North America. Results from the 2009 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index(NBI), which measures the global image of 50 countries, show the United States taking the top spot as the country with the best overall brand, up from seventh last year.

“What’s really remarkable is that in all my years studying national reputation, I have never seen any country experience such a dramatic change in its standing as we see for the United States in 2009,” explains Simon Anholt, NBI founder and an independent advisor to over a dozen national governments around the world. “Despite recent economic turmoil, the U.S. actually gained significant ground. The results suggest that the new U.S. administration has been well received abroad and the American electorate’s decision to vote in President Obama has given the United States the status of the world’s most admired country.”

Ahnolt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM
Overall Brand Ranking
(Top 10 of 50 Nations)

2009 2008
1. United States Germany
2. France France
3. Germany United Kingdom
4. United Kingdom Canada
5. Japan Japan
6. Italy Italy
7. Canada United States
8. Switzerland Switzerland
9. Australia Australia
10. Spain, Sweden (tie) Sweden

Source: 2009 and 2008 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM

“This improved perception of the U.S. is not only in the area of Governance, there are improved perceptions for People, Culture and even Tourism of the United States,” adds Xiaoyan Zhao, Senior Vice President and director of the NBI study at GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media. “While most nations’ reputation does not undergo major change from year to year, the U.S. has clearly bucked the trend. What’s key for the U.S. and other world’s leading nations is to strike while the iron is hot and develop focused policies and communication that draw businesses, financial investors and tourists — in order to help lift their national economies and their global credibility.”

The NBI is based on a global survey in which people from across 20 major developed and developing countries are asked to rate each nation in six categories: Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment. The NBI ranking is based on the average of these six scores.

Turning to the rest of the NBI rankings, mostly the same countries are in the top ten as in 2008 – but also with some shifts in position. France again captured second place overall, while Germany and the United Kingdom fell to third and fourth, respectively. Japan (5th) and Italy (6th) did not shift rankings from 2008. However, Canada lost ground, slipping from fourth last year to seventh in 2009. Switzerland, Australia, Spain and Sweden round out the top 10.

Other major movers in the overall ranking include several developing countries – such as China, which climbed several spots from last year to 22nd in 2009.

This year’s NBI study also includes questions on the impact the global economic crisis is having on people’s opinions and perceptions towards the nations tracked. Top-line results from this area will be released late fall 2009.

About the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM

Conducted annually in partnership between independent advisor Simon Anholt and GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media beginning in 2008, the Nation Brands IndexSM measures the image of 50 countries with respect to Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment. Each year, approximately 20,000 adults ages 18 and up are interviewed online in 20 core panel countries.

About GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media

GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media is a division of GfK Custom Research North America. The division specializes in customized public affairs and public opinion polling, media & communications research, and corporate reputation measurement — in the US and globally. In addition to delivering a broad range of customized research studies, GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media draws from GfK’s syndicated consumer tracking services, GfK Roper Reports®US and GfK Roper Reports® Worldwide, which monitor consumer values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in the US and more than 25 other countries.

About GfK Custom Research North America

Headquartered in New York, GfK Custom Research North America is part of the GfK Group. GfK Group offers the fundamental knowledge that industry, retailers, services companies and the media need to make market decisions. It offers a comprehensive range of information and consultancy services in the three business sectors of Custom Research, Retail and Technology and Media.

About Simon Anholt

Simon Anholt is recognized as the world’s leading authority on nation image and identity. He is a member of the UK Government’s Public Diplomacy Board, and works as an independent advisor to around 20 other national, regional and city governments on identity strategy and public diplomacy. Anholt developed the concept of the Nation Brands Index in 2005. He is founding editor of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, and the author ofBrand New Justice, Brand America and Competitive Identity – the New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions. His forthcoming book, Places, will be published by Macmillan in November 2009, together with a completely new edition of Brand America.

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