Germany has taken over the top spot of the Anholt-GfK Nations Brand IndexSM study, which is based on six indices, from the United States. The U.S. was the only country among the 50 nations surveyed whose overall brand declined in 2017. The survey’s ranking relies on measurements in the following categories: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment (more on the categories below).
“The USA’s fall in the governance category suggests that we are witnessing a ‘Trump effect’, following President Trump’s focused political message of ‘America First,’” said Professor Simon Anholt, who created the study in 2005. “However, Americans’ assessment of their own country is notably more positive this year than last.”
Anholt pointed out that the United States suffered a similar drop after the 2000 election of George W. Bush, when its ranking declined to seventh. However, the setback was only temporary. “Previously, America has never stayed outside the top ranking for more than a year at a time,” he noted. “It will be interesting to see whether this holds true in the 2018 ranking.”
Germany moved into the top spot even thought it did not rank first in any individual category but did make the top five in all categories save tourism. The United States placed in the top five in exports, culture and immigration/investment.
More on the Index: The Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM—it helps governments, organizations and businesses understand, measure and ultimately build a strong national image and reputation—measures the power and quality of each country‘s “brand image” by combining the following six categories:
—Public opinion about national government competency and fairness, as well as its perceived commitment to global issues.
—The public’s image of products and services from each country.
—The level of interesting in visiting a country and the draw of natural and man-made tourist attractions.
—The power to attract people to live, work or study in each country and how people perceive a country’s quality of life and business environment.
—Global perceptions of each nation’s heritage and its appreciation for its contemporary culture.
—The population’s reputation for competence, openness and friendliness and other qualities such as tolerance.
Following are the 50 nations measured in 2017:
—North America: Canada, the U.S.
— Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Norway*, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK
—Central/Eastern Europe: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine*
— Asia-Pacific: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand
—Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru
—Middle East/Africa: Botswana*, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates.
* Indicates the three nations newly added into the NBI in 2017. Also, three nations (Cuba, Iran, and Kazakhstan) were measured in 2016 but not in 2017.
The Results: Western market economies, along with Japan, continue to dominate the top 10 countries as ranked in the Nation Brands IndexSM. In the wake of a substantial drop in global perception of the USA, Germany retakes the top overall ranking, while France climbs to second place. The UK has regained the ground lost last year after the Brexit vote to hold onto third place, while Japan jumps into the top five for the first time since 2011, standing fourth-equal with Canada.