FEATURE21 October 2015

Fearing the wurst

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Europe Impact Public Sector

Remember the Greek financial crisis? While the UK was less involved, it will probably stick in the mind of many Germans.


Prominent economists – Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz and Thomas Piketty — attacked Germany’s economic stance in many influential English language newspapers, including the Financial Times. Prominent Guardian journalists were equally vocal in attacking Germany. The New York Times in one headline suggested that Germany was ‘risking its reputation’.

Social media, notably Twitter, was awash with anti-German sentiment, with #boycottgermany trending strongly immediately after the agreement between Greece and its creditors.

Germany is an important global exporter, and in 2014 was the third- largest market research market in the world, according to Esomar. Equally it’s a market – or a country – that is often misunderstood. Did the negativity accompanying the Greek bailout have any noticeable perceptual impact on brand Germany? Or was it just a pinprick from a vocal minority?

Happy Thinking People is a globally operating research and marketing consultancy with German roots. We took a pulse check across our key markets – Asia, South America and the US – to see ...