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NEWS16 November 2017

Germany back as top nation brand as US falls

Asia Pacific Europe Latin America Middle East and Africa News North America Trends UK

GERMANY – As the US’s global image has taken a hit since Donald Trump became president, it has fallen to sixth place, with Germany reclaiming the top slot, in the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index.

France has jumped to second place and the UK has held onto third spot. Japan has entered the top five for the first time, equal to Canada.

Germany gained ground in Governance, People and Culture. Germany’s overall score increases were boosted by significantly improved perceptions among Egyptians (+5.92 ), as well as among Russians (+2.26 ), Chinese (+2.17 ) and Italians (+2.06 ). Americans stand alone in ranking Germany outside the top-ten overall nation brands, placing it eleventh.   

Of the 50 countries measured in the study, only the US saw its overall NBI score drop this year. It fell from 19th place to 23rd for Governance, a particularly poor score for one of the world’s leading countries. But it still ranks among the top five nations for three of NBI’s six categories: Culture, Exports and Immigration-Investment.

Professor Simon Anholt, who created the NBI study, said: "The US’s fall in the Governance category suggests that we are witnessing a ‘Trump effect’, following President Trump’s focused political message of ‘America First’. However, Americans’ assessment of their own country is notably more positive this year than last.

"A similar fall in global perception of the US was seen following the re-election of George W. Bush, when the US fell to seventh place. Previously, America has never stayed outside the top ranking for more than a year at a time: it will be interesting to see whether this holds true in the 2018 ranking."

Vadim Volos, GfK’s senior vice-president of public affairs and consulting, added: "The Nation Brands Index allows our clients to understand where – and why – their nation stands in terms of their current image, momentum and potential. Changing global perception of a national brand is challenging and slow – but countries can influence biased or outdated perceptions by understanding the negative views and actively communicating actions and changes that address those."

Nation

2017 rank

2016 rank

Score change 2016 vs. 2017

Germany

1

2

+0.99

France

2

5

+1.56

United Kingdom

3

3

+1.27

Canada

4

4

+0.96

Japan

4

7

+2.12

United States

6

1

-0.63

Italy

7

6

+0.74

Switzerland

8

8

+1.34

Australia

9

9

+0.76

Sweden

10

10

+1.30

NBISM score changes: minor change: +/-0.26-0.50; medium: +/-0.51-1.00; large: > +/-1.00

GfK conducted 20,185 interviews online in 20 panel countries with adults aged 18+. Data is weighted to reflect key demographic characteristics including age, gender and education of the 2017 online population in that country. Additionally, race/ethnicity has been used for sample balancing in the US, UK, South Africa, India and Brazil.  Fieldwork was conducted from 7-25 July 2017.

@RESEARCH LIVE

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