Why Nation Branding Matters
Companies know a good brand name can benefit the bottom line. Countries should cultivate their own image as well, because how they are perceived by others can have a major economic impact, according to Wharton marketing professor David Reibstein.
As part of his work in this area, Reibstein has collaborated with U.S. News & World Report and BAV Consulting to produce the Best Countries rankings. Unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2016, the project surveyed more than 16,000 global citizens to capture their impressions of 60 countries.
They assessed 65 attributes that were further grouped into nine sub-rankings: Adventure, Citizenship (including gender equality), Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power, and Quality of Life. Statistical weighting was applied based on the correlation between the sub-rankings and the countries’ per capita GDP (at purchasing power parity) to arrive at the final country rankings.
In the following series of articles, Reibstein explores the different facets of “nation branding” and why it matters.
Companies are fully aware of the economic value of their brands and manage them carefully, and branding consultancies regularly publish rankings of global brands based on their estimated value. Given our ever-increasing global interactions and exchanges, is it time for the same to be applied to the branding of nations?
Opinions about which countries treat women fairly make up one aspect of a country’s brand. The Best Countries for Women rating is a composite of five attributes: human rights, gender equality, income equality, safety, and progressiveness.
There is a strong connection between a nation’s brand and economic growth, as seen in the Entrepeneurship sub-ranking. This ranking also correlated most closely with GDP (PPP).
Impressions people have of a nation’s innovativeness, receptiveness to entrepreneurship, financial infrastructure and related matters affect its success in attracting foreign trade and foreign direct investment.