Germany is the best overall country "brand," receiving the highest ranking among the 50 nations measured by the 2008 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI) report (via MarketingCharts). The US ranks seventh, according to respondents from 20 major developed and developing countries.
France, UK, Canada, Japan and Italy are also ahead of the US - which is nevertheless the most familiar country: a majority (91 percent) have at least some knowledge of the US in general.
"The NBI is a report card for countries, measuring the world's perception of each nation as if it were a public brand," explained Simon Anholt, NBI founder. "Within the top 10 most positively perceived countries, the ranking reveals a strong correlation between a nation's overall brand and its economic status."
For the report, respondents are asked to rate their agreement with statements about each nation in six categories: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment. The NBI ranking is based on the average of the six scores.
Following are the top ranked countries in each category, as well as two additional countries with noteworthy positions on the list:
"Much as a commercial brand relies on a favorable public opinion to sell products, countries depend on their reputation and image to bring in tourists, business, investment and other facets important to a nation's financial strength and its international standing," said Xiaoyan Zhao, SVP and director of the NBI study at GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media
About the study: Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (pdf) is conducted annually with GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media and measures the image of 50 countries with respect to exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment. Each year, a total of 20,000 adults ages 18 and up are interviewed in 20 core countries. Simon Anholt developed the concept of the Nation Brands Index in 2005.