The 2017 nation brand report released by Brand Finance in London last week, shows that Sri Lanka has dropped one place in its rankings from 58 to 59, with just a 4 percent increase in Brand Value to US $ 77.0 billion.
The global report which is available on the Brand Finance website
(http://brandfinance.com/knowledge-centre/reports/brand-finance-nation-brands-2017/) provides a comprehensive analysis on the world’s leading nation brands and the impact that a country’s reputation and image has on stakeholders and investors.
The analysis combines a wide range of measurable economic, demographic, and political factors, and is based on in-depth research.
The Brand Finance Nation Brands measures the value and strength of the nation brands of 100 leading countries using a method based on the royalty relief mechanism that Brand Finance uses to value brands.
Each nation brand has also been accorded a brand rating, which is a benchmarking study of the strength, risk and future value creating potential of the brand, much like a credit rating. Sri Lanka’s brand rating is AA-with a score of 67.2 which is just fractionally down from last year’s score of 67.5.
Brand Finance Lanka’s Managing Director, Ruchi Gunewardene stated that “based on the last 2 years trend we observe a stagnation of the country’s brand performance. Whilst we saw a jump in the indicators in 2015 following the change in government and the commitment to reforms and governance that was shown at that time, we have not seen this translate into a strong and compelling reason for investors to commit themselves to the country”.
The Brand Finance nation brand study measures the country’s performance across indicators such as society (people& skills, corruption, judicial system, security, quality of life etc), investment (governance, taxation, infrastructure, ease of doing business, talent etc) and goods & services (trade rules, government policy, tourism etc).
Because of the scale of its economy, brand USA dominated the list at the top of the value table, followed by China, Germany, Japan and UK in that order. However on the brand strength indicator Singapore emerges as the strongest nation brand.
An understanding of what drives a strong brand is worth noting in the context of Singapore. Here it is manifested in the intolerance of corruption combined with a highly efficient public service that has comparative wages with the private sector discouraging graft, makes it the ‘cleanest’ country in Asia according to the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Brand Finance CEO, David Haigh said, “A strong brand has become a defining feature of success in the current economic climate. Worldwide hyper competition for business, combined with an increasingly cluttered media environment, means that a clear message carried by a properly managed brand can provide the crucial leverage needed to thrive. Nations can adopt similar techniques to capitalise on the economic growth that comes with proper positioning of a nation brand. Brand Finance estimates that strong nation branding can add between 1 percent and 3 percent to GNP. In the current economic environment no sensible government can afford to ignore branding as an instrument of economic policy.