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Bucharest sits firmly amongst the world’s top 100 cities in new city index

18 May 2023
This article is more than 1 year old.
  • With a score of 84.6/100, London tops the inaugural Brand Finance City Index, based on a global survey of 15,000
  • New York and Paris are close behind in 2nd and 3rd among 100 cities in the ranking
  • Bucharest is the only Romanian city contained in the ranking, performing well for culture and heritage attributes
  • Bucharest’s poor familiarity score undermines its overall ranking on the global stage

View the full Brand Finance City Index 2023 here

London/Bucharest, 18th of May 2023 Bucharest ranks 68th globally in a new ranking of the world's best 100 city brands, according to the inaugural Brand Finance City Index released today. Presented by brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance, the ranking is based on a global survey of close to 15,000 members of the public conducted in April 2023 in 20 countries on all continents to measure perceptions of the world’s top 100 cities. The Index has named London as the best city brand in the world, followed by New York and Paris.

With a Brand Finance City Index score of 60.5/100, Bucharest, Romania’s capital, and commercial centre, is gradually gaining recognition on the global stage. Across some of the markets included in the research, Bucharest receives weaker familiarity scores in comparison to fellow European capital cities, undermining its overall rank in the Brand Finance City Index. Despite this however, it received higher scores in key metrics such as consideration (55th), liveability (55th), and governance (47th). This suggests that as familiarity increases, and Bucharest’s positive attributes become clearer to a broader range of global respondents, the city may be able to further boost its global perception and perhaps compete with other world-renowned European capital cities.

To arrive at a comprehensive assessment of the city brands in the ranking, alongside measuring familiarity, the survey asked the respondents about the general reputation and their personal consideration of each city as a place to live, work locally, work remotely, study, retire, visit, or invest in. The evaluation of preferences across these seven dimensions was complemented by perceptions of 45 underlying city brand attributes, grouped under seven pillars, such as Business & Investment or Sustainability & Transport.

Having undergone a significant cultural transformation in recent years, the city is known for its eclectic blend of architectural styles, ranging from the grandeur of the Belle Époque buildings to the imposing Soviet-era structures. This was recognised through attributes such as beautiful architecture (46th),a Rich history and heritage (51st),and Great museums and art galleries (50th). This fusion of architectural influences and cultural heritage creates a distinct character and serves as a reminder of the city's rich history.

Mihai Bogdan, Managing Director of Brand Finance Romania, commented:

“Bucharest's perception on the global stage is evolving positively, with the city gaining recognition for its historical heritage, cultural vibrancy, and growing business environment. As it continues to develop and address its challenges, Bucharest has the potential to establish itself as a prominent European capital and attract even more attention from visitors, investors, and creatives around the world.”

London crowned as the world’s best city brand

With a score of 84.6 out of 100, driven by its high familiarity among respondents worldwide, London has recorded stronger brand perceptions than any other city in the study. Familiarity is understood as knowledge about the city gained through repeated exposure or direct experience, and it allows to form a deeper affinity for its brand.

David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“London’s exceptional performance in the Index can be attributed to its global familiarity. Coming first on this particular measure, London has a huge advantage over its peers, leading to its success in the ranking overall as the world’s best city. Knowing a city allows the public to form positive perceptions about it – to recognise its reputation and to consider it as the preferred place to live, work, study, retire, visit, or invest. High familiarity means a deeper understanding of its qualities and a broader reach of its appeal, allowing the city to draw significant economic benefits from inbound migration, investment, and tourism.”

Crowned as the overall winner, London ranks 1st in two of the seven key dimensions – study and visit – as well as in the top 4 in all other ones.

Renowned as a hub for academic excellence, London is ranked as the best city globally to study. The British capital hosts top universities – such as University College London, King’s College London, Imperial College London, and the London School of Economics, while prestigious schools in and near London that prepare for university – like Eton and Harrow –attract students from around the world. It is no surprise that the city comes 1st globally for great universities and great private schools.

Thanks to iconic landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London, and renowned cultural institutions like the British Museum, National Gallery, and the West End theatre district, London is a prime tourist destination. London’s top global ranking as the best city to visit, is supported by its 3rd place for great museums and art galleries and great theatres and music venues. The appeal of London can also be attributed to its strong identity and character, where London ranks 3rd globally.

Everyone wants a bite of the Big Apple, coming 2nd behind only London

New York City has secured 2nd spot, behind London, with a Brand Finance City Index score of 83.0 out of 100. NYC also ranks 3rd globally in familiarity and boasts 2nd spot in three out of the seven key dimensions: invest, study, and visit.

Widely regarded as the global capital of finance, NYC ranks 2nd behind only Zurich as the best city to invest in. It comes 1st for the city of global significance, easy to do business in, and strong and stable economy attributes, which explains its appeal to investors.

Home to several of the world's most esteemed universities - including Columbia, NYU, and the City University of New York – the Big Apple has also been recognised as the 2nd best city in the world to study in behind only London. It is 2nd for the great universities and leader in science and technology attributes, comes 4th for great private schools, but falls much behind London on great publicly funded schools, ranking 41st overall. In general, NYC is perceived as the least affordable city in the ranking, coming 100th.

Ranking 1st for great shopping, restaurants and nightlife and 2nd for great theatres and music venues, home to Fifth Avenue shops and Broadway theatres, NYC lives up to its name as the ‘city that never sleeps’. As a result, NYC ranks as the 2nd best city in the world to visit.

Paris is in vogue, ranked 3rd in the world

Paris rounds off the podium, coming 3rd in the ranking with a Brand Finance City Index score of 79.7 out of 100. Paris is also ranked as the world’s 2nd most familiar city.

Complementing its strong familiarity score, the ‘City of Love’ is also ranked as the 3rd best city in the world to visit. Boasting an abundance of renowned attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and the Moulin Rouge, Paris unsurprisingly scores better than any other city in the Culture & Heritage pillar, ranking 1st globally for beautiful architecture, great museums and galleries, and great theatres and music venues. The French capital also performs strongly in People & Values, ranking 2nd globally for being open and welcoming, fun, andhaving a strong identity and character, but falling behind on being friendly where it ranks 25th – perhaps in line with stereotypes.

Zurich leads rankings as the best city in the world to work locally, work remotely, invest, and retire, but low familiarity undermines its reach

Zurich is a highly desirable destination to work locally, work remotely, invest, and retire, claiming the top spot for each dimension. The city scores exceptionally well on reputation (4th)and consideration (1st)when considering all seven dimensions combined too, but a low score on familiarity (53rd) prevents it from taking a higher spot in the overall Brand Finance City Index ranking (17th).

David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“Zurich is a great example of a city brand successful in converting familiarity and perceptions into reputation and ultimately consideration. More so than for other cities, those that get to know Zurich, feel persuaded by its appeal as a destination, especially for work, investment, and retirement. Much like Swiss watch brands, Zurich is a “luxury city brand” – with a lower familiarity among the public, but a high regard among those that know it well. The trade-off of this positioning is a more modest reach than that of more popular city brands, such as London, New York, or Paris.”

View the full Brand Finance City Index 2023 here

ENDS

Note to Editors

Presented by brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance, the Brand Finance City Index is based on a global survey of close to 15,000 members of the public conducted in April 2023 in 20 countries on all continents to measure perceptions of the world’s top 100 city brands.

To arrive at a comprehensive assessment of the city brands in the ranking, alongside measuring familiarity, the survey asked the respondents about the general reputation and their personal consideration of each city as a place to live, work locally, work remotely, study, retire, visit, or invest in. The evaluation of preferences across these seven dimensions was complemented by perceptions of 45 underlying city brand attributes, grouped under seven pillars (Business & Investment, Liveability, Culture & Heritage, People & Values, Sustainability & Transport, Governance, and Education & Science).

To ensure comparability among the top 100, the Index excludes domestic perceptions about city brands, taking into account those of foreign respondents only. Nevertheless, the domestic perceptions were also measured in the survey and are available for the 20 countries where the research was conducted.

The full Brand Finance City Index 2023 report with additional charts, commentary, and expert contributions will be presented at the City Nation Place Americas Conference in New Orleans on 7-8th June 2023.

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand evaluation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts over 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports that rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

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Disclaimer

Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The data derived and opinions presented in this study are based on survey findings, publicly available information, and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear.

Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and data analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any individual, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

Brand Finance is an independent consulting firm. The objective of the present survey is to disseminate the outcomes of the perceptions gathered in a survey conducted in April 2023 with no intention of exerting any influence on public opinion or electoral outcomes of any of the cities or countries comprised in the study.

Media Contacts

Mihai Bogdan
Managing Director
Romania

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organizations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

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