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Nation Brand Values Revealed

13 October 2016
This article is more than 7 years old.

· US, the most valuable nation brand, grows 4% despite fears of Trump presidency

· UK yet to feel the impact of EU referendum but confirmation of a ‘Hard Brexit’ could see value plunge in 2017

· Luxembourg is the fastest growing nation brand this year, up 43%

· Singapore remains the most powerful nation brand, when the impact of GDP is removed

· Pakistan and Ukraine grow strongly while Turkey, Brazil and Jordan fall

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy, Brand Finance, puts thousands of the world’s top corporate brands to the test. However, in recognition of the growing influence of national image on the success of both companies and national economies, Brand Finance also evaluates the 100 most valuable nation brands, published in the Brand Finance Nation Brands report.

The United States continues its dominance of the Brand Finance Nation Brands table, adding US$871 billion following 4% growth. Even this modest increase may be under threat however. In just over two weeks, the US could be led by Donald Trump, whose xenophobic stance and protectionist rhetoric threatens to antagonise businesses, prospective foreign workers, students and governments.

Like the US, the UK has maintained a steady, if modest rate of growth despite Brexit and the depreciation of Sterling against the dollar over the past year. The lack of movement reflects the fact that Brexit’s consequences are as yet unclear. A great deal depends on the nature of the trade arrangement Theresa May is able to form with the EU. The short-term picture for manufacturing exporters is actually somewhat positive as a result of the devaluation of the pound and the continued ability to freely recruit EU workers. However a so called ‘hard-brexit’, leading to the implementation of barriers to capital, trade and migration could have severe consequences across the board for both the manufacturing and service industries. A deadline of March 2017 has been set for triggering Article 50 so next year’s Brand Finance Nation Brands results should start to provide a clearer picture of the impact of Brexit on brand Britain.

Luxembourg is this year’s fastest growing nation brand, having increased 43% to US$85 billion. The Grand Duchy is attempting to rapidly shed its reputation for financial secrecy and more particularly the taint of impropriety left by the LuxLeaks scandal of 2014. In its aftermath, Luxembourg initiated a concerted nation brand campaign to unify its messages and highlight the Grand Duchy’s Strengths. Reliability, Dynamism and Openness are highlighted as the country’s core strengths in a refreshingly low-key campaign that is distinguished by its focus on credible attributes rather than aspirations.

Pakistan is the second fastest riser, with a year on year increase of 41%. Pakistan is implementing a series of economic reforms backed by and necessary for a tranche of payments from the IMF. Lower oil prices also continue to work in the country’s favour, as does an improving security environment, despite the impression that recent escalating tensions in Kashmir might give. Pakistan must maintain the discipline it has shown in pursuing its reform program once the structure of IMF targets have been removed if it is to continue to grow nation brand value.

Ukraine’s economy remains finely balanced as its stand-off with Russia over the Donbas continues and despite the lack of international recognition, Crimea’s status as part of Russia appears to be confirmed. However having already suffered significant damage since the start of the war, the relative stability of this year sees brand value climbing upwards again. Brand strength metrics for security rose 18.2%, with a corresponding 11.4% rise in the quality of life score and a big improvement in the country’s ability to retain its most talented workers. Brand Value is up 39% making Ukraine the third fastest riser this year.

At the other end of the scale, Jordan is this year’s biggest faller as a result of continued conflict in neighbouring Syria. As the World Bank reports, the security situation is deteriorating, affecting tourism, construction and trade. Meanwhile unemployment is rising. With no prospect of the situation in Syria improving, a turnaround in Jordan is unlikely for now.

Turkey is another country that is suffering from the instability of its war torn neighbour. However, this year’s failed coup has been even more significant. The coup and its aftermath have triggered disruption to businesses, universities and the civil service and created an uncertainty for some investors. In this context it will come as little surprise that Turkey’s nation brand value has fallen more rapidly than that of almost any country this year. It is down US$474 million, a 29% drop.

Brazil has dropped even further than Turkey however. The Olympic Games did deliver a boost to tourism – Brazil’s brand strength score for tourism rose 12% on 2016. However the ailing economy, declining value of the Real and the Petrobras corruption scandal eclipse this, driving Brazil’s nation brand value down 30%. Perceptions of corruption are up 0.5%, the IMF predicts a further 8% decline in GDF before the end of 2017 while the country’s discount rate has risen from 9.9% to 17.8% reflecting the pessimistic economic outlook and suggesting further falls to come.

Singapore last year claimed the title of World’s strongest Nation Brand and has held off close challenges from Hong Kong and Switzerland to do the same again this year. Nation Brand value is reliant upon GDP, (i.e. the revenues associated with the brand). Singapore’s small size means it will never be able to challenge for the top spot in brand value terms, because its brand simply cannot be applied extensively enough to generate the same economic uplift as ‘brand USA’ for example. However it terms of its underlying nation brand strength, Singapore comes out on top.

Click here for the full Nation Brands report.

Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
Brand Finance

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.

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength

Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on 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 publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial 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 body, 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.

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