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Sunny Sydney shines in a new ranking of global cities, while Melbourne and Perth also feature

19 May 2023
  • Sydney is ranked 1st for best city to live and 5th overall in the inaugural Brand Finance City Index, based on a global survey of 15,000, while Melbourne is 16th and Perth is 52nd
  • With a score of 84.6/100, London tops the ranking
  • New York and Paris are close behind London in 2nd and 3rd among 100 cities in the ranking

View the full Brand Finance City Index 2023 here

London/Sydney, 19th of May 2023 – Sydney has been ranked 1st for best city to live in and the 5th best global city, 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 placed London as the best city brand in the world, followed by New York and Paris.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director of Brand Finance Australia, commented:

Sydney solidifies its status as a top destination for living, working, and studying by securing 5th place overall in the newly published Brand Finance City Index. With its stunning natural beauty, beautiful beaches, and iconic harbour, Sydney has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most desirable cities to live in. As such, it ranks 1st globally in this dimension. Sydney is also considered a top location for retirement, and thus ranks 2nd in this dimension. The city is attractive to retires for several reasons, offering a diverse range of cultural and recreational activities, as well as a well-regarded healthcare system and excellent medical facilities. Unsurprisingly, sunny Sydney also ranks 3rd globally for its great weather.”

Sydney also boasts a strong economy and excellent employment opportunities across various industries, including finance, technology, tourism, and creative sectors. As such, it ranks 2nd globally for both local work and remote work. It also ranks 3rd globally for investment. With a stable and resilient economy, a very strong real estate market, and significant infrastructure development, Sydney has earned a reputation as an attractive location for investors.

It is worth noting that Sydney ranks 15th globally for familiarity, while London and New York dominate the ranking in 1st and 2nd respectively.  While the tyranny of distance may weaken its global familiarity overall, this shouldn’t deter from an otherwise stellar performance in a highly competitive ranking.

Melbourne has also performed well overall in the Index, ranked as the 16th best global city overall. Like Sydney, Melbourne is considered a desirable location to live, and thus ranks 4th globally for liveability, as well as 5th for retirement. Melbourne is also globally renowned for its high quality of life, offering exceptional healthcare, well-maintained infrastructure, numerous recreational activities, and a vibrant arts and cultural scene.

Melbourne perhaps suffers somewhat to Sydney in the familiarity indicator, ranked 36th globally. Sydney has gained more international recognition and higher tourism rates than Melbourne. However, Melbourne’s enviable living and working conditions, in addition to its thriving cultural scene, have contributed to its growing international profile in recent years.

Finally, Perth also emerges as a hidden jewel in the Brand Finance City Index. While it ranks 52nd overall, it scores highly in various attributes, ranked 16th for liveability and11th for nice weather. Like its Australian competitors, it also has the 7th highest reputation for retirement globally.To boost its city brand in the coming years, Perth must overcome its lack of familiarity on the global stage (ranked 85th). Boosting tourism is crucial, requiring the city to continue promoting its exceptional natural beauty and architecture. Further, Perth should also invest in improved transportation infrastructure to attract more visitors and boost its global recognition.


To arrive at a comprehensive assessment of the city brands in the ranking, alongside measuring familiarity, respondents were asked 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.

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 dimensions.

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.

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.

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.

About Brand Finance          

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance, 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 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 is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardisation 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.

Disclaimer

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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