Bloom Consulting has just published the 2012 Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking which classifies countries based on the effectiveness of their country brand strategies and the impact this has on GDP.
In an email to me the Ranking was explained as having a different methodology to other indexes such as the Futurebrand or Simon Anholt rankings as it “conveys dozens of variables in order to position the countries by facts and mathematical algorithms instead of pure opinions, like other country branding rankings do”.
The ranking “takes into account both hard and soft data and includes ground breaking processes to show the relationship between the country’s economic performance and the projections of the country’s brand strategy.”
It doesn’t explain what those processes are, how it gets access to those projections or how it measures them but I do like the fact that someone is trying to develop branding metrics for destination branding initiatives.
“The methodology measures the coherency between the external messages of a country and its actual economic performance under a certain period of time.
The higher a country is on the list, the better they are compared to their competitors, in positioning themselves to attract either Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) or tourists”.
Bloom doesn’t believe that it is possible to develop a single promise for a country and this I agree with (and have been saying for years – please read this article on nation branding). We’re working with destinations in Asia trying to attract tourists from the region, talent from the country and heavy industries from North Asia and North America. Trying to create an umbrella promise for such diverse target markets will be an exercise in futility!
The email went on to say, “this year Bloom incorporated Online Search Demand (OSD) into the ranking. This looks at the gap between what countries are promoting (supply) and what investors and tourists are searching for (demand).
Bloom Consulting uses the OSD along with an analysis of each country’s brand strategy to assign each nation a Country Brand Strategy (CBS) Rating©. This identifies the accuracy match between supply and demand and allows Bloom Consulting to assess the best country brands”.
What’s interesting from an Asian perspective is that Asian countries are big winners in 2012, especially in tourism. Although the USA was top for the second year running, eight Asian countries were in the top 25.
China was the top Asian country at 4th, Thailand 6th, Macao came in 8th, Hong Kong 13th, Malaysia 14th and Singapore 22nd.
Japan was down in 28th place, no doubt the Tsunami played a part although the Arab Spring didn’t seem to have too much of a negative impact on Eqypt which, all things considered did well to come in at 31st.