Australia falls seven places to 15th in brand reputation ranking

Australia has fallen seven places to be ranked 15th in Future Brand’s eighth Country Index, which orders 75 countries based on brand reputation.

Future Brand’s Asia Pacific CEO Richard Curtis said the fall out of the top 10 should give the country a reason to pause and reflect, as it grapples with political change, shifting global perceptions and a high cost of living.

The Index’s top 20 results

“In the five years since our last report, we have seen Australia drop seven places in terms of global perception. Make no mistake, Australia is still in the top 20 but losing our strong top 10 spot is reason to reflect,” Curtis said.

“The 2019 report suggests our high cost of living may have precipitated the drop and steered visitors and investors to look elsewhere. That’s not to suggest that there aren’t equally rewarding opportunities for brands in sectors as wide-ranging as travel, property and healthcare to take advantage of Australia’s strengths as a country brand and tell a different story.”

Future Brand said that “while the comprehensive data set is multifaceted and nuanced, the Index broadly tells the story of society’s changing values and the effects of political change” since the last Index was released in 2014.

Japan nabbed the top spot, and Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland rounded out the top five. The United States dropped one place to finish in 12th place, and the UK was ranked 19th, seven places behind its result in the previous 2014 Index.

In the Asia Pacific region, Australia finished third, behind Japan and New Zealand. In the ‘most influential city’ ranking, Sydney jumped four spots to come in at 18, the only Australian city to make the top 20 list led by New York.

Sydney was named the 18th most influential city, the only Australian city to crack the top 20

To compile the list, the Index reorders the World Bank top 75 countries (by GDP) in response to a survey of 2,500 participants. Those participants hail from the 75 countries, and rate a country’s purpose and experience, covering culture, business, tourism, quality of life, and value systems.

Environmental friendliness, quality of life, and tolerance were treated with particular importance by this year’s survey participants – which Future Brands said may be a reason countries like the US, UK, and Australia have fallen in the rankings.

Quality of life averaged highest among the top 10 countries and lowest among the bottom 10, which Future Brand said is an indication that “GDP is no longer the defining measure of a powerful country”, rather, “living richly” is. It’s this criteria that impacted Australia’s ranking the most, dropping nine points compared to 2014’s survey.

“[Tolerance is also] one of the most important factors in shaping what countries people want to visit, call home and ultimately do business with,” Future Brand said in a statement.

In addition, Future Brand pointed out that political stability was a priority, with Japan Norway, and Switzerland (the top three countries), enjoying political stability, social democracy and staunch neutrality respectively.

“The perception of political instability on tourism and investment has never been so stark,” Future Brand said.

Slovakia, Peru, Hungary, Turkey and Romania were dubbed the “emerging players” – all rising between 12 and 24 places.


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