Brand Australia makes gains in FutureBrand Country Index, but still sits behind NZ

FutureBrand has launched the 2020 edition of its Country Index which sees Australia as a brand move up four spots to 11th globally, while sitting at 3rd overall in the APAC region.

FutureBrand CEO Richard Curtis

The Country Index is an in-depth and nuanced ranking of global country brands. Conducted six months into the coronavirus pandemic, it draws on qualitative and quantitative data gathered from over 2,500 influential individuals including chief executives, civil servants and other high-ranking professionals across the globe.

New to the index for 2020 is a swathe of questions relating to coronavirus, including a ranking of the best handlers of the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s index also went beyond GDP, taking into account metrics such as quality of life, value system and heritage and culture to inform the country brand rankings.

FutureBrand CEO for Australia, Richard Curtis, said that marketers need to pay particular attention to the index results as it can “ inform what ‘Australia’ means for companies, products and services where there is a strong link to its country of origin.”

As a brand, Australia has made gains over the last Country Index, but New Zealand is still ahead

“When it comes to marketing companies, products and services with a strong Australian association, attributes like ‘quality of life’ and ‘heritage and culture’ have a valuable role to play,” Curtis told Mumbrella.

“Provenance doesn’t simply relate to the source of ingredients and raw materials, it now talks to people and culture too, and so we use the data and its insights to guide how we develop and strengthen the link between a brand’s purpose and the everyday experience – whether that brand is involved in travel and tourism, trade and investment, or simply associated with an Australian-ness that can give a brand a measurable competitive advantage.”

Australia’s gains in the country index could also lead to a business boost for certain sectors, especially when a COVID-19 vaccine is released and borders are reopened.

“Australia has improved its performance, having slipped dramatically in last year’s Index,” Curtis said. “In particular, it’s the experience-related dimensions of the brand that have seen the greatest improvements this year, resulting in 90% of people recommending Australia as a place to visit and 85% of people recommending it as a good place to do business.”

Despite Australia’s gains against COVID-19, it did not feature in the top 10 list of countries that handled the pandemic the best. New Zealand ranked first and while South Korea has recorded a similar amount of cases as Australia, it managed to rank fifth.


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