Brand America is #1 in 2011 Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Report

I am constantly on the lookout for objective, quantitative ways to measure the performance of Brand America. I recently discovered the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Report that attempts to answer the question – “How does a country become more attractive in order to create economic growth?”

Bloom Consulting specializes in helping nations better understand how to better compete for global investment dollars. The firm’s headquarters is in Madrid, and has offices in four countries. Their vision is to bring entrepreneurial thinking to their clients.

Here is a quote from Jose Filipe Torres, CEO of Bloom Consulting, which describes why the study is important – “…branding is more than a capricious political idea, but rather a definite national necessity countries now need to face and manage as a priority. Countries can no longer afford to allow third parties to play with their national asset – their brand.”

I am completely aligned with Jose’s sentiment. Bloom Consulting takes a mathematical approach to better understand the impact of positioning on a country’s GDP performance. I think their work is important for every economic development professional to understand and their findings can inform us on the highest leverage areas to focus our attention against in order to strengthen Brand America.

To get a better understanding of Bloom Consulting and their Report, I decided to interview Elizabeth Turnbull from the Bloom Consulting Media Team.

Interview

Can you describe what the Country Brand Ranking is and briefly share a few of the more surprising findings?

The Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking is a Study performed to 193 Countries, where we measure who has the best Country Brand Strategy.

The Best Country Brand strategy is: The Country that has developed the most efficient strategy (attracted more Investment and Tourism thanks to the country Branding Strategy) 

In your opinion, what are a few of the drivers that resulted in Brand EU outperforming Brand America in attracting inward FDI?

Well to start with, it’s several countries and not just one. You have to see that if France invests in Poland and Poland invests in France, the value sums up. So in other words between states investment (in the USA) does not count, therefore it is less.

What are some of the up-and-coming countries to keep an eye on as emerging competitors for FDI?

Brazil, Colombia, Peru

Middle east countries

Vietnam

How can economic development professionals in major metropolitan centers take advantage of the data in your report and the services your company provides?

I believe the data we provide is a base to understand if the country they are in is being affected positively or negatively by their country brand strategy. In other words, to understand if the Country Brand strategy is helping to attract or repel inward investment or Tourism receipts. This is regardless of if it’s a country or a city.

Based on this information. Our services help Countries Cities and Regions to improve their image and perception nationally and internationally in order to attract higher volumes of FDI and Tourism. In other words our services are geared towards GDP and Social Growth

We have a methodology we call the “3 T approach” where we explain more in detail how we apply these strategies to countries cities and regions. This methodology is right at the beginning of the ranking.

Interesting Report Findings

“Our research has indicated that countries lack differentiation when it comes to attracting potential investors. It has also proven that most popular communication strategies, such as hard economic facts are not the most effective to attract investors. This provides a great opportunity for countries to differentiate themselves.”

“50% of all countries tend to use the same type of communication strategy regardless of geographic location. The majority choose to communicate messages related to investment incentives, strategic location, and the ease of setting up a business.”

“Using popular messages does not guarantee a positive impact on the country branding strategy; actually it’s the opposite; the most valued messages according to the Bloom Consulting Algorithm are not the most popular.”

Discussion

Please take some time to review the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Report. I think you will find it interesting and informative.

I think the findings of the Report can be generalized to Regions and MSAs. So, they have relevance as you think about your own local place branding efforts. How vanilla (undifferentiated) is the promise you are communicating for your community, State or region? Are you simply speaking about the 3 Ls of Location, Labor and Life Quality? Do you believe that is sufficient to win, or do you believe the Bloom Consulting finding that the most popular communication messages are potentially the least differentiating and therefore the least effective?

At a minimum, I am hoping the Bloom Consulting Report encourages you to revisit your local communication plan and assess if it is as strong as it could be. Of course, if you want to have a deeper assessment of your location’s opportunities to be more competitive, you can always reach out to Elizabeth < resources@bloom-consulting.com > and I am confident she will be happy to work with you and ensure your needs are addressed.

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