FutureBrand’s most recent Country Brand Index research study ranked Brand America #1. Kevin Roberts authored a brilliant post on the driving reasons for the top ranking. Kevin’s blog is a constant source of provocative information that really makes you think. I highly recommend visiting it frequently.
The Country Brand Index is a survey of roughly 3,000 business and leisure travelers from nine countries. According to a Reuters published article by Miral Fahmy, “The United States was seen as the ideal place for business, one of the top places for families, shopping and quality products, as well as one of the countries people wanted to visit whether for the first time or again.” These results come on the heels of and are consistent with the 2009 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index research I previously wrote about which also ranked Brand America #1.
These two global surveys strongly suggest the world is ready and anxious for a Brand America that walks the talk in a way that is authentic with its core promise of equality and the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The #1 rankings are also testimony to the continued global relevance and competitiveness of the Brand America promise.
Regardless of your personal political affiliation, it seems clear President Obama has rekindled global hope in the authenticity of Brand America’s promise. The challenge now is to deliver against that hope and recognize the impact of public policy, diplomacy and public relations on the world’s perception of Brand America’s promise. This will require strong collaboration of members in the President’s Cabinet, particularly between the Department of State and the Department of Commerce. Actions taken and speeches given by Cabinet members impact the perception of Brand America.
President Obama has been characterized by some as the new Brand Manager for Brand America. The analogy has merit.
But, brand management is a proactive exercise. It requires a coordinated Brand Team effort to deliver success; and, just like any other product, in-market performance will ultimately make or break the global image of Brand America. Consequently, to succeed, it is important an effective product development program (public policy reform, infrastructure upgrade, asset creation) be developed and implemented by appropriate members of the Cabinet and that the Brand America promise be consistently communicated to the world.
It is also important for all Governors to place a high priority on strengthening individual state brands and make business climate improvement choices that enable their state to be more attractive for foreign direct investment. State level FDI inflow performance among the top 5 states suggests this can be an effective strategy.