Odds and Ends

I want to highlight three tools/reports I have been exposed to lately that I think you may find valuable (or at least interesting).

Location Benchmark Portal

This is a new online database service offering from Investment Consulting Associates. The tool allows you to compare individual countries on a wide range of competitive attributes. Here is a description of the service from the website –

“This web-based software tool offers four modules to monitor, benchmark and rank the competitiveness of investment locations through: FDI rankings, tables, graphs and time series, financial analysis tools, best practices and report functions.

LocationSelector provides detailed business intelligence for over 200 countries and 350 cities, saving you time and resources. “

To get access to all the data, you need a subscription that comes with a recurring payment. But, the folks at Investment Consulting Associates have created a free public access portal that allows you to explore a number of features and compare different countries head-to-head. I compared Brand America to the UK, Netherlands, Germany and France on the basis of global competitiveness. The output ranked them 1 through 5 in that order with Brand America being almost twice as competitive as the second ranked UK. I tried to generate a city level analysis, but found that service was only available with a paid subscription.

If you have a need to know, or are simply curious, about how nation brands and city brands compare on a wide variety of factors, this website seems like an easy way to do so. I’d encourage you to check it out.

American Dream Composite Index

This is one of those that made me ask if I have been living under a rock. Xavier University (in my own backyard of Cincinnati, Ohio) has the Center for the Study of The American Dream that formally examines and reports on the state of the American Dream. Michael Fox who serves as the Founding Director runs the program. What better way to get a handle on the authenticity of Brand America’s promise than to study the results of the Center’s American Dream survey?

Here are some reported conclusions from the latest survey –

  • The American Dream remains remarkably resilient (great brand equity!).
  • Currently, the most prominent definitions of the American Dream are “a good life for my family”, “financial security”. “Opportunity” and “freedom”.
  • The American people lack trust in our leaders ability to guard the American Dream.
  • The American people think Brand America is in rapid decline.

I found this resource so fascinating that I have reached out to Michael with an invitation to participate in an expert interview for the Strengthening Brand America Project. On the website, you’ll find the results of both the 2010 and 2011 annual surveys. Click HERE to read the Executive Summary of the 2011 survey.

Nemacolin Energy Institute Newsletter

If you have an interest in learning more about the emerging shale gas industry, this newsletter will keep you up to date. It is a paper.Li publication that aggregates articles on shale gas that people are tweeting about. The newsletter makes it easy to keep up on the changing dynamics in this industry, and it is free to subscribe.

If your community is at all impacted by shale gas commercialization, this newsletter is a great read.


I hope you at least find the above tools interesting and ideally helpful. I am constantly amazed by what you can find on the internet. I am also hoping you believe the Strengthening Brand America Project is one of those tools that provides value. It is certainly our goal to do so.

If you have found other online tools that help people better understand either marketing or economic development, please provide a comment with a link to the website and a brief description of what it is.


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3 Comments so far

  1. […] highlighted this work previously in my Odds and Ends post. This is some fascinating research being conducted by the Center for the Study of the […]

  2. Krishna

    May 10, 2012

    Amy Myers Jaffe, director of Baker Institute Energy Forum, a pocliy think tank at Rice University in Houston. “They are saying to themselves: I am going to produce the gas regardless of what the price is, because I’m making money on the oil and liquids.”The article isn’t about shale gas. It talks a great deal about gas production coming from drilling for oil. A lot of that gas comes from conventional oil wells, not shale. Yes, these companies can make a lot of money. But that does not mean that the shale gas producers who get a bit of liquids can make it with prices as low as they are. With petroleum selling for $90 a barrel, drillers in places like the Eagle Ford shale or the Bakken can give away their natural gas for nothing and still make 100% annual returns on their drilling dollars. — ForbesShow me the 10-K forms that tell me that shale gas is profitable. (And when you do make sure that you are not just looking at the production cost, which is a fraction of the total.)Technology development and application are and will remain key elements in maximizing the full value of these large, long-life resources. Here are some examples: Unconventional production from Haynesville increased four-fold in 2010, while production in Fayetteville doubled in 2010. The Barnett Shale, where we currently have gross production of approximately 900 million cubic feet per day of gas, is another good example of value creation through technology. We have been able to maximize long-term ultimate recovery with longer lateral lengths and improved drilling and completion efficiency. And our net unit development cost in this shale play is about $1 per thousand cubic feet equivalent, a 50 percent improvement in the last five years …” — ExxonMobileWhat exactly is meant by net unit development cost? What happens when you include all of the other costs? Does this cost include the full depreciation or is Exxon using the overstated reserve estimates and the high EURs that have yet to be seen in the real world?And surely if shale gas were this profitable the pure shale gas players would be swimming in cash. But if that were true why are they swimming in read ink instead and trying to sell themselves off or find new credit lines.

  3. […] The Burghard Group | Place Brand Masters. Enter your email for … If you have a need to know, or are simply curious, about how nation brands and city brands compare on a wide variety of factors, this website seems like an easy way to do so.  […]

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