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.


If you have a Facebook account, become a fan of Strengthening Brand America. If you are a LinkedIn user, join the Strengthening Brand America Group. If you like twitter, follow BrandAmerica to keep track of updates on this website


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