Anholt Nation Brands Index: How Does the World See America?

The Anholt Nation Brands Index, or NBI, is a measurement tool of American appeal and power in comparison to twenty-five other major nations in the world. 10,000 consumers from ten counties express their perceptions of America’s cultural, political, commercial and human assets, investment potential, and tourist appeal. Although materialistically and manufacture-wise America ranks high, the overall global opinion is relatively low. For the last century, America has been the strongest, most recognized, lasting brand in the world, but over the past few years, America has experienced an increasing decline in image. Positive perceptions are gradually turning perceptions. America uses the perceptions presented in the NBI to gather a better understanding of America’s strengths and weaknesses and to discover how deep-seeded the negativity against the country exists worldwide.

The NBI uses a unique method of mapping and measuring the national averages of each country. 1,000 consumers from each of the ten countries, accumulating the 10,000 respondents, are surveyed, gaining various opinions on strengths and weaknesses of various countries, except there own. The national brand then becomes the overall sum of people’s perceptions of a country across the six areas of national competence. These perceptions are measured on a hexagonal diagram. Each area has a “winner” in the categories, and the top ranked brand thus is the country in which ranked the highest on the sum of the total highest scores on each hexagonal diagram. The figures are calculated and the overall top ranked countries are listed.

As proof of America’s downfall, the most current NBI results showed that America, once top ranked in products and services, now falls just short of Germany. Although second amongst ten top ranked countries in the world is a promising statistic, what is disturbing is that America produces 60% of the world’s top 100 global brands, compared to Germany’s 6% turnout. In fact, “Made in Germany” has higher value than “Made in America”. The American people ranked 5th in worldwide “hireability” and a poorly ranked 13th in hospitality. In the tourism category, the most visually appealing of all categories, America ranked only 6th in desirable tourism locations and third in overall destination classifications. When concerned with governance, America comes in at a disappointing 16th place in this area, below other true democracies and only just ahead of Egypt, India, China, Russia, and Turkey. Even more disturbing is the low culture score, ranking America only 21st overall and only 25th in cultural heritage. This truly demonstrates the current view of America, its people, and its pride.

America’s problem is peoples’ general recognition of the good of America at large; most people have heard of vast amounts of money, labor, advancements, and knowledge that America contributes to aid in poverty reduction, healthcare dilemmas, and education in the third world. The real problem is that people distinguish the difference between America’s behavior with its military interventions and their administered support. Knowledge of all good-doings is justly lost in the country’s defense. It’s usually to no avail, contradicting the audience, even when one desires to correct incorrect notions about the country. Unfortunately, people hang onto prejudices.

America’s task at hand is to clearly define where it is as a nation and how the nation is perceived. Next, America needs to have a clear and obtainable, as well as sustainable, goal to work towards. Thirdly, a set of objectives need to be set to accomplish these goals. Lastly, America’s vision and strategy need to be shared by America as a collective whole. Without America recognizing these issues and working together to improve perceptions of the nation, change will never occur. With the right leadership, this is possible reality in the future.

American’s salvation is that the world needs Brand America. It is relied upon, whether for material needs or for a promise of a future. America is a symbol that can not be denied. America is promise.

Analysis of the Nation Brands Index referring to America as a brand is a valuable topic of interest to any member of society; it affects us all, whether it is directly or indirectly. Our economy is based on perceptions. Perceptions are what bring brands true success, not the actual product itself, although products do aid in the building of a brand’s perception. In such a desperate economic recession as we currently struggle through, understanding the basis of some of America’s initial downfalls is important in the restricting of the country.  As strong as America is, described by many as a monopolizing powerhouse, it can not stand alone and it will not always prevail. Through successful discussion of America’s rating to those in other countries around the world, it is possible to single out faults and work to make improvement and to set goals. With the presidential elections in November and a new president in the hands of the nation, all Americans have the capability to make a difference, and be one. If anything, America needs to be one; it is our one entity that symbolizes the reason immigrants swarmed in the masses to this newly created country, why we speak of the home of the free and the brave, why our name is one of the most widely recognized above all others. In the face of adversity, America stands strong, and that, not our products, resources, people, or even our government, is what makes us rise where all others will fall. It is our sole pride that makes us a threat to all others. This article, through all its research, is a reach out to each American to create one America that the whole world can be prideful of and respect.


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