Japan topped the latest Country Brand Index survey by FutureBrand, a leading brand consultancy. The country set a new benchmark in brand strength. This was the first time that Japan took the No. 1 spot.
Japan’s strong showing is just one more sign that the country has one of the most important and attractive economies in the world. And that its industry is a force to reckon with.
The country featured strongly through the measured dimensions. It topped ‘Business Potential’ and ‘Made In’ and came out in the top five in ‘Heritage & Culture’ and ‘Tourism’.
Over 65 percent of respondents would consider visiting Japan within the next five years. Nine out of ten would recommend it to friends and family. The same share of respondents thinks that Japan is a good country to do business with. Over 60 percent would buy its products and services.
Manufacturing drives brand strength
Although societal effects play an important role, Japan’s strength is clearly based on factors relating to the strength of its industry. ‘Good for Business’, ‘Products of High Quality’, ‘Advanced Technology’, ‘Good Infrastructure’: All these strengths stress the important role Japan’s producers play in the global economy.
Interestingly, Switzerland and Germany took spots two and three in the ranking. Both countries also have strong manufacturing sectors. No surprise with regard to Germany, but most people do not know that in Switzerland manufacturing is larger than banking.
Country brands influence decision-making
Coca-Cola or Mercedes are world-famous brands. They are known and respected all around the world. But how often do people actually think of countries as brands? Not too often, most likely.
But the truth is, countries can be great brands. According to FutureBrand, they can be understood as the sum of their identity and reputation. And this perception can influence peoples’ decisions. In case of countries, their brand can make the difference between visiting, living or investing in a specific country or not.