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Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

Not all doom and gloom post Brexit: UK has strong reputation amongst biggest global economies

There is hope for the UK post-Brexit, with the nation coming highly recommended as a place to invest, work, and to buy products and services from by the largest global economies, according to Reputation Institute’s 2016 Country RepTrak®.

The ranking

The 2016 Country RepTrak® scores and rankings are based on more than 58,000 ratings collected in the first quarter of 2016 from the general public of the 55 countries with the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Of the 55 countries ranked, 20 were European, with seven of those breaking into the top 10.

Countries are ranked on a score from 0-100 based on their overall reputation, and are grouped as Excellent (80+), Strong (70-79), Average (60-69), Weak (40-59) or Poor (Below 40).

The UK sits at number 10 within Europe, with a score of 71, ahead of France and Belgium, and just behind Austria and Italy. European countries ranked by the RepTrak® Pulse scores, representing their overall reputation, are:

In the European rankings Sweden and Switzerland sit on a par as the countries with the best reputations, both nations top the list being perceived as the happiest, most peaceful and socially progressive countries (same sex marriage, education, healthcare).

The UK has improved its score steadily over the past three years, scoring an average performance of 66.7 in 2014, 69.5 in 2015 and a strong 71.1 in 2016. The nation’s ranking has also remained steady, being placed number 11 in Europe in 2014, and moving up to number 10 in 2015 and 2016.

Rank

Country

2016 RepTrak® score

1

Sweden

78.3

2

Switzerland

77

3

Norway

76.1

4

Finland

75.1

5

Denmark

74.2

6

Ireland

74.1

7

Netherlands

73.9

8

Austria

72.4

9

Italy

71.6

10

United Kingdom

71

11

France

69.3

12

Belgium

67.9

13

Spain

67.7

14

Germany

67.5

15

Portugal

66.5

16

Czech Republic

58.7

17

Poland

66.7

18

Greece

51.5

19

Romania

44.1

20

Ukraine

42.5

UK has a strong reputation outside of Europe

With economic volatility erupting in the wake of the UK voting to leave the European Union, there is comfort in the fact that the country has developed a strong reputation amongst the largest economies outside of Europe.

Brazil is the strongest advocate of investment in the United Kingdom, with 68% claiming they would recommend the country as somewhere to invest. India follows closely behind at 67%, Mexico at 61%, Russia at 54%, and the USA at 51%.

Kasper Ulf Nielsen, Executive Partner at Reputation Institute explains: “This goodwill will prove crucial in ensuring the UK remains a significant economic power in the aftermath of our break from the European Union.”

Interestingly, the UK population, as polled in the first quarter of 2016, was more likely to recommend European countries as places to invest; Denmark, Germany and Austria topped the list.

The UK also has a very strong reputation as a workplace. 74% of the Indian population would recommend the country as a great place to work, followed by 71% of Russians, 70% of Brazilians, 70% of Mexicans, and 56% of those in the USA.

Again, the UK general public is most likely to recommend European nations as a place to work, with Denmark, Norway and Sweden coming top.

The strong brands based in the UK have also placed the country in a positive position, as a nation people would recommend buying products and services from.   Greatest support comes from the large emerging economies of India (76%), Brazil (71%), Mexico (69%) and China (63%).

Nielsen comments: “The positive reputation the UK has established within the global community prior to the EU referendum suggests the long-term economic outlook may not be as bleak as first imagined. By leveraging the high esteem existent amongst the largest economies in the world pre-Brexit, the UK has the chance to look to wider markets for investment, attract a talented workforce from outside the European Union, and develop a diversified export market. Taking advantage of the positive reputation within the likes of India, Brazil and Mexico will be critical.”

Willingness to buy

The willingness of countries outside the European Union to purchase products and services from the UK is strongest within the Russian market, viewing the UK as having an excellent reputation score of 80.1. Canada, the USA, Australia, India and Italy also rate the UK highly.  Lower scores come from France, Spain, South Korea and Japan.

Nielsen continues: “The UK must make the most of the willingness within global markets to purchase its products and services. With some of the strongest brands originating in and thriving in the UK, there is an elevated platform from which the country can build up their export market in the midst of uncertainty around the European single market.”

Why reputation matters

As is the case with companies, countries have their own reputations which impact their financial performance. A country’s reputation also impacts tourism, export markets, the quality of public diplomacy, attraction of foreign talent and investment. A globalised world with intensified competition means country reputations matter more than ever.

The correlation between a good reputation and supportive behaviours is strong, meaning people are more likely to visit a country, recommend living or working there, buy their products and services, and invest.

Direct experiences, actions and communications, third party influence and national stereotypes, all have an impact on the perceptions of a country. This consequently has an effect on whether people show supportive behaviours, leading to the creation or loss of value. The supportive behaviours people around the globe were willing to show towards the UK during the first quarter of 2016 have the potential to create value for the country, as long as they are maintained and leveraged in the correct manner.