Anholt Nation Brands Index: Brand America Worth USD 18 Trillion; Yet Worldwide, Consumers Are Polarized over Perceptions of America's Economic Opportunities, People and Government

SEATTLE--()--Feb. 21, 2006--The most recent Anholt Nation Brands Index (NBI), created by nation branding expert Simon Anholt and powered by GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.), a global market intelligence solutions provider, estimates the worth of Brand America at $18 trillion, ranking number one out of 32 nations. Yet, despite featuring the highest economic value, the United States came in 10th in the overall nation ranking and in last place for "consistency of brand." This highlights that global consumers' perceptions of what the U.S. has to offer are the most inconsistent of any other country surveyed.

The NBI, which polled 25,907 consumers around the globe, gauges people's perceptions of 35 countries across six areas of national competence: Investment and Immigration, Exports, Culture and Heritage, People, Governance and Tourism. Introduced in Q2 of 2005 as the first analytical ranking of the world's nation brands, the NBI puts a dollar value on each nation brand for the first time ever in its Q4 edition.

Brand America surpasses Brand Japan (second place), whose worth totals $6 trillion, and Brand Germany, weighing in at #3 with $4.5 trillion. Brand Poland comes last with a value of only $43 billion. The financial valuation of the nation brands was performed using the 'royalty relief' approach, which assumes a country does not own its own brand and calculates how much it would need to pay to license it from a third party. The present value of that stream of (hypothetical) brand contribution payments represents the value of the brand.

Although America's strong brand value proves that the country is still an economic powerhouse that transcends its other attributes, including being good at sports and a great place to live for example, the U.S. is the most inconsistent scorer in the entire index in 35th position. Singapore, Portugal and Hungary top the charts for brand consistency, while South Korea and China are only slightly higher than the U.S. at 33rd and 34th, respectively. While the majority of respondents rank the U.S. near the top in categories such as brands/products, popular culture, investment, technology, education, and sport, an almost equal number rank it near the bottom for cultural heritage and governance. This kind of love/hate dynamic could compromise America's ability to attract the respect and trust of other nations.

"People tend to think about countries as a complete entity when they are considering whether to visit them, buy their products, or engage with them in some other way," said Simon Anholt. "The U.S. is a country that really polarizes global opinion, with top rankings in some categories and bottom rankings in others. The fragmented lens through which other nations view the United States has not yet impacted its economic value. However, the global dichotomy of perspective shown in this NBI edition could put Brand America in a vulnerable position over the long term."

Also for the first time in the NBI, the U.S. gives itself second place for governance, ranking Canada at first place. American self-esteem appears to have slipped on several aspects of the governance rankings since the Q3 2005 edition: the panel scored the United States slightly lower on the question of international environmental and ethical policy, and substantially lower on questions of domestic policy and internal human rights and fairness. In fact, on international peace and security, Americans demote the U.S. from second to sixth place, compared with the third-quarter NBI results. The low self-confidence may be attributed to low presidential approval ratings, continued engagement in the Iraq war, and the potential for an even sharper rise in oil prices.

Even in traditionally strong areas, such as manufacturing, export and technology, the margin between the U.S. and its perceived economic rivals has narrowed. Perceptions that the U.S. is a country "which makes a major contribution to innovation in science and technology" have fallen by 1.8%, while perceptions of Japan's contribution have increased by 0.26% and China's by 3.03%.

"By keeping the finger on the pulse of global consumer opinion, the NBI keeps a temperature check of the nations' health in today's highly competitive global economy, where nations have to compete for investment, talent and recognition," explains Mark Houston, chief marketing officer for GMI. "The NBI is one example, among many that showcases the unlimited possibilities offered by online research: the ability to collect valuable market intelligence at any time, in real time, in any language anywhere around the world by leveraging an ever-expanding online panel of 5.5 million respondents in over 200 countries worldwide."

For more information about the methodology of the NBI and/or the full report, please email info@gmi-mr.com or visit www.nationbrandindex.com.

About the Anholt Nation Brands Index

The Q4 Anholt Nation Brands Index was conducted November 08-19, 2005 on the GMIPoll platform (www.gmipoll.com), which provides integrated solutions for global market intelligence. A 200-1,000 representative sample based on age, gender, and where applicable, geographical region, race and ethnicity was collected in each of 35 countries. For further information about the Anholt Nation Brands Index methodology, please contact GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) at info@gmi-mr.com or visit www.nationbrandindex.com.

About Simon Anholt

Anholt developed the concept of the Nation Brands Index in 2005. The first Index was published in May 2005. He is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on the branding of countries, regions and cities. Anholt advises a number of national governments and United Nations agencies on brand strategy, public diplomacy, cultural relations, investment and export promotion, tourism and economic development. He is the editor of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, and the author of Brand New Justice, Brand America and several other books.

About GMI

GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) is the only company that provides comprehensive integrated solutions for global market intelligence for both market research firms and corporate market research departments at Global 2000 companies. Solutions include Net-MR, a suite of software tools to manage and automate research throughout the project lifecycle, desktop analysis tools, 24/7 service bureau capabilities, and one of the world's largest, highly profiled, double opt-in managed panels, spanning across 200 countries. In addition, GMI offers high-value, real-time enterprise feedback solutions for customer, partner and employee programs. Founded in 1999 with world headquarters in Seattle, Wash., GMI has operations on five continents. More information is available at www.gmi-mr.com or email us at info@gmi-mr.com.

Contacts

GBC
Eileen Tierney, 415-339-1600
eileen@gbc-usa.com
Ellisa Feinstein, 415-339-1600
ellisa@gbc-usa.com

Contacts

GBC
Eileen Tierney, 415-339-1600
eileen@gbc-usa.com
Ellisa Feinstein, 415-339-1600
ellisa@gbc-usa.com