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The annual Brand Finance Nation Brands Report reveals the world’s most valuable and most powerful nation brands

  • USA’s nation brand strengthens, with brand rating improving to AAA and brand value up 23 per cent to US$25.9 trillion
  • China continues growth, with brand value up 25 per cent to US$12.8 trillion, despite trade war fears
  • Germany solidifies third position with fastest-growing brand value in top 50, up 28 per cent to US$5.1 trillion
  • Despite Brexit uncertainties, UK brand value increases 20 per cent to US$3.8 trillion
  • African players advance, with 6 out of 10 fastest-growing nation brands coming from the continent


Topping the table as the world’s most valuable nation brand, the US’s brand value has gone up 23 per cent over the past year to US$25.9 trillion, according to the latest Brand Finance Nation Brands report.

The US economy has expanded at a rapid pace, with growth expected to continue in the months to come. Alongside the GDP, consumer sales, construction orders, car output and other indicators of growth have each seen an increase – proving the US economy truly is booming.

In addition, thanks to falling tax rates, which have created a more business-friendly environment, the US’s Brand Strength Index (BSI) score has improved from 83.8 in 2017 to 85.6 out of 100 this year. As a result, America’s brand rating has been upgraded from AAA- to AAA.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented: “As Donald Trump approaches the start of his third year at the White House, in the longer run, negative perceptions of his personal brand have turned out to have little impact on the nation brand as a whole. Rather, the new free-market policies have resonated with business leaders and the economy is growing, driving an improvement in America’s brand strength and brand value alike.”


Chinamaintains its spot as the second most valuable nation brand, with brand value up 25 per cent to US$12.8 trillion. China performs well despite the prospects of a protracted trade war with the US, displaying the established robustness of the Chinese economy. This rise in brand value is also credited to booming cities like Beijing and Shanghai, for their world-class infrastructure and well-educated workforce, which make them some of the world’s best places to do business.

Whilst China’s brand strength remains relatively low at 73.5, it has grown faster than for any other big nation brand, with a total of two points added to the country’s BSI score over the past year. The improvement comes as China steps up its role on the global stage, championing free trade and leading efforts to combat climate change at a time when the US is turning towards protectionism and prioritising its own interests over a collaborative energy policy.


The fastest-growing brand in the top 50 of the Brand Finance Nation Brands 2018, Germanyhas seen a 28 per cent brand value jump to US$5.1 trillion over the past year. This has solidified the country’s position as Europe’s most valuable nation brand and the world’s third. Following strong growth, Germany has more than doubled the lead over the fourth brand in the table, from US$582 billion in 2017 to US$1.4 trillion this year. Reinforced by the country’s status as the leading force in the EU and its growing global role both economically and at the political negotiating table, Germany’s brand strength has also improved, leading to a lift in brand rating from AAA- to AAA.


Perceived vulnerability undermines Britain’s standing on the global stage, reflected in the nation brand’s strength falling slightly since last year, from 85.3 to 84.8, but a healthy economy and positive growth forecasts show Britain’s resilience in the face of Brexit. The UK’s nation brand has recorded a solid 20 per cent growth year-on-year to US$3.8 trillion, replacing Japanin fourth place. David Haigh comments: “The exact scenario and consequences of exiting the EU still remain to be seen, but both current market conditions and economic forecasts for the coming years reaffirm Britain’s ability to make the most of its post-Brexit future.”


The ongoing economic crisis alongside the fall in value of the lira have seen Turkey’s brand value decline by one third. Turbulent political times in the wider region, such as the ongoing crises in Syriaand Iraq, have also played a part. The mission ahead is to nurture global Turkish brands, such as the national carrier Turkish Airlines, which has shown a promising rise in its brand value since last year, up 6 per cent to over US$2.0 billion.


Six out of ten fastest-growing nation brands this year are from Africa. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopiaand Ghanahave all recorded outstanding growth between 28 per cent and 38 per cent year-on-year. Haigh commented: “Following the footsteps of Asian tigers with remarkable advances in this year’s ranking, African lions are the future of global economic growth.”


In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of nation brands, determined by performance on dozens of data points across three key pillars: Goods & Services, Investment and Society.

According to these criteria, Singapore has claimed the title of the world’s strongest nation brand once again this year. A strong nation brand denotes a highly attractive environment for investment and Singapore has carved a global reputation for itself as a well-educated nation with a high quality of life. Singapore is also Asia’s recognised technology hub – where most of the sector’s companies have their headquarters and where Facebook has just announced plans to open its new data centre in 2022.

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest nation brands. 2018 brand values are calculated in USD with a valuation date of 1 July 2018. For full results, expert insights, and a detailed explanation of methodology, please consult the full report: http://brandfinance.com/knowledge-centre/reports/brand-finance-nation-brands-2018


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