India retains 34th rank in Nation Brand Index, US, China lose reputation3 min read . Updated: 29 Oct 2020, 04:01 PM IST
- The study that analyses nations based on aspects such as exports, governance, culture, people, tourism, immigration and investment, conducted 20,019 interviews online in 20 panel countries with adults aged 18 and above
NEW DELHI: India retained its 34th position among 50 nations in the Nation Brand Index (NBI) 2020, conducted by market research firm Ipsos in collaboration with Simon Anholt, an authority on national image. The US which held NBI’s top spot on seven occasions, dropped four positions from the sixth place in 2019 to the 10th this year and China, which had remained stable at 23rd over the past four years, fell 12 spots to the 35th this year, below India.
The study that analyses nations based on aspects such as exports, governance, culture, people, tourism, immigration and investment, conducted 20,019 interviews online in 20 panel countries with adults aged 18 and above besides field work between July and August. Data has been weighted to reflect key demographic characteristics including age, gender, and education of the 2019 online population in that country. Additionally, race or ethnicity has been used for sample balancing in the U.S., UK, South Africa, India, and Brazil.
According to the study, India’s reputational strengths came from culture and exports while the country’s relative brand weaknesses were in the people and governance categories.
“The Anholt-Ipsos Nations Brand India 2020 shows, the upside of India’s image is determined by the reputation strengths of its cultural heritage, exports, contribution to science and technology. The brand weakness is perceived to be around governance and people; friendliness of Indians and the way we feel about the environment. Perceptions are not reality. At the same time perception is the only reality," Parijat Chakraborty, country service line leader, Ipsos public affairs and corporate reputation said in a statement.
The US and China’s decline was triggered by a sharp decrease in public opinion of their governance, people, tourism, as well as immigration and investment – traditional areas of reputational strength. These outcomes denote the lowest NBI rankings ever recorded for both of these nations. Most notably, the US and China see score declines on the same reputational categories, implying that they are both facing similar reputational challenges stemming from trade tensions and the covid-19 pandemic, the study says.
“Not for the first time, this year’s NBI shows that country images are unlikely to be affected by domestic factors: how well or badly a country has managed the pandemic, for example. Simply because the domestic affairs of most countries have little or no impact on the lives of people outside that country’s own borders. What really does make a difference is the impact a country is perceived to have on the rest of humanity and the planet, whether positive or negative," Simon Anholt said in a statement.
“Since a powerful and positive brand image feeds directly into more tourism, more trade, more talent and more investment, such considerations should be right at the top of any government’s economic planning. The NBI is telling us yet again that if countries want to do well, they need to do good," he added.
Further, this year was marked by an overall decline in perception of nations’ reputations. Apart from the US and China, France, which ranked second last year, dropped to the fifth spot. Germany retained its top position, the UK’s ranking jumped from fourth to second while Australia and New Zealand which saw notable improvements on the overall NBI rank. The former moved from the 10th place to eighth, while the latter rose to 12th spot from 14th - marking the highest NBI rankings ever recorded for both of these nations.
Australia and New Zealand were positively perceived on governance, people, and immigration and investment categories - which suggests that the manner in which both of these nations have approached the challenges imposed by the covid-19 pandemic are reflecting positively on these nations’ leadership, infrastructure, and societal values.