FutureBrand Country Index 2019: Australia descends from the top 10 of national brands


The decline in the quality of life and the high cost of housing have seen Australia lose ground in a world ranking.

Australia has emerged from the top 10 of a world ranking that measures the perception of the strength of national "brands" on a series of parameters including commercial potential, local values ​​and the strength of tourism.

Globally, New Zealand is now seen in a more positive light for Australia that has joined the United States and the United Kingdom.

One of the authors of the report said that while the country had a good trend in terms of tourism, the deteriorated quality of life acted as a "handbrake" on the future of Australia.

However, when it comes to cities rather than countries, Sydney has seen its world rankings rise in the same survey, bringing down the 20 most influential global cities.

media_cameraAustralia came out of the top 10 of the most powerful national brands. But Sydney is now in the top 20 of the most influential cities. Image: Dan Himbrechts / AAP

The FutureBrand Country Index evaluate the value of a country's brand based on parameters such as the prestige of products made in that country, environmental efforts, even the civilization of national policies.

In ranking 15, Australia is placed lower than the table with respect to its World Bank ranking which measures gross domestic product. In terms of GDP, which looks at economic production, Australia is the fourteenth richest nation.

The Asia Pacific CEO of marketing company FutureBrand, Richard Curtis, said the traditional metrics of nations are obsolete.

"Historically countries are always measured by GDP, but we live in a complex world where there is a series of issues, from health care to education, the rights of weapons to the environment, so to measure a country alone the GDP is too narrow ".

Curtis, whose company has worked to burn down the reputation of places as diverse as Peru and Tahiti, has said that having a positive national brand can stimulate tourism, business investment and even encourage people to choose a country's products compared to another.

media_cameraThe first five nations in the FutureBrand Country index. Australia is at number 15, down seven places. Picture: FutureBrand

Japan tops the list of brands in the country, replicating its success in the latest index published in 2014.

The authors of the report stated that positive associations with Japanese brands – such as Sony and Toyota – and its increasing desirability as a place to visit have helped them reach the top spot.

"The rich Japanese culture, which includes a favorable quality of life, natural beauty and heritage, attracts visitors from all over the world."

Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland have completed the top five.

Slovakia was a big rise in the index due in part to its natural beauty, quality of life and the introduction of a living wage. Turkey, Hungary and Romania also did well.

media_cameraJapan tops the list of national brands with a strong demonstration of quality of life, tourism and business. Image: iStock


"What emerges in this year's study is the importance of quality of life, safety and stability, which is essential if a country is to be seen as an ideal place to visit, live or invest", Curtis said.

"All successful countries have performed well in the perception of the quality of life, but unfortunately Australia is not at the height of its highest cost of living".

This parameter has been the great obstacle of Australia which has brought it down from the scale of eight in 2014.

While Australia achieves good results for tourism and a good place to do business, the perception of its quality of life has surpassed the positive with house prices and the increase in homelessness identified by the report.

From the above index, Australia has also witnessed a decline in perceptions of health and education standards, desirability as a place to live or study, respect for the environment and safety and security. The term groups many of these together as "values".

"Our values ​​could return home," said Curtis. "When you add all these things, it dilutes global perceptions of Australia. The challenge for Australia is how to take the hand brake off the quality of life (in decline) so that it can be more effective as a country." .

media_cameraAustralia was outside the top 10 nations for perceptions of the quality of life that dragged its overall score. Picture: FutureBrand
media_cameraAustralia and the United Kingdom have seen a decline in a range of scores for the perception of quality of life, while Slovakia and Finland have climbed the list. Picture: FutureBrand


Italy, the Netherlands and Finland have all overtaken Australia, as has New Zealand, which now has the eleventh national brand.

"New Zealand has introduced a welfare balance sheet, we cannot say if this will be a success but if we look towards those countries, such as Japan and Norway, where the quality of life (positive) has long translated into success, we can only expect the same to happen for New Zealand, "said Curtis.

The report said that people increasingly attributed a prize "not to a richer life, but to a richer life", which meant making positive changes to the current situation rather than retiring.

Both the United States and the United Kingdom experienced a significant decline in their overall position, which was partly attributed to a political life polarized in both countries.

media_cameraNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's welfare assessment could see the nation further climbing the ranks of the brand. Image: Phil Walter / Getty Images.


The report also examined how influential global cities provided a boost to Sydney.

While the United States and the United Kingdom could be agitated as country brands, their two major centers in New York and London continue to seduce people around the world who continue to perceive them as the most influential cities on the globe.

The eighteenth position in Sydney has risen from 22 and "is not a scarce gain," the report states. Harbor City is now more influential than Toronto and Rome and just a touch less than in Los Angeles. Despite having achieved excellent scores on various liveability indices, Melbourne does not feature in FutureBrand's list, highlighting its less-than-foreign brand recognition compared to its rival NSW.

Despite the apparently small sample size, 2,500 respondents in total – only 10 percent of whom issued a rating on the Australia brand, Curtis said the results are "statistically sound".

However, Australia is positioned higher on a number of other non-GDP global listings.

The United Nations World Happiness Report, which measures perceptions of well-being, places Australia in 10th place worldwide.

While the human development index, which looks at income, life expectancy and educational levels, classifies only Switzerland and Norway higher than Australia.

media_cameraTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R). The governments of both nations have been criticized for a creeping authoritarianism. Image: Attila Kisbenedek / AFP.


Curtis said that big supporters, like Turkey, Romania and Hungry, outperformed in terms of parameters of heritage and culture, an area that was "an unexpressed opportunity" for the 39; Australia.

But he admitted that Hungary and Turkey were controversial choices to be seen as headlights for other nations. Despite being Democrats, both were accused of becoming increasingly authoritarian, limiting the influence of political opponents while centralizing power in their respective leaders.

"There is never a perfect country; everyone has strengths and challenges, and while uprights are not perfect, many are imperfect, global perceptions are improving in specific areas and they are heritage and culture," he said. Curtis.

"For Turkey, although it is known for its politics, it is also building an incredible brand around its art".

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Originally published as Australia was ashamed about the global scoreboard

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