We’ve stopped what we are doing and creating your personalized BrandZ™ report, which will appear in your inbox soon.

Global Best Countries Text

BrandZ Top Global Top 100

Best Countries: Overview-3 TO VETTING

May 3, 2018

1,520 Words



Qualities of countries shape

perception of their brands


Best Countries report reveals qualities for growth


All brands have a country of origin. All countries have their own brand qualities. These qualities can influence the perception of a country’s brands, and even impact their international growth. By comparing countries in the BrandZÔ Global Top 100 report with findings in the Best Countries report of Y&R’s BAV Group, these relationships between brands and countries emerge: Countries with the most brands in the BrandZÔ Global Top 100 report are more powerful and entrepreneurial; fast-growing countries with fewer brands in the BrandZÔ Global Top 100 report are more distinctive and dynamic—and these countries may shape the future of global brand value growth.


The Global Top 100 brands come from 15 countries. The most represented countries are the US, with 55 brands, China with 14, Germany 8, France 4, and the UK 4. Some brands appear only in the category rankings because their value falls below the value threshold of the Top 100. With these brands added, the Global 100 report includes 186 brands from 23 countries. The number of brands from each country then increases, sometimes substantially. For example, the number of US brands rises from 55 to 88, and the number of German brands rises from 8 to 14.


Meanwhile, both the BrandZÔ Global Top 100 and category rankings are becoming more diverse. The number of Chinese brands rapidly increased from 1 in 2006 to 14 today. India and Indonesia are now represented by one brand apiece in the Global Top 100. The first Indonesian brand, BCA bank appeared in the 2018, and an Indian brand, Maruti Suzuki, appeared in the BrandZÔ Car Top 10 for the first time.


These developments—the dominance of the US, the sustained strength of the UK and European countries, the rapid rise of China, and the emergence of Indonesia and India indicate that strong, valuable brands can come from just about any geography or culture. Understanding what country characteristics most correlate with high-value brands, and how those characteristics vary by country, can yield insight into the future of building valuable brands.


Power and entrepreneurship

Two qualities seem to most distinguish the countries whose brands appear in the BrandZÔ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands—the countries are powerful, and they are entrepreneurial. These results emerge from analyzing the results of the Best Countries 2018 study by Y&R’s BAV Group, completed in collaboration with US News & World Report and Wharton business school.


The study is based on interviews with 21,400 elites, business decision makers, and citizens from 36 markets rating 80 countries across 65 brand attributes. The attributes are then grouped into these nine, thematic subrankings: Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power, and Quality of Life. The study ranks countries on each attribute and subcategory and also combines the data to produce a Best Countries Overall ranking. (Please see Methodology)


There is a correlation between how positively people worldwide view a country, and the extent to which the country produces high-value brands. Four of the five countries with the most brands in the BrandZÔ Global Top 100 also rank in the BAV Best Countries Overall Top 10. Germany is No. 3 in the Best Countries Overall, the UK is No. 4, the US is No. 8, and France is No. 9.  China and India rank No. 20 and No. 25, respectively, in Best Countries Overall. Fast-growing Indonesia ranks 41.


Other than Indonesia, these countries share in common especially high ranks in two of the eight Best Countries subrankings: Power and Entrepreneurship. Ranking in the Power Top 10 are: the US at No. 1, China No. 3, Germany No. 4, the UK No. 5, and France No. 6. India ranks No. 15 and Indonesia ranks 47. These countries rank in the Entrepreneurship Top 10: Germany is No. 1, the US No. 3, and the UK No. 4.  In the next tier, France ranks No. 14 and China ranks No. 16. India and Indonesia follow at No. 28 and No. 43, respectively.


The Power and Entrepreneurship ranks are a composite score calculated from scores on component attributes. The Power attributes include: having a strong military, strong international alliances, and being politically and economically influential, for example. Among the attributes comprising Entrepreneurship are: being entrepreneurial, providing easy access to capital, having a well-developed infrastructure, and transparent business practices.


The extent to which each attribute contributes to the subranking score varies by country. China’s No. 3 in Power is based on a combination of having a strong military and political influence. For the UK, its No. 5 rank in Power comes from strong international alliances and economic influence. Germany’s No. 1 rank in Entrepreneurship is driven by its skilled labor force and well-developed infrastructure. For the US, No. 3 in Entrepreneurship, the key attribute is being connected to the rest of the world.


Citizenship and other subrankings

Along with Power and Entrepreneurship, the countries with the most brands in the BrandZÔ Global Top 100 also excel in other Best Countries subrankings, including: Citizenship, Cultural Influence, and Heritage.


Citizenship Attributes comprising the Citizenship subranking include: respect for property rights, gender equality, caring about human rights, and religious freedom. Of the countries that have had brands consistently ranked in the Global Top 100 over time—The US, UK, Germany, and France—Germany ranks the highest, No. 10, and all the countries rank in the Citizenship Top 20, much higher than countries whose brands have entered the BrandZÔ Top 100 more recently.


Cultural Influence Attributes comprising the Cultural Influence subranking include: being seen as prestigious, being culturally significant in entertainment, and being modern, fashionable, or trendy. France, the US, and UK rank in the Top 5 in Cultural Influence, which may reflect their influence on the world in the second half of the twentieth century, post-World War II. The rise of their global brands benefited from that influence.


Heritage Attributes comprising the Heritage subranking include: having a rich history, many cultural attractions, and great food. Heritage is also a strong factor for France at No. 4, India No. 6, China No. 10, and the UK No. 11. But heritage can cut both ways. Heritage can shine a halo of artistry around France’s fashion and luxury brands. Heritage can also lead to stereotypes that inhibit brand growth. India is known overseas for its Ayurvedic products and China for its traditional Chinese medicines. Both categories are heritage-related; neither reflects the broader, dynamic economies and aspirations of these countries.


Shaping the future

A country’s influence on building valuable brands in the future may not come from excelling in one particular subranking, but rather from its strength in a combination of subrankings. Specifically, BAV Best Countries analysis combines Entrepreneurship, Quality of Life, and Citizenship into a measurement of soft power, the ability to exert influence with cultural and human capital rather than military might.


A country’s perceived soft power correlates with its brand equity, according to BAV. Soft power attributes drive 57 percent of a nation’s brand equity, while more conventional measurements of power drive only 8 percent. The US, UK, France, and Germany rank in the Top 20 in each of the soft power subrankings. China ranks in the Top 20 in Entrepreneurship and it is No. 21 in Quality of Life.


China is lower in Citizenship and India and Indonesia are lower in all three soft power subrankings. However, these three countries, particularly China under President Xi Jinping and India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are actively implementing initiatives to build global soft power influence.


A country’s brand and the brands a country produces form a virtuous circle. The positive perception of a country helps brands grow in new markets, and positive brand experience in new markets improves the perception of its country of origin. The rising stature of China, India, and Indonesia should help propel their brands.


Brand China has already improved the awareness of Chinese brands internationally. Consumers globally are becoming more aware of Chinese brands across categories, as documented by BrandZÔ analysis of overseas Chinese brand building conducted in collaboration with Google. Between 2013 and 2017, the gap between online searches for Chinese brands and brands from other nations narrowed by 29 percent.


How quickly Chinese brands—or brands from India or Indonesia—reach greater international presence and increase in value relates to another subranking—Movers—which measures a country as different, distinctive, dynamic, and unique. It applies the BAV BrandAsset Valuator Model of Brand Building methodology to countries, as a predictor of future GDP and purchasing power.


And here is where the tables turn. Of the developed nations, the US ranks highest No. 20 in Movers, followed by Germany No. 35, France No. 47, and the UK No. 51. In contrast, India ranks No. 2, China No. 4, and Indonesia No. 23. The Movers subranking, and other BAV Best Countries findings, may be the best indicators of what the BrandZÔ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands will look like in the future.










Kay, please create the following charts or, when indicated, pick them up from other Best Countries sections.


The section includes only one story. It’s long, however, and can spread over several pages, with various charts interspersed. The methodology could take a full page, for example. Pick the pieces of the methodology up from prior BrandZ country reports, please. For example, pages 221 to 223 of the USA report.

















Use my headline and caption

Use headings… Countries No. of Brands

Use this source… BrandZÔ / Kantar Millward Brown


Chart 1

Countries in the BrandZÔ Global Top 100

The Global Top 100 brands come from 15 countries. The most represented countries are the US, with 55 brands, China with 14, Germany 8, France 4, and the UK 4.



Number of Brands











Hong Kong










South Korea