The top 100 most valuable nation brands in the world have recorded a 7% increase in brand value since 2020, signalling that recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is under way, according to the latest Brand Finance Nation Brands 2021 report.  

Although this is a positive sign, the report explains that uncertainty is still an issue and nation brand values have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels. At $90.8trn, 2021’s total brand value of the top 100 ranking is still 7% lower compared with 2019. 

There has been no movement in the top ten this year, with each nation retaining its rank from last year. All the top ten have recorded a modest uplift, however, in line with the global trend across the ranking.  

Chairman and CEO of Brand Finance David Haigh commented: “The superpowers from the West and the East unsurprisingly dominate the Brand Finance Nation Brands ranking, with China remaining hot on the heels of long-standing leader the US. With China’s recovery and economic rise showing no signs of slowing down, as growth hit a record high at the beginning of the year, no doubt the gap will continue to close in the coming years.” 

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In addition to measuring nation brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of nation brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating brand investment, brand equity and brand performance. 

The nation brand strength methodology includes the results of the Global Soft Power Index, the world’s most comprehensive research study on nation brand perceptions, which surveys opinions of more than 75,000 people based in over 100 countries. According to these criteria, Switzerland is the world’s strongest nation brand with a Brand Strength Index score of 83.3 out of 100. 

On the other side of the coin, the UK, US, Japan, and France have all fallen out of the top ten ranking due to the perception of how they handled Covid-19.  

“It will be important for the world’s largest economies to focus on making up the ground they have lost in brand strength, in order to protect their brand value," said Haigh. "The UK, US, Japan and France have all scored poorly domestically for their handling of Covid and they need to rebuild this trust with their respective populations.”