As you might already know, the question of measurement is yet to be answered in the field of nation/place branding. There are a couple of commercial measurement scales such as The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, and FutureBrand’s Country Brand Index. There are also several academic studies (examples can be found here and here) that work on conceptualizing place brand measurement scales. I have a long-term research project I still work on entitled “Define-Measure-Visualize“.
Recently, I was introduced to the Country Brand Ranking created by Bloom Consulting. Unlike the other commercial products, CBR focuses on facts and figures through international agencies, and look at the branding messages to rank countries.
CBR ranks countries based on trade and tourism only through a two-step research design. In the first step, Bloom-Consulting looks at the economic and tourism impact. In the second step, they look at the the promotion attempts of countries. The end result is a ranking, and categories of brands. You can access the Tourism report here, and Trade report here.
Overall, CBR introduces a new fresh outlook on measurement in nation/place branding. Their ranking is quite sophisticated, and the categorization of brands brings a quite necessary outlook on nation brands. Nations/places are quite different from each other – conceptualizing them as the same product/service, or as locations that produce the same/comparable product/service.
My only criticism towards CBR is the underdeveloped the link between performance/impact and brand messages. I cannot whether CBR ranks ‘brands’ or ranks solely ‘performances’ and carries out a parallel branding research. I am definitely looking forward to reading more about CBR and to seeing more rankings annually.