Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

In a clear sign that the economy remains on the ropes, SA’s brand value has dropped 7% in the past year. By contrast, six of the 10 fastest-growing nation brands are African, according to the 2018 Brand Finance "Nation Brands" report. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Ghana all grew between 28% and 38% year on year.

The annual report measures the strength and value of the nation brands based on three main factors: goods and services; investment; and society. These are divided into sub-pillars: tourism; the market; governance; and people and skills.

Each is scored out of 100 to arrive at an overall brand strength index score for the nation brand, also out of 100. Based on the score, each nation brand is then assigned a rating from AAA+ to D in a format similar to a credit rating. The nation-brand valuation is based on five-year forecasts of sales of all brands in each nation.

Brand Finance CEO David Haigh notes: "Starting from a low economic base and still troubled by political instability, Africa is nonetheless beginning to demonstrate its true potential, following in the footsteps of [the] Asian Tigers, with remarkable advances in this year’s ranking."

Despite fast brand-value growth among other African nation brands, SA and Nigeria remain the continent’s most valuable, with brand values of $207bn and $203bn respectively.

Jeremy Sampson, MD of Brand Finance Africa, says: "Ranked 49th and 50th in the world, SA and Nigeria are still the main powerhouses of the African economy, but compared to other fast-growing African nation brands, they look like two lions that have lost their roar. As SA struggles to recover from the mismanagement and criminality of the Zuma years, it is also in danger of being overtaken by Nigeria."

Topping the table, the US’s brand value is up 23% over the past year to $25.9-trillion. China maintains its number 2 spot with brand value up 25% at $12.8-trillion. The fastest-growing brand in the top 50 is Germany, with a 28% brand-value jump to $5.1-trillion. This has solidified Germany’s position as Europe’s most valuable nation brand and the world’s third.

Despite Brexit challenges, the UK’s nation brand has clocked up solid 20% year-on-year growth to $3.8-trillion, replacing Japan in fourth place. Singapore has claimed the title of the world’s strongest nation brand once again, earning the elite AAA+ rating.

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