Picture: 123RF/MOOV STOCK
Picture: 123RF/MOOV STOCK

The pandemic has wiped more than $13-trillion off the top nation brand values, according to a recent Brand Finance report. Only 14 African nations feature in its “Nation Brands 2020” ranking of the 100 most valuable nation brands, and only two feature in the top 50.

Nigeria has overtaken SA as the highest-ranked African country, in 40th position. SA is in 47th position. However, even Nigeria has recorded a brand value loss, down 15% to $217bn as a result of the near halt in economic activity, lower oil export volumes and a steep drop in oil prices. SA has lost 26% of its brand value as its economy continues to contract, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Ethiopia, on the other hand, has emerged as the shining star of the continent, growing its nation brand value 19% to $61bn, according to the report.

Brand Finance Africa MD Jeremy Sampson says despite many African countries being praised for their responses to the pandemic, which led to fewer cases and deaths than many other nations experienced, this has not protected African economies from the widespread and severe damage that has ensued. “There is a long journey of recovery ahead, but with the recent announcement of a working vaccine, many nations will hope to be on this path sooner rather than later.”

The US and China top the ranking with brand values of $23.7-trillion and $18.8-trillion respectively, with China continuing to close the gap with the US. Despite the ongoing political uncertainty in the US and fragile relations between the two countries as a result of the trade war, the dominance and success of US brands globally will always provide the country’s economy and reputation with a strong safety net, says the Brand Finance report. The US’s brand value dropped 14% this year.

China, on the other hand, recorded only a 4% brand value loss, largely as a result of the Chinese government’s quick response to the Covid-19 outbreak and its targeted stimulus measures.

The study also determines the relative strength of nation brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating brand investment, brand equity and brand performance. For the first time this year, the brand strength methodology also included the results of the “Global Soft Power Index”, a comprehensive study on nation brand perceptions, surveying opinions of over 55,000 people in more than 100 countries. Based on these criteria, Germany is the world’s strongest nation brand.

Brand Finance’s “Nation Brands” report is an annual study that provides an all-round view of perceptions and values of nation brands – their presence, reputation and impact on the world stage.

View the full Brand Finance Nation Brands 2020 report here

The big take-out: Nigeria has overtaken SA in nation brand value.

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