Report: Top 100 nation brands lose US$13.1 trillion of brand value

The 2020 global brand index has found the pandemic has wiped millions of dollars from the value of many nation brands but there are some hopeful signs of improvement

Australia has ranked as the 12th most valuable nation brand, valued US$1.3 trillion, according to the Brand Finance Nation Brands 2020 index. However, in recession for the first time in 28 years, Australia is seeing higher unemployment and significant government debt, although economic partnerships with East Asian nations should help in supporting growth.

Every year, Brand Finance values 5000 of the world’s biggest brands, with the 100 most valuable and strongest nation brands included in the Brand Finance Nation Brands 2020 ranking. Across the top 100 most valuable nation brands in the world, they have suffered a monumental loss to their brand value because of the COVID-19 pandemic, amounting to US$13.1 trillion, according to the latest report.  

Brand Finance estimates the total brand value of the top 100 nation brands dropped from US$98.0 trillion in 2019 to US$84.9 trillion in 2020, with almost every nation feeling a significant impact of the health crisis on their respective economies.

Yet Australia’s reputation has been enhanced through its relatively successful management of the Coronavirus, said Mark Crowe, MD Australia, Brand Finance. “By providing business incentives, encouraging consumer spending and opening international borders where it is safe to do so, Australia is well positioned to increase its brand value and global ranking,” Crowe said.

The top 10 most valuable nation brands contracted 14 per cent, on average. Of the countries in the top 100, China continues to close the gap behind long-standing leader US, with brand values of US$18.8 trillion and US$23.7 trillion respectively. Japan claimed the third position, as it emerges relatively unscathed from pandemic. Ireland is only nation brand in top 20 to record brand value growth, up 11 per cent to US$670 billion, thanks to an economy bolstered by strong exports and consumer spending.

Emerging as a Southeast Asian haven for manufacturing, Vietnam defies global trend, with brand value up an impressive 29 per cent. In contrast, Argentina is fastest falling nation brand, its brand value dropping 57 per cent, as COVID-19 cases pass the one million mark.

“The downward trend of nearly all the world’s most valuable nation brands is unsurprising given the year we are currently experiencing,” said Brand Finance CEO, David Haigh.

COVID-19 has given rise to a new wave of protectionism, and Haigh said it may see a reversal of the economic growth brought about by globalisation. "Yet optimism has certainly prevailed, with forecasts looking less dire than initially predicted, and with the announcement of a working vaccine beginning to be rolled out, the future is certainly looking brighter,” he said.

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