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Brand Britain is “more valuable than ever”

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Following 8 per cent growth, Brand Britain is now worth £1.4tn and has become the world’s fourth most-valuable nation brand, having pushed Japan into fifth.

Brand Finance, a brand valuation consultancy, has released the 2013 edition of its Nation Brands report, which ranks countries by their nation brand value. Using an analysis more usually applied to companies, the report provides a comprehensive look at the world’s leading nation brands and the impact that a country’s reputation and image has on governments, investors, students and consumers.

“David Cameron is currently championing UK businesses in China. In a country so concerned with ‘face’ and reputation, one of Cameron’s key assets is the strength of Brand Britain,” says Brand Finance CEO David Haigh. 

The UK benefitted from last year’s high profile events, in particular the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee, but also from the hugely successful “Britain is GREAT” campaign.

“GREAT is a fantastic example of an innovative marketing campaign,” says Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. 

“Britain already has a very strong brand and GREAT leverages this to drive our international marketing efforts. It is a hugely successful initiative that brings together Government departments, businesses and cultural organisations in order to drive real economic growth for this country.”

The report highlights that the brand equity that the successful GREAT campaign has helped developed could be under threat from the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, however.

The uncertainty surrounding the result is already hitting investor confidence, and a “Yes” vote in September would mean the end of Britain as a political entity, forcing a profound reappraisal of national identity and rebranding of the two independent nations, the report says. Millions in nation brand value could be lost, with tangible economic consequences.

“Scottish independence, however noble the motives of its supporters, represents a significant threat to both Scotland and England. The nation brand value built up over centuries and in the last few years so successfully fostered by the government’s GREAT Britain campaign would be squandered,” says Haigh. 

“The combined nation brand values for an independent Scotland and England are likely to be substantially lower than that of a united UK, in the medium term at the very least. Brand Finance estimates that strong nation branding can add between 1 per cent and 5 per cent to GNP. In the current economic environment no sensible government can afford to ignore branding as an instrument of economic policy.”

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