South Africa’s global reputation remains stable


Johannesburg, 15 November 2013 – Brand South Africa welcomes the findings of the annual 2013 Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index. The study is conducted annually in 50 major developed and developing countries that play important and diverse roles in international relations, trade and the flow of business, cultural and tourism activities.

The 2013 study has found that South Africa outperforms its counterparts in Africa and the Middle East in terms of reputation.

South Africa’s overall reputation globally, has remained stable at 36/50 having been assessed in six areas: Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment.

South Africa has improved in the Culture pillar this year while its rankings have remained unchanged in the categories of exports, governance, tourism and immigration/investment.

Although South Africa has declined in the people pillar, this trend has been evidenced across most of the 50 polled nations.

Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said, “Coming in the wake of the South Africa’s inaugural Competitiveness Forum, the 2013 Nation Brands Index results are very good news for South Africa.  The National Development Plan is a strong plan, which, if implemented, will see us make strong gains in the important categories of governance and immigration and investment. We are already on track to achieve those goals, as set out in Vision 2030.  Meanwhile, it is fitting that we move up a notch in the category of culture since we are proud of our history and diversity and this is one of our greatest strengths.”

Botswana has made its debut in the Nation Brands Index, ranked at 48th, ahead of Nigeria and Iran.

In conducting this study, a total of 20 445 online interviews were carried out in 20 developed and developing countries, among adults aged 18 or over. The study was conducted from 25 July to 15 August 2013.

Overview of South Africa’s performance

South Africa – 2012-2013 Anholt-GfK 2012 2013
Overall rank 36 36
Ranking by pillar
Exports 37 37
Governance 40 40
Culture 28 27
People 31 34
Tourism 34 34
Immigration & Investment 38 38

Other results

Western market economies continue to dominate the top 10 of the Nation Brands Index.

The countries ranked in the top five positions are:

1.  The United States
2. Germany
3. United Kingdom
4. France
5. Canada

According to the study, there remains a large gap between the top 20 nations and the bottom 30, when it comes to the pillar which speaks to growth potential, investment/immigration. Developed nations still command the respect of the world when it comes to education quality, social equality, strong businesses and the overall quality of life.

The study notes that the lower-ranked nations lag when it comes to science contribution, creativity and quality products, scoring, on average, 15 points below the leading nations of the top 20.

The gap is noticeably smaller when it comes to people, culture and tourism indices – softer dimensions that are centred on the ‘feeling’ of a nation. Notably, the people category of the bottom 30 nations – whether as close friends, welcoming societies or qualified employees – comes the closest to those of the top 20, scoring less than nine points below the top 20 average. The best showing from the bottom 30 nations is on tourism – posting a strong 58, to a score of 69 from the top 20.

 Background to the Nation Brand Index

The Index tracks the global reputation of 50 countries, by assessing perceptions of nations in the following six areas:

Exports: This is what marketers call the “country of origin effect” – whether knowing where the product is made increases or decreases people’s likelihood of purchasing it, whether a country has particular strengths in science and technology, and whether it has creative energy.

Governance: This aspect incorporates perceived competency and honesty of government, respect for citizens’ rights and fair treatment, as well as global behavior in the areas of international peace and security, environmental protection and world poverty reduction.

Culture: Cultural aspects measured are perceptions of a country’s heritage, its contemporary cultural “vibes” from music, films, art and literature, as well as the country’s excellence in sports.

People: The general assessment of people’s friendliness is measured by whether respondents would feel welcome when visiting the country.

Tourism: Respondents rate a country’s tourism appeal in three major areas: natural beauty, historic buildings and monuments, and vibrant city life and urban attractions.

Immigration/Investment: Lastly, a country’s power to attract talent and capital is measured not only by whether people would consider studying, working and living in that country but also by the country’s economic prosperity, equal opportunity and ultimately the perception that it is a place with a high quality of life.

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

Further resources from Brand South Africa

Media are invited to visit for further resources, which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement.  Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.

Follow Brand South Africa on Twitter: @Brand_SA)


For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Nadia Samie-Jacobs
Public Relations Domestic
Tel: +27 11 712 5007
Mobile: +27 (0)72 777 9399