SA Inc now worth Us$222bn
The political environment is the country’s biggest drawback as its brand value slips two places in a global ranking
The value of “Brand SA” has risen 13% in 2017, but that hasn’t stopped it sliding two places down a ranking of nation brand values.
Brand Finance, a Uk-based global brand valuation and strategy consultancy, pegs SA’S current brand value at Us$222bn, up from $196bn in 2016. That puts it in 43rd place, down from 41st.
Leading the field, predictably, is the US, at $21 trillion. That’s more than twice the value of secondplaced China’s $10.2 trillion.
Nation brand values are based on criteria that include royalty rates, GDP, tourism, cost of capital, five-year sales forecasts, investment, skills development and global image.
Given SA’S credit downgrade, slow economic growth and unbecoming political headlines, it’s perhaps not surprising that its 13% year-on-year growth is on the low side among developing countries. It could be worse. The US’S value has grown only 2% — caused partly by slowing GDP but also by negative perceptions of President Donald Trump’s administration.
“America’s image in the world is waning,” says Brand Finance. Sabre-rattling in the Middle East and Asia, attempts to bar migrants and refugees, and the breaching of international climate-change agreements have all undermined US global leadership. “Recovering that influence in the future may be close to impossible.”
China has grown its brand val- ue by 44% and could soon pose a direct threat to US dominance.
The fastest-growing nation brand this year is Iceland. Though small, at $26bn, it is enjoying an unprecedented tourism boom because of the TV mega-hit, Game of Thrones, which is largely filmed there. Foreign visitor numbers grew 40% in 2016 and are up 59% so far this year.
SA has the highest brand value of any African nation. Next best is Nigeria, four places back, on $191bn. No other African nation is valued at more than $100bn.
Jeremy Sampson, director of Brand Finance’s SA subsidiary, says: “The political environment is SA’S drawback. We are seen in an increasingly negative light. Elsewhere, the bursting of the oil bubble in recent years has done a lot of damage to countries like Nigeria and Angola. What this ranking shows us is that while Asia is growing, Africa is barely on the radar.”