The consultancy’s Country Brand study ranks nations on a number of criteria, including awareness, preference and advocacy. Those surveyed were also asked what they thought of products made in each country.
Japan takes the top spot for the first time in this year’s table. In the 2012 rankings it came in at number three, behind Switzerland and Canada.
This year Switzerland takes second place, while Germany is ranked third.
Futurebrand says it surveyed more than 2,500 people for the report. It says that only 22 countries (including the UK) actually ranked as “country brands”, by having “strong and balanced perceptions across both the status and experience dimensions”.
Remaining countries in the survey are ranked as “status countries” or “experience countries” or in some cases not ranked at all.
Tom Adams, global head of strategy at Futurebrand, says: “This year’s research shows that having a strong country brand brings measurable creative advantage in terms of visitation, advocacy and investment, as well as consumer preference for products and services.
“So it continues to be vital to manage country identity and reputation as you might a corporate or consumer brand.”