Why is this National Indicator important?
Given a changing global context, there is a need to better understand how Scotland is seen and thought about by other countries. People rely on what they know about a country's reputation to help them inform their decisions as consumers, tourists, students and scholars, economic migrants, investors, exporters and world citizens who care about security, development and environmentalism. People's willingness to live, learn, visit, do business in and invest in Scotland has a significant impact on our economy.
What will influence this National Indicator?
People's attitudes and perceptions about a country's reputation are influenced by a range of factors. These include:
- How well they know us.
- The historical links that they may or may not have with us.
- What they know about our products and our produce, such as our food and drink.
- What they think of our Government and what it does.
- What they perceive our contribution to the world to be.
- What they think about our people.
Fundamentally shifting or changing a country's reputation will not happen in the short-term and is unlikely to be influenced by increasing the amount of communication or information available about it.
But, over time, what we do, how we behave, and how well we tell people about our achievements can start to influence the long-held assumptions and beliefs that the world may have about Scotland. And understanding what people think about us can help us to generate new and innovative ideas which, in turn, will help to ensure that people understand our strengths and what we can offer.
What is the Government's role?
Influencing and managing a country's reputation cannot be thought of as the sole responsibility of government. However, through its ability to lead, act and communicate on an international level, its role is critical.
This role includes:
- Pursuing a clear and outward-looking set of interests.
- Creating a shared understanding of the country's global responsibilities.
- Ensuring that other partners share the same strategies.
- Measuring attitudes to our reputation and capitalising on the opportunities that exist to strengthen the country's reputation further.
How are we performing?
The Scottish Government has set a National Indicator to improve attitudes, perceptions and awareness of Scotland around the world. The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index© (NBI) is used to assess and monitor how Scotland's reputation is perceived by online populations in twenty panel nations, in comparison to 49 other nations.
Scotland's overall score was 60.0 in 2009 and is 59.7 in 2010. A statistical assessment of change against the 2009 score, which takes into account the small fluctuations in score across the Index over time, shows that Scotland's score in 2010 is stable.
The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index© conceptualises a nation's reputation across 6 dimensions (see diagram below). In 2010, panellists continue to have a stronger awareness of Scotland's image in terms of tourism and people, rather than exports and immigration/investment. Its reputation as a tourist destination is particularly developed, scoring 67.4 on the tourism index.
The survey data shows that panellists who tend to be most familiar with and favourable towards Scotland are from English-speaking and Commonwealth nations and close European neighbours.
Scotland's score is very similar to and higher than other small, high income nations, like New Zealand, Denmark, Finland and Ireland.
Source: The Scottish Government, Finance and Sustainable Growth Analytical Unit
* Please note that the overall score and each of the 6 brand dimensions are scored out of 100
View data on Scotland's reputation
The evaluation is based on any difference in the absolute score for Scotland of +/- 1 percentage points compared with the last year's figure, however, with the caveat that this is a newer data source and it will need to be reviewed as more data become available.
If change is within +/- 1.0 this suggests that the position is within measurement error and is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1.0 percentage point or more in Scotland's absolute score suggests that the position is improving, whereas a decrease of 1.0 percentage point or more in Scotland's absolute score suggests that the position is worsening.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Statistics Topic Page
Who are our partners?
Scottish Development International
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Our educational institutions
Related Strategic Objectives
Wealthier and Fairer