Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM: 2016 report for Scotland

2016 findings of the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM (NBI) on Scotland’s international reputation.

1. Executive summary

1.1 To 'Improve Scotland's Reputation' is one of 55 indicators in the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework. [1] National Indicators enable the Scottish Government to track progress towards the achievement of National Outcomes and the overall Purpose, to create a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish. [2] Since 2008, the Scottish Government has used the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index SM ( NBI SM) [3] to assess and monitor how Scotland's reputation is perceived around the world.

1.2 The NBI SM examines the image of 50 countries by looking at a country's reputation along six dimensions of national competence : Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism, and Investment and Immigration. These together provide an overall indication of a country's reputation.

1.3 The data provide snapshots in time. Over a number of years, they can track Scotland's reputation in the long-term. Data can also be used to compare Scotland's reputation with that of other countries, and to monitor how Scotland sees itself. However, data cannot be used to evaluate the performance of specific Scottish Government directorates, agencies or policies.

1.4 Scotland's overall 2016 score of 62.2 per cent and rank of 15 th on the NBI SM show that Scotland continues to have a strong reputation abroad. The score and rank place Scotland alongside and sometimes ahead of other comparator small, high income Western countries. Scotland's relative rank has improved by two places since 2014. In terms of absolute score, Scotland's reputation has improved from 61.8 per cent in 2014, an overall change of 0.4 percentage points. This is the highest score Scotland has received since the baseline study of 2008.

1.5 Scotland has a strong and balanced image, rated in the Top 20 on five of its six dimensions. Between 2014 and 2016, Scotland's reputation improved the most in China, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Perceptions of Scotland are generally highest amongst Commonwealth and English speaking countries.

1.6 Scotland's strongest dimensions in 2016 were Governance and Tourism, both of which ranked Scotland 12 th in the world. Scotland's weakest dimensions were Immigration-Investment (17 th) and Exports (21 st).

1.7 Scotland is viewed as a world leader (ranked in the Top 10) for its efforts in International Peace and Security as well as its efforts towards environmental protection. It ranked 12 th in relation to its fair treatment of its citizens, and its reputation of having an honest and competent government.

1.8 Scotland's reputation with the United Kingdom improved in 2016. In 2014 the United Kingdom ranked Scotland 6 th in the world, while in 2016 the United Kingdom ranked Scotland 3 rd. The United Kingdom also ranked Scotland equally or higher on four of the six dimensions (Governance, Culture, People and Tourism) than Scotland ranked itself.

1.9 At the start of the NBI SM survey, participants are asked to rate how well they know and how favourable they are towards each country. Familiarity with Scotland has declined from 2014, most noticeably in developed countries (Australia, Germany, Canada, the United States). Favourability towards Scotland rose slightly overall between 2014 and 2016. However, favourability in how Scotland perceived itself dropped from 6.4 (on a 7 point scale) in 2014 to 5.5 in 2016. Notably, favourability towards Scotland rose in the United Kingdom from 5.3 in 2014 to 5.5 in 2016, indicating the same level of favourability towards Scotland as Scotland expressed towards itself.

1.10 In the 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 NBI SM studies, Scotland was included as a core panel country and a rated country, and thus Scotland rated itself in each of these years. Scotland scored and ranked itself lower in 2016 than it did in previous years. In 2014, Scotland ranked itself 1 st and gave itself a score of 75.7 per cent, while in 2016 Scotland ranked itself 3 rd behind Canada and the United Kingdom and gave itself a score of 67.8 per cent.

1.11 Overall, older individuals tended to have a more positive image of Scotland than younger individuals, with those 45 years and older having the most positive image of Scotland across all six dimensions. The more exposure people had had to Scotland (through visits or contact with websites) the more likely they were to be favourable towards Scotland, and to score Scotland higher on all the dimensions. Business/executives scored Scotland higher than those in other occupations.

1.12 While Scotland's score has increased between 2014 and 2016, the change of 0.4 is below the 1.0 percentage point threshold for Scotland's National Indicator 5, indicating that Scotland's reputation is 'maintaining' internationally.

Scotland's Reputation 2016


Email: Angela Hallam

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