Today ratings are more omnipresent than ever. In the past decade, as consumers have turned to the Internet to voice their opinions and thoughts online, ratings have permeated nearly every product and service. Whether the ratings come in the form of a number of stars or even comments that offer more detail, consumers have taken charge to ensure quality and to vent their disappointments. Mega sites such as Yelp and Travelocity have allowed people to rate their experiences for a trip, a meal, a school, a doctor – the list is endless.
There is hardly an experience today that does not have some sort of rating or forum attached to it so it — should come as no surprise that even countries are rated. Will online reputation management for nation-states be far behind?
This year, Sweden overtakes Canada as the top country according to the new release of the 2016 Country RepTrak®, the world’s largest annual survey of country reputations. In a press release, Nicolas Trad, executive partner at the Reputation Institute, explained that Sweden won the top rating for being “… welcoming, safe and beautiful…the top three drivers of a country’s reputation.” Trad noted that nations with a positive perception are better positioned to garner more tourists, increase exports, improve diplomacy and attract foreign investment.
Trad explained that the 2016 Country RepTrak® scores are based on more than 58,000 ratings collected in the first quarter of 2016. “They measure consumer perceptions of whether the country has an advanced economy, an appealing environment and an effective government,” said Trad.
The top 10 countries are as follows
|1. Sweden||6. Finland|
|2. Canada||7. New Zealand|
|3. Switzerland||8. Denmark|
|4. Australia||9. Ireland|
|5. Norway||10. Netherland|
Canada was last year’s top country, while Sweden was in the number 3 spot before overtaking Canada and placing it at number two in 2016. Canada’s move to the second spot was in large part due to consumers’ perceptions that the country does not have a strong business destination orinvestment environment, according to Daniel Tisch, President and CEO of Argyle Public Relationships.
“With a long-term program to build a better business brand, backed by tangible policy change and delivery of positive business experiences, Canada can regain its status as the world’s most reputable nation,” Said Tisch.
In addition to Canada’s and Sweden’s high rankings in the eyes of thousands of surveyed consumers, The Reputation Institute discovered some interesting trends and perceptions in this year’s report. For instance, Russia is starting to see a boost in the reputation of “4.7 points,” but still did not make the top ten list. The country that has shown the most improvement this year is France – with a reputation boost of 4.9 points. The country that has seen its reputation dwindle is Turkey – losing 7.0 points. Many of the hills and valleys seen may fluctuate due to political climate and perceived safety for both investing and traveling.