Our home and native land just ranked as the second-best country on the planet according to a new study.
Commissioned by brand and strategy firm BAV Consulting, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. News & World Report commissioned brand and strategy firm BAV Consulting to survey 16,000 people from 60 countries across 65 different criteria related to economics, politics, culture, tourism and many other categories.
The ongoing project uses both raw data and journalism to try to explain why countries ranked the way they did. David Reibstein, Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School, compares the importance of branding a large private company to that of an entire country.
“Brands are all about the perceptions people have,” Reibstein says in a video explaining the methodology. “When you think about our perception of a country, it may be very different than other people’s perception of it. We all have some chauvinism about our own particular country.”
The results of the project thus far have produced an in-depth document that breaks down the performance of nations using the following sub-rankings which were then combined to create the final rank:
- Quality Of Life
- Cultural Influence
- Open for business
- Power Heritage
While we should definitely take pride in Canada’s ranking near the top, the whole point of the project is more about how countries can learn from each other and better ‘brand’ themselves so to speak. Canada can help the rest of the world in several different areas where we were identified as exceptional.
Some scores that proved to be most interesting include Canada’s rank in the Entrepreneurship and Open For Business sub-rankings. For the purposes of the study, the Entrepreneurship category considered:
- How well a country is connected to the rest of the world.
- How much of the population is considered to be well-educated
- The country’s ability to access highly-skilled labour
- The degree of clarity a country provides in its legal framework and accepted business practices
- Technological expertise
- Ease of access to capital
By comparison, the Open For Business category focused on:
- Bureaucratic structure
- Cheap manufacturing costs
- Level of corruption
- Transparency of government practices
- Whether or not the country has a favourable tax system
“Open For Business in our model boils down to whether or not a country is checking off the basics,” says John Gerzema, CEO of BAV Consulting. “Is it dealing with corruption issues? Is it transparent in its practices? Is it creating favourable tax environments to businesses? These basic dimensions quite surprisingly are now available to many countries. Being business ready isn’t necessarily the advantage it once was. It’s becoming something that many countries now have the ability to understand.”
When it comes to being kind to entrepreneurs, Canada actually ranked fifth behind Germany, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom. Among nations not as well known for a thriving self-employed economy, Singapore actually ranked as the country with the greatest potential for innovation and entrepreneurship moving into the future.
“Singapore is a great place for entrepreneurs to be investing,” says Reibstein. “There’s a lot of innovation happening there. There’s minimal bureaucracy there, and great infrastructure. Those all bode well for a Singapore to be good for investment.”
In terms of being favourable from a government and tax perspective, Canada actually ranked third behind Sweden and Luxembourg.
Our country’s place in these various categories is what led Canada to the number two overall spot behind Germany. The United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden round out the top five. This in-depth research project is set to continue on for years to come with its main aim being to improve the world economy as a whole.
It seems like Canada is definitely in a position to teach other nations a thing or two about what it means to have a strong economic ‘brand’. Of course there is lots that our political and economic leaders can learn from the rest of the globe as well.
Hopefully we’ll see Canada at the top of the list in 2017.