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Publication - Research Publication

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

Published: 9 Feb 2017
Part of:

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

35 page PDF


35 page PDF


Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM: 2016 report for Scotland
4. Scotland's reputation overall

35 page PDF


4. Scotland's reputation overall

Scotland's position on the NBI SM

4.1 Scotland's 2016 score of 62.2 [7] and rank of 15 th place Scotland in the Top 20 countries and indicate that Scotland has a high level of international recognition. Scotland's overall reputation in terms of the NBI SM score increased in comparison to its 2012 and 2014 scores (60.1 and 61.8 respectively). Scotland's relative 2016 rank (15 th) has also increased from its 2014 level of 17 th.

4.2 Scotland's overall reputation scores and ranks alongside, and ahead of some other comparator small, high income, liberal Western European democracies. Countries which ranked higher than Scotland tended to be developed European and North American countries. Figure 4.1 shows that, while Scotland maintained its reputation between 2008 (when Scotland joined) and 2012, its reputation has improved between 2012 and 2014, and between 2014 and 2016.

Figure 4.1: NBI SM How the world sees Scotland 2008-2016

Figure 4.1: NBISM How the world sees Scotland 2008-2016

4.3 Scotland's score of 62.2 per cent places Scotland in the 7 th decile, far closer to the country with the top score (69 per cent) than the bottom (41.6 per cent). Countries that did better than Scotland were invariably high income countries, and tended to have larger populations than Scotland.

4.4 People in older age groups tended to score Scotland higher than those in younger age groups. People between 18 and 44 years scored Scotland's reputation, on average, 61.1 per cent (rank 16 th), while those aged 45 years or older scored Scotland on average 64 per cent (rank 12 th).

4.5 Those who had visited Scotland scored Scotland the highest out of all demographic categories, with a score of 69.8 per cent and a rank of 12 th. People whose occupation was business/executives also tended to give Scotland a higher score (64.5 per cent) than those in other occupations (61.4 per cent), but business/executives tended to give all countries a higher score overall (on average 3 points higher), and relative to other countries ranked Scotland lower (15 th) than those in other occupations (14 th).

National Performance Framework indicator: 'Improve Scotland's Reputation'

4.6 The NBI SM is used to assess progress for National Indicator 5 ('Improve Scotland's Reputation').

4.7 Scotland's absolute NBI SM score has increased between 2014 to 2016 by 0.4 per cent. This is the highest score Scotland has received since the baseline study of 2008. As the change in Scotland's score between 2014 and 2016 is below the 1 percentage point threshold, the Scotland Performs Technical Assessment Group has approved that the arrow for National Indicator 5 will change from 'Performance Improving' to 'Performance Maintaining' internationally.

Scotland's reputation in different countries

4.8 Table 4.1 shows Scotland's 2016 rank and score by each of the panel countries, and how this compares with 2014, with 2014 rank and scores given in brackets. Looking at the scores and ranks together is useful, as they may deliver different messages about Scotland's reputation. The rank is responsive to changes in the sample of evaluated countries and is informative of a country's reputation relative to other countries. However, the score may be regarded as a more reliable indicator of a country's reputation over time. Scotland's score was higher in 11 countries in 2016 than it had been in 2014, with the biggest change in the score awarded by India. Scotland was ranked higher in 10 countries in 2016 than it was in 2014, most notably by China, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. [8] The only countries that the United Kingdom ranked more positively than Scotland were the United States and itself.

4.9 Scotland's rank remained stable in Egypt and South Africa in 2016, but was rated lower by 8 countries, including Canada and France.

4.10 In several countries (South Korea, Argentina, Germany) Scotland's rank was lower in 2016 compared to 2014, and its reputational score was higher. In Sweden the score was lower in 2016 but the rank was higher.

4.11 Scotland's perception of itself was lower in 2016 (when it ranked itself third behind Canada and the UK) than in 2014 (when it ranked itself first).

4.12 Perceptions of Scotland were generally more positive amongst Commonwealth and English speaking countries.

Table 4.1: NBI SM Scotland's rank and score by 21 panel countries in 2016 (and 2014)

Panel countries Scotland's rank Scotland's score
Scotland 3 (1) 67.8 (75.7)
United Kingdom 3 (6) 67.8 (65.7)
United States 10 (12) 62.3 (62.7)
Australia 11 (10) 63.7 (64.5)
India 12 (19) 70.3 (66)
South Africa 12 (12) 64.8 (65.7)
Sweden 13 (15) 62.3 (62.6)
Canada 14 (10) 64 (65.6)
Germany 15 (14) 63.6 (62.3)
Brazil 16 (17) 64.8 (62.1)
Mexico 16 (21) 64.4 (63.5)
Italy 16 (17) 60.8 (61)
France 16 (12) 59.7 (61.2)
Russia 17 (16) 62.4 (64.8)
China 18 (23) 63 (61.3)
Poland 18 (19) 61.5 (61.4)
Japan 19 (18) 53.6 (53.9)
South Korea 21 (20) 57.6 (56.9)
Turkey 21 (22) 57 (54.8)
Argentina 24 (23) 58.6 (58.5)
Egypt 26 (26) 62.4 (61.8)
Average 15 (17) 62.2 (61.8)

4.13 Table 4.2 shows how people in different demographic groups score and rank Scotland. Scores are provided first, followed by rank. Notably, those who have had some exposure to Scotland, whether having visited Scotland for work or holiday, or visited a Scottish website, scored Scotland higher than those with little or no exposure to Scotland.

4.14 In relation to occupation, the data only allow disaggregation between business/executives and 'other'. Those in the former group tended to view Scotland more positively in terms of score than those in other occupations. However, across the NBI dataset, business/executives tended to view all countries more positively than those in other occupations.

Table 4.2: NBI SM How the world sees Scotland by occupation and tourism 2016

Score Rank
Occupation Business/Executives 64.5 15
Other 61.4 14
Visit for vacation Yes 69.8 12
No 61.0 15
Website visits Yes 69.7 14
No 60.6 14

Familiarity with and favourability towards Scotland

4.15 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. The responses provide data for favourability and familiarity towards Scotland. Figure 4.3 shows levels of familiarity with Scotland across panel countries in 2014 and 2016.

4.16 Familiarity: European countries tended to be the most familiar with Scotland, with 89 per cent of the United Kingdom, 82 per cent of the Russian and 77 per cent of Polish respondents having at least some knowledge of Scotland. There was one notable exception among European countries, however. France was the second least familiar with Scotland, dropping from 49 per cent in 2014 to 43 per cent in 2016. Central/Eastern European countries showed the greatest familiarity with Scotland, with an average familiarity of 73 per cent, followed by Western European countries (68.6 per cent) and Asia-Pacific countries (64.5 per cent).

4.17 In 2016, the NBI SM panel countries were on average slightly less familiar with Scotland than the 2014 sample (average familiarity score of 63 per cent in 2016 compared to 65 per cent in 2014). Asia-Pacific countries and Latin American countries showed the greatest increase of familiarity with Scotland between 2014 and 2016, while European and North American countries showed the greatest decrease in familiarity with Scotland.

Figure 4.3: NBI SM levels of familiarity with Scotland 2014 and 2016

Figure 4.3: NBISM levels of familiarity with Scotland 2014 and 2016

4.18 Favourability: Figure 4.4 indicates panel countries' levels of favourability towards Scotland. The greatest improvement in favourability towards Scotland was in India (4.8 to 5.2 on a 7 point scale), the UK (5.3 to 5.5) and Brazil (4.8 to 5.1), while the greatest decline was in how Scotland viewed itself. This fell from 6.4 in 2014 to 5.5 in 2016.

4.19 Western European countries were the most favourable towards Scotland, with an average favourability of 5.2 on a 7 point scale, followed by North American countries (5.1). Asia/Pacific countries were the least favourable towards Scotland (4.8).

Figure 4.4: NBI SM levels of favourability towards Scotland 2014 and 2016

Figure 4.4: NBISM levels of favourability towards Scotland 2014 and 2016

4.20 Table 4.3 shows summary findings on familiarity and favourability by demographic groups All age groups were equally familiar with Scotland, though those in older age groups tended to be slightly more favourable towards Scotland. In addition, those who were more familiar with Scotland tended to be more favourable towards Scotland.

Table 4.3: Familiarity with and favourability towards Scotland (demographic breakdown) 2016

Familiarity Favourability
Business Executives 3.2 (21) 5.1 (15)
Occupation Other 2.9 (22) 4.9 (13)
Visited Scotland 3.9 (19) 5.7 (7)
Not Visited Scotland 2.8 (19) 4.8 (11)
Has visited Website 3.4 (25) 5.3 (13)
Has not Visited Website 2.9 (21) 4.9 (13)
18-29 3 (28) 4.8 (14)
30-44 3 (25) 4.9 (14)
45 + 3 (15) 5.1 (11)


Email: Angela Hallam