Best Countries 2018: Brand UK

Best Countries 2018: Brand UK

Cultural Intelligence


Carolyn Hanuschek, Content Coordinator

Best Countries United Kingdom Brand UK

Now in its third year, the Best Countries rankings evaluate 80 countries across a range of criteria, from economic influence and power to citizenship and quality of life, to capture how nations are perceived on a global scale. With the great insights that have been amassed over the last three year, we are taking these findings and giving them a closer look to see what they tell us about a nation’s brand.  Today we unveiled the first country specific analysis: Brand UK.


Key highlights include: 

  • Favored by business industry – global business leaders ranked the UK the second-best country in the world for the second year in a row.
  • Overall perceptions of the UK declined in three key indices – open for business, open travel policies and as a place citizens would like to live – factors that contribute to the country’s drop from #3 to #4 in the general rankings. 
  • Providing easy access to capital  the UK is ranked #3 globally but Europeans have downgraded their view of the UK on this measure to #4.
  • Not as open for business – the perception of the UK as open for business dropped to #20 globally (from #19 in 2017).
  • Falling quality of life – Britain is #13 in the world in terms of quality of life, falling below Germany, Austria and Luxembourg.
  • Europeans vote UK down as best place to live – the perception of the UK as “a place I would live” dropped down to #20 among Europeans in the last year, potentially indicating dissatisfaction with the UK’s exit from the EU and most likely related to the impact of “open travel policies” which also dropped to #24. 
  • More Brits disapprove of President Trump – 67% of British citizens and business leaders disapprove of Trump compared to a global average of 58%.


The findings were presented by Y&R Global CEO David Sable at a reception at the House of Parliament and discussed by a distinguished panel comprised of Parliament member Jonathan Lord, U.S. News & World Report editor and chief content officer Brian Kelly, BBC Chief Marketing Officer Phillip Almond, and WPP’s David Roth.


The full presentation is below and find all the Best Countries rankings here.