MONDAY 5 AUG 2013 1:45 PM


Britain as an International Brand: Before and After the London 2012 Olympics.

The London 2012 Olympic Games has been heralded as a success on many fronts other than sporting, but whether international opinion of ‘Britishness’ is amongst these remains to be seen.

A major global study undertaken by Landor Associates has found that London 2012 has significantly transformed many views on Britain as a brand, but perhaps not in the ways that we would have expected. It has been suggested that last summer’s Olympics marked a considerable peak in the gradual up-turn in the way that Britain is perceived by the wider world. However, Landor’s study has closely charted shifts in global attitudes using BrandAsset Valuator (BAV) technology over a 20-year period and the changes revealed are far from predictable.

Applying the BAV calculator by questioning 2,000 consumers across five countries: France, the USA, Brazil, Australia and Germany, Landor has tracked the popular national opinion on ‘Brand Britain’ according to its compatibility with 48 different attributes. These attributes range from ‘Innovative’, ‘Intelligent’, ‘High-performance’, ‘Helpful’ and ‘Energetic’ to ‘Arrogant’, ‘Restrained’, ‘Unapproachable’, ‘Upper-class’ and ‘Low Quality’.

Peter Knapp, global creative officer at Landor, believes that the Olympics opening ceremony, orchestrated by Danny Boyle, encapsulated the key attributes of the nation as a brand; cutting-edge and multi-cultural. However, this study has revealed that international perception of Britain is far from uniform, consequently his advice is “to not assume that Britain has an identikit image and...think carefully about how different foreign audiences perceive us.”

Whilst Landor detected a general improvement in global attitudes towards Britain, there appear to be aspects of the island that are consistently scorned at in the international arena. In four of the five markets researched, Britain was still found to be ‘Arrogant’, and London 2012 failed to improve the country’s reputation for innovation.

Throughout the last decade of the survey, these five markets have constantly found ‘Britishness’ to be synonymous with ‘Tradition’ and ‘Independence’. However Britain’s reputation for creativity is improving, with Germany notably appreciating the staging of Olympic events and Americans increasingly describing Britain as ‘Trendy’.  


WED 28 Aug 2013 10:44 AM
WED 21 Aug 2013 10:03 AM
Library in The Lowry, literally