VW scandal deals blow to Brand Germany

Can Germany's national brand recover?

VW’s deception of emissions testers has dented Germany’s national brand, says brand valuation and strategy firm Brand Finance.

The country’s national brand value dropped 4 per cent in Brand Finance’s 2015 Nation Brands report listing of national brands, to US$4.17 trillion.

“German industry is lauded for its efficiency and reliability, while Germans as a whole are seen as hardworking, honest and law abiding,” notes the Brand Finance report.

“This scandal threatens to undo decades of accumulated goodwill.”

Until the scandal, it adds, Germany’s reputation was rising on the back of its receptivity to Syrian migrants.

Related: Has unethical behaviour tarnished the Volkswagen brand forever?

The US still tops the Brand Finance value list, with a brand value of US$19.7 trillion; China ranked second, at US$6.31 trillion. But when you adjust for relative GDP, the strongest national brand belongs to Singapore, at US$412 billion, says Brand Finance. 

A reputation for governmental competence, strong congestion control and public transport, and a high-quality education system all helped the tiny nation to the top. Judged the same way, New Zealand came fifth.

The biggest national winner on Brand Finance’s figures? Iran, up 59 per cent as its tentative re-engagement with the US under president Hassan Rouhani captures investor and exporter interest. The biggest fall? War-torn Ukraine, down 45 per cent.

This article is from the December issue of INTHEBLACK

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