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Brand America reconsidered

Label I
f only to get off Murdoch-related postings for a bit, I turn my attention to an update on my book Rebuilding Brand America.

You will recall that when it was published in 2007, the reputation of the U.S. around the world was fairly miserable.

My book was an effort to explain why and to suggest what we could do as business people and as individuals to restore the country's rep.

Well, there's good news and bad news on that front. The good news is that -- outside most of the Muslim world -- America has significantly improved its standing.

According to a Pew Research Center report, "opinion of America is largely favorable on balance." The 2011 readings, especially in Western Europe, generally represent a significant improvement over those in 2008. In some countries -- like France and Spain -- U.S. favorability is better than it was pre-9/11.

US Favorability

But there's bad news too:  Significant pluralities in almost every country believe that China "will or has replace the U.S. as the world's leading superpower." And the percentage has been increasing at the same time that our overall imaging has been improving.
China US

More than half of Western Europeans think that the U.S. will take a back seat to China. Nearly half (46%) of Americans agree. To be fair, most people in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia still consider the U.S. to be the world's leading economic power.

But it's interesting to ponder the reasons for America's apparent decline among developed countries.  

Is it a reflection of people's envy -- i.e., it's easier to like us when we're no longer on top? A decline in favorability towards China seems to support this notion.

Or does it reflect an objective analysis of the facts -- i.e., the U.S. is a debtor country and China holds a lot of our paper? 

Or something else?  

What do you think? Please don't tell me you blame Rupert Murdoch.





Great post Dick! I think part of the challenge is that China has leverage (resources, population) and capitalism is beginning to unlock their potential. I am hopeful, we as a Nation, will have our competitive spirit reignited and China will catalyze the US moving to the next level of economic performance and prosperity. Of course, I am hoping the Strengthening Brand America Program ( plays an enabling role in the competition.

It's great to hear from you and see what you've been up to. In your blog I feel your enthusiasm for life. thank you.

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