We’ve reported before on Sweden’s international branding (or lack thereof), and what images are needed (if any). Now it seems Sweden’s been nicking brand images from its closest neighbors.
According to a new nation branding survey, heavily reported in Swedish media, Sweden is one of the most admired places in the world. But the ranking is not only the result of Swedish attributes.


“Sweden’s image is so good, that anything good or remarkable that anybody does in Denmark or Finland or Norway or Iceland automatically accrues to Sweden's benefit: It's a sort of feudal reputation tax,” said policy advisor and nation branding expert Simon Anholt. 


Sweden is famous for a number of multinational brands, such as Ikea, H&M and Volvo. But the country also obtains image value from a number of other Nordic brands—actually more than their real countries of origin, according to his research. Denmark's Bang & Olufsen, Lego and Carlsberg and Finland’s Nokia all add 10 cents of image value to their real countries of origin ... and 90 cents to Sweden.

“Sweden is certainly one of the most admired countries on the planet: It's the only Nordic country that nobody confuses with any of the others, and it ranks well above the others,” Anholt said. Sweden came in at number ten in an annual nation brand ranking published recently, conducted by public affairs agency GfK Roper and Simon Anholt.

More on Anholt's recent findings here: www.nordstjernan.com/news/nordic/2778/