This has been explored by Berens et al. , from the Reputation Institute, the publishers of the annual RepTrak country reputation rankings. In their chapter in the International Place Branding Yearbook 2011, they provide an overview of their methodology, which seeks to measure a country's reputation in much the same way that one might measure the reputation of an individual or a company.
They argue that this reputation is linked intrinsically to the overall international trust of a country, something which is backed up by Klewes & Wreschniok , which states that the link between reputation and trust is "fundamental and indispensable", arguing that " trust is based on the experience
that an agent has fulfilled our expectations in the past."
They list 11 different attributes, which fit into three different dimensions. These are:
- Advanced Economy
- An important contributor to global culture
- Is technologically advanced
- Is inventive
- Produces high-quality products and services
- Appealing Environment
- Offers appealing lifestyle
- An enjoyable country
- A beautiful country
- Effective Government
- Offers a favorable environment for doing business
- Has adopted progressive social and economic policies
- Is a responsible participant in the global community
- Is run by an effective government
The testing methodology consisted of a large random sample (n=26,000) of consumers in the G8 countries, combined with an additional sample (n=19,000) from the country in question drawn from its own citizens. Responses were adjusted to take into account general per-country bias - for example, respondents from Greece generally will have a good opinion of Cyprus.
A further dimension which was measured was "Supportive Behaviors". This measured the willingness of consumers to visit, live in, invest in, work in, and buy products from the country.
In conclusion then, while the study in question is conducted by surveying populations, it seems possible that a similar study could be conducted which measures at least some of these criteria objectively. Certainly, factors such as "willingness to invest" and "technological advancement" could be measured using economic data. However, it would seem that the best way to measure the reputation of a country will probably be to survey the opinions of global respondents through large-scale polling, as the factors that the study found had the most effect on a country's reputation were attributes such as "Offers an appealing lifestyle", "Is a responsible participant in the global community", and "Is a beautiful country", which would seem to be more abstract factors.
: Berens G., Fombrun C.J., Ponzi L.J., Trad N.G., Nielsen K. (2011) Country RepTrak™: A Standardized Measure of Country Reputation. In: Go F.M., Govers R. (eds) International Place Branding Yearbook 2011. Palgrave Macmillan, London
: Klewes J., Wreschniok R. (2009) Reputation capital Building and maintaining trust in the 21st century. In: Klewes J., Wreschniok R. (eds) Reputation Capital. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg