For several years, nations and global cities have been able to monitor their brand equity and performance using The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index and The Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index. These indices have provided a consistent framework to measure perceptions of nations and major international cities on the basis of six key factors that impact their reputation. Having easy-to-use analytical tools like these allows brand managers to develop and monitors strategies and policies.
A ranking index of American states has now been initiated. Strengthening Brand America in collaboration with Xavier University, has released the first annual American Dream State Ranking Report. The Report ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their American Dream Composite Index™ (ADCI) score.
It reveals what people living in the USA do, strive for, work for, wish for, and ultimately hope for in their daily lives. It is the first measurement that quantifies the American Dream in its entirety. It gauges the authenticity of the American Dream by assessing the extent to which people living in the USA are achieving it.
The idea is for elected officials to use the data to evaluate short falls in state performance. And identify opportunities for improvement to enable more of the American Dream to be achieved by people living in their state. Importantly, CEOs can compare states to help determine where it will be most advantageous for them to establish business operations so their employees will live in a state where the American Dream is more easily realized.
To test the viability and usefulness of the rankings for business executives, a market research study was conducted to determine if the data would be beneficial to those making site selection decisions. Interestingly, the study concluded three important things:
- Executives will use the score to differentiate between locations under final consideration
- Executives believe a higher ADCI score provides desirable business benefits
- A surprising percent of executives would likely to definitely not consider relocating their business to a state with a lower ADCI score even if incentives were offered
No doubt the Index is going to be controversial because of the surprising rankings of some states. After all, in just about every focus group and survey we conduct of local communities, we find that residents always cite theirs as the best place in the nation to “live, work and play”. Hopefully the ADCI will gain traction and finally quantify the rankings at a state level and assist in moving the discussion onto a more solid footing. Of course, after that comes a need to provide the rankings at a city level!