“Rising star” Chile leaps 19 spots in Country Brand Index

The rescue of 33 miners combined with the nation’s economic stability launched Chile to 40 from 59 in the global rankings, the biggest improvement of any nation worldwide.

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Chile’s brand image has skyrocketed 19 places in a global ranking report following the incredible rescue of 33 trapped miners from the Atacama desert.

The Andean nation climbed the list from 59 in 2009 to 40 in 2010, the largest jump of any nation in the study conducted by consultancy firm FutureBrand and BBC World News.

The Country Brand Index report said Chile had improved in every measure for the ranking. It primarily attributed the 19-spot leap to the successful rescue of the miners and the media coverage it garnered.

On October 13, more than 1 billion people around the world watched as the men were pulled to safety one-by-one, from 700 meters below ground, in less than a day.

President Sebastián Piñera was a visible presence throughout the ordeal and was on hand to greet each of the miners as they were rescued.

“Chile has improved across every measure this year, with huge leaps in Awareness and Advocacy, as well as in perceptions of Political Freedom,” the report summary said of Chile, which it called a “rising star” for 2010.

“The San José miners’ rescue became a global news event generating extraordinary goodwill for President Piñera and brand Chile. This, coupled with growing economic stability, makes Chile a brand to watch in the region.”

Miguel Angel Durán, President of Chile’s Mining Council, who accompanied President Piñera on his tour of Europe in the days following the rescue, said it “was clear there was a recognition of the work involved in the rescue, along with an improvement in perception of how we do things in Chile.”

FutureBrand calls the report its most comprehensive to date, with more respondents across more countries and more questions than before.

“Country brand strength is a nation’s ultimate intangible asset and goes beyond its geographic size, financial performance or levels of awareness,” the report said.

“Managed properly across every measure, it can be a lasting vehicle for goodwill, encouraging forgiveness in difficult times and disproportionately boosting the value of exports, from people to products to entire corporations.”

Canada topped the rankings, in part on the strength of hosting the Winter Olympic Games, followed by Australia in second place and New Zealand at number three.

This post is also available in Spanish