The UK has also held on to its fifth position as a desirable tourism destination.
The Anholt-GfK Roper NBI lists 50 countries and the survey is based on interviews with 20,000 adults worldwide. It is designed to measure the perception of each nation as if it were a commercial brand.
The United States holds its position as best overall brand, after taking the top slot last year after Barack Obama was elected president. Germany is second and France third.
The UK is ranked seventh for having a rich cultural heritage and but is weak in being rich in natural beauty, rising one place to 23rd. The ranking for “offering a warm welcome” is 13 and tourist body VisitBritain is hoping to improve this ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson has taken issue with the notion of the NBI and recently said: “Countries are not brands. They are countries. Brand strategy should be reserved for brands.”
Chief executive of tourist body VisitBritain, Sandie Dawe, says: “It is clear that we are retaining our appeal in an increasingly competitive world market. With more governments recognising tourism as a driver of growth and ramping up their international marketing it is striking that our ratings are remaining steady.”