Brands On The Run

With international opinion against the United States growing increasingly hostile and economic uncertainty looming at home, U.S. companies are becoming more worried about their appeal abroad. "In an annual survey conducted since 1998, RoperASW has been looking for a connection between the dwindling reputation of America and the worldwide appeal of its top brands, from Disney to Microsoft," Newsweek's Karen Lowry Miller reports. "It had found no such link until this year, when a survey of 30,000 consumers in 30 major economies found that those who felt an increasing alienation from American culture were also likely to report a growing disinclination to eat at McDonald's, or to buy Nike shoes. Most startling, 11 of the top 12 American multinationals saw falling or stagnant scores for 'brand power,' a measure of how well they are known and liked, while nine of the top 12 European and Asian multinationals saw their scores rise," Miller writes.