In the bustling, dynamic realm of global cities, each strives to make a unique mark on the world stage. Like a major corporation, each region carries its own “brand,” for better or worse.
Today, we examine a study that brings to the fore the victors in this race for global renown.
“Knowing a city allows the public to form positive perceptions about it–to recognize its reputation and to consider it as the preferred place to live, work, study, retire, visit, or invest,” explains David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance. “High familiarity means a deeper understanding of its qualities and a broader reach of its appeal, allowing the city to draw significant economic benefits from inbound migration, investment, and tourism.”
A reveal by Brand Finance’s maiden City Index has crowned London as the crown jewel of city brands across the globe. With New York hot close behind and Paris taking up the bronze position, this trifecta forms the apex of global city branding.
While England, France, and New York may take the podium this year, Canada is hardly off the map. Three Canadian cities cracked the list.
And all three, according to the index, are great places for tech talent to be.
With a heady score of 84.6 out of 100, London basks in its title as the city with the most potent brand perception. Brand Finance CEO David Haigh proclaims this familiarity as a keystone in London’s exceptional performance.
Meanwhile, New York, sometimes considered the beating heart of North America, nipped at London’s heels to secure the second spot. Driven by financial might and status as an iconic cultural nexus, the Big Apple emerged as a powerhouse in the Brand Finance City Index.
Paris, the city of love, enjoys an impressive familiarity score second only to London. Enchanting attractions from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, coupled with the city’s distinctive identity, forges a status as the third-best city in the world.
Turning our gaze to Canadian soil, dynamic metropolis Toronto secured a commendable 12th place in the index, earning a strong score of 73.3 out of 100. The city pulled ahead of some heavy hitters such as Rome, Berlin, and Boston.
Toronto’s standing is a testament to its potential as a truly global city. Whether we talk about its prowess in the Business & Investment realm, its diverse cultural scene, or its thriving academic environment, Toronto displays an all-round strength that is hard to match.
Toronto ranked in the top 10 of several factors, including future growth potential and being ideal for investment. It was also recognized as a top-10 city to live in or study in.
To the West, picturesque Vancouver, a gem of the Canadian west coast, landed a respectable 25th position in the global city branding race with a score of just above 70. Known for its top-tier liveability and inclusivity, Vancouver showcases a powerful brand that’s sure to leave an indelible mark on the world stage.
The “welcome” and “accessible” Vancouver—which beat out the likes of Luxembourg, semi-rival Seattle, and Abu Dhabi—earned points for a strong local job market, including ample remote work opportunities.
Montréal, with a vibrant and eclectic mix of culture and industry, secured the 39th spot, cementing itself as a noteworthy player in the global city branding scene with a score just shy of 70. The city topped out above notable regions including Hong Kong, Seoul, and Moscow.
The Brand Finance City Index offers an interesting lens through which to view the branding battle among the world’s top cities. From the classical British grandeur of London to the Canadian-cosmopolitan buzz of Toronto, these cities represent diverse facets of global urban identity, each carving out its distinct narrative in the process.
Presented by brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance, the ranking is based on a global survey of 15,000 members of the public conducted in April 2023 in 20 countries on all continents to measure perceptions of the world’s top 100 cities.