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Old 05-17-2008, 03:06 AM
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
36,612 posts, read 67,006,713 times
Reputation: 21144


Some surprises.

How the world sees The States
The most famous states of the Union
are virtually nation brands in their own
right. Florida, California, Texas, Alaska,
Arizona and Hawaii, for example, are
names that are almost as familiar to
people around the world as America
itself. However, this fact is hardly
surprising because their names and
images have been promoted, sometimes
deliberately and sometimes by chance,
for as long as America’s, and have
captured the imaginations of people
around the world for decades and even

From its earliest days, as America
grew in territory and population, its subbrands
began to develop. Just as Procter
and Gamble have Pringles, Head &
Shoulders and Crest, America had
California, Texas, Arizona, Virginia,
Colorado and many more, each one
showcased around the world in movies,
historical events, TV shows, products
and personalities. Like all good brands,
these states were more than just names:
they soon became shorthand for the
ideas and values and ways of life they
represented. Such evocative images as
gold prospectors, the Alamo, and
cowboys and Indians stand out in the
imaginations of millions around the
world, and have become so intrinsic to
the idea of America that it is impossible
to imagine it without them. This is
equally true for Americans as it is for
foreigners. The American sense of
identity has always been inspired and
informed by ideas of a “pioneering
spirit”, “Yankee ingenuity” and “frontier
justice”, and such ideas are far more
strongly linked to some states than others.

However, the overall ranking – the total
marks of each state on all six points of
the hexagon – shows that there is a big
gap between the megabrands of
California, Florida and the rest. Hawaii
and New York are in the second league
of brand power, and then there is
another sizeable gap between them and
the remaining 46 States.
45 of these are
clustered relatively closely in terms of
their brand strength, but there is another
big gap between the 49th brand,
Alabama, and the 50th, New Jersey.
For various reasons, NJ’s brand is
right out on a limb at the tail-end of
the index.

Overseas, the images are more likely to
be generic, and may have been mainly
formed by books, films or historical
events that can date back decades or
even centuries. Each country will also
tend to have its own unique views of
certain states, depending on that
country’s historical connections with
the state in question – hence the higher
awareness and ranking of the New
England states by British respondents,
the above-average scores amongst
German panelists for states with large
German populations like Oregon, and
the awareness of Louisiana amongst
French panelists. Mexican panelists rank
New Mexico, Illinois and Utah well
above the global average; the Canadian
panel – unsurprisingly – ranks Michigan,
Maine and Vermont above average
(further confirming the finding from the
Nation Brands Index that personal familiarity
with a place will almost always
increase its brand value); the Chinese
rank Alaska and Missouri above average,
and the Japanese give high rankings
to Kentucky, Alaska and Minnesota.

California is almost certainly the state
the world hears about most often, and
the one with the most distinctive and
powerful identity and culture. Certainly,
it’s the only one with a governor who’s
almost as world-famous as the president,
and has always had global ambitions
coupled with a remarkable gift for selfpromotion.

State Rank
California 1
Florida 2
Hawaii 3
New York 4
Washington 5
North Carolina 6
Virginia 7
Kentucky 8
Colorado 9
Texas 10
Oregon 11
New Mexico 12
Tennessee 13
Vermont 14
Missouri 15
Alaska 16
South Carolina 17
Montana 18
Nevada 19
Ohio 20
Maine 21
Arizona 22
Maryland 23
Utah 24
Wyoming 25
Connecticut 26
West Virginia 27
Oklahoma 28
Massachusetts 29
New Hampshire 30
Idaho 31
Pennsylvania 32
Georgia 33
Minnesota 34
Rhode Island 35
Kansas 36
Wisconsin 37
Iowa 38
South Dakota 39
Illinois 40
Louisiana 41
Indiana 42
Nebraska 43
Mississippi 44
North Dakota 45
Arkansas 46
Delaware 47
Michigan 48
Alabama 49
New Jersey 50

http://www.statebrandsindex.com/docs/SBI_2006.pdf (broken link)
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:21 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
81 posts, read 284,110 times
Reputation: 71
Interesting, somewhat. My English flatmate here in London couldn't name half of the states. But I was impressed that she did know half. I hardly knew any of the regions of England, or Britain for that matter, but I've been working on it and have picked up a bit!

I wonder how many Americans know the regions of France, Germany, Spain, etc... or--bonus points--China, India, even Mexico or Canada? I'm pretty embarrassed by our country's general lack of basic geographic knowledge. It's sad how many people from the US don't even know the difference between England, Great Britain, and the UK (and there is a significant difference that is very important to many people!)
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:13 AM
Location: Seattle Area
3,451 posts, read 7,021,760 times
Reputation: 3614
I can name most of the states of Germany. I believe there are 16 of them...however I can only remember 14 of them.

Mecklenburg-West Pomerania
North Rhine-Westphalia
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:29 AM
Location: SF Bay Area
18,945 posts, read 32,326,259 times
Reputation: 13567
I see people talk about how the rest of the world hates the US b/c of CA yet I always hear that CA is looked upon more highly than the general US in Europe. Is this true at all based off others experiences abroad?

I'm surprised Hawaii is ranked so high b/c it seems as if most Americans outside of the west coast don't even know that much about it.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:53 AM
Location: Modesto, CA
1,197 posts, read 4,760,778 times
Reputation: 622
IMO, knowing the regions of each European country is not equivalent to knowing the US states. It would more like knowing the counties of each state.

Europe is pretty similar in size to the US, and it has 27 members in the EU. I think that a European knowing the states is almost equivalent to an American knowing all the countries.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:58 AM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,316 posts, read 119,957,684 times
Reputation: 35920
I'm surprised to see New Mexico ranked so high. I have read studies about NM that say that many Americans don't know much about it and even think it is part of the country of Mexico. Some of the stuff in the article was pure stereotype, e.g. slowest pulse is Nebraska.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:38 AM
Location: yeah
5,717 posts, read 16,270,099 times
Reputation: 2974
I can sense the Texans getting angry.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:44 AM
Location: South Central PA
1,565 posts, read 4,289,343 times
Reputation: 377
Honestly, I could care less who knew individual states. As long as you know major cities, that's really all that matters.

Like why the hell should I know all of the counties of one of our neighboring states? It's really of no use to me.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:02 PM
13,330 posts, read 39,605,892 times
Reputation: 10750
Kentucky is no surprise. KFC is wildly popular in many places outside the US. Colonel Sanders is a cultural icon in Japan. But I'd bet my retirement fund that very few people outside the US could say what cities are in Kentucky or even where Kentucky is located in the US.

I also found that, until the '96 Olympics very few people overseas had heard of Georgia or even Atlanta. And Charlotte? Forget about it.

On the other hand, almost everyone I've met in Europe and Japan has heard of Tennessee and specifically Memphis and Nashville largely thanks to Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton. Now that's something to be proud of.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:05 PM
Location: Phoenix metro
20,004 posts, read 77,004,399 times
Reputation: 10370
How could North Carolina possibly rank over Texas? Thats odd. Very odd, actually.
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