London risks being sunk by American, other EU and Asian cities

City Business Brand Barometer

– London projects powerful image but only comes in seventh in ranking behind NYC, LA, Paris and Tokyo
– Saffron’s study ranks the world’s largest cities based on a comparison of their business assets and brand strength
– Challengers Mexico City, Moscow and Melbourne catching up fast

Watch out leading business cities of the world – Saffron’s new analysis into the world’s strongest business city brands shows that Mexico City, Moscow and Melbourne have forged ahead from regional importance to join a new wave of magnetic global cities. These ‘challengers’ have what it takes to attract businesses and FDI - but their brand is just beginning to catch up with reality. The analysis also shows that Dallas and Philadelphia aren’t selling themselves well enough –and that at the bottom of the ranking, Lagos is found to have the worst business brand strength and worst business assets amongst the world’s most populous cities.

Competition among global cities for a share of international business, trade and investment is intensifying. Whether from east or west, how successfully these cities project their business assets and attractions could mean the difference between future prosperity and obscurity.

The World City Business Brand Barometer, created by Saffron, is the first study of its kind to rank 67 of the world’s largest cities based on a comparison of their business assets and brand strength.

New York and Los Angeles led the list, combining assets that businesses need with a strong brand - making them highly successful at attracting investment. Among other capitals, Paris and Berlin were best at making the most of their assets, with strong brands to match.

By and large cities get the brands they deserve but just as the financial markets are not perfectly efficient, neither is the image market, hence cities with broadly similar offerings have different brand strengths. There is a group emerging global cities that need to tell their story, and in so doing can forge ahead of their bland yet more established counterparts.

The report concludes that a city wanting to improve its standing in the world should work on a set of ten criteria, which Saffron has identified as the factors which determine a city’s business brand. These include factors such as a distinctive sense of place, ambition/policy vision and business climate and civic pride.

Get all the details in the study, ready to download here.