The American brand

The government shutdown affects the world’s perception of the United States.

Aditi Pradeep

The United States has a reputation of stability and functionality that other countries respect. However, due to the government shutdown, the rest of world is baffled as to how a superpower hit such a low.

According to the 2012-13 Country Brand Index report, America’s brand is declining. The drop occurred even before the shutdown, implying the next report will be even worse.

What does the government shutdown tell world leaders? The situation is laughable.

Russia Today devoted an entire article to U.S. shutdown comedy, which included tweets carrying the govtshutdown hashtag.

Prolific photojournalist Lynsey Addario tweeted how the shutdown was not being taken too seriously. “I’m in India, and my driver and translator are laughing at U.S. govt shutdown,” she tweeted. “So much for world’s great superpower. It’s closed.”

The U.S. has considerable influence worldwide. As one of five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and the largest financial contributor to the U.N., the U.S. is a guide to other countries.

With its superpower status, the U.S. enjoys a high brand value. However, what happens when a company temporarily shuts down? America and its corporate leaders could lose business.

Countries often are run with a corporate PR mindset. They have their own unique output, value for customers, reputation and reliability. United, these characteristics create a brand.

Our leaders must think about our image in order to keep brand value. The CBI’s “Future 15” national brands included industrializing countries like Brazil, India and China. With large global powers gaining ground, it will be difficult for the U.S. to hold its world standing.

The main change in perception will happen in the minds of young people. People under the age of 25 constitute 43 percent of the world’s population. It will be us and our younger counterparts that will live in a different world with a changing American brand. The country needs a quick, strong revival that will instill the rest of the world with confidence in the U.S.