Bolt Insight | Brand Finance
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As a real-time customer identity technology platform, we help businesses to “sit next to” their customers and co-create in real-time – using both qualitative and quantitative insight

Brand Finance – the world’s leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy – was encountering the longstanding challenge of gathering research feedback from traditionally hard to reach markets as part of their Global Soft Power Study, the world’s largest ever research study into nation’s global influence on the geo-political world stage. They approached us to utilise our unique capability to gather feedback both quickly and at scale across previously inaccessible markets such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq and Venezuela.

We collaborated with Brand Finance on the research effort – collecting feedback from 35,000 citizens across 42 nations in 14 days – and provided a key research input for global study, forming the creation of the Global Soft Power index.


About Brand Finance

Founded in 1996, Brand Finance are the pre-eminent brand valuation and strategy consultancy, and have helped thousands of brands understand the financial value of their brands and use that information to drive strategic decision making.

For more than 20 years, Brand Finance have helped companies and organisations to connect their brands to the bottom line, building robust business cases for brand decisions, strategies and investments.  Their database of metrics is used widely by financial institutions, non-governmental agencies and academics.


Research Challenge

As part of the world’s most comprehensive research study on Global Soft Power, Brand Finance wanted to leverage Bolt’s agile digital research capabilities to better understand the opinions and perceptions of residents in 42 largely inaccessible countries as part of the global research effort. The granular data gathered would form a key input for the research study – and provide vital information for countries seeking to better manage their nation brands.

With multiple Sub-Saharan African markets with low mobile internet penetration included in the study, Bolt’s recruitment and targeting methodologies would be tested in both speed and capability across several target markets within the project.

“The Global Soft Power index required us to gather the opinions of over 100,000 respondents across 100 nation brands.

“Where online coverage is weak, we partnered with Bolt Insight, adopting new and cutting-edge approach based on buying advertising space via digital marketing exchanges. Such an approach can be applied even to very challenging markets like Iraq and Venezuela.”
Steven Thompson – Insight Director, Brand Finance

Research Objectives

Evaluate and benchmark key Soft Power pillars for each country

The research objective was to understand citizen opinions and perceptions about other country’s global influence, and their ability to non-coercively shape the decisions and actions of other nations on the geopolitical stage through culture, political values, and foreign policy – their Soft Power.

The study aimed to understand citizens perceptions of countries Soft Power across 7 key pillars, including Business & Trade, Culture & Heritage, Governance, International Relations, Media & Communications, People & Values, and Education & Science. Citizens would also be asked to evaluate other countries response and handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic.


Approach and Solution

Through quota based online targeting, we interviewed residents of 42 nations globally

We designed a mobile survey with  plit across the seven pillars of Soft Power evaluation, including demographic screeners, and opinions and perceptions of nations influence and standing across each pillar.

Respondents would be shown a randomized list of countries and rate their familiarity with them. From there, each participant would then be shown a distilled list of 8 countries selected at random from those most familiar to them, and evaluate their Soft Power in detail across each pillar.

Through precision targeting, we interviewed citizens of each nation based on population quotas – collecting 35,000 survey responses across 42 markets over 8 weeks.

Research Findings

Comprehensive data on each Soft Power pillar of influence for every country

Bolt delivered a full and detailed dataset for each of the 42 countries, giving Brand Finance a granular level of insight into citizen’s opinions and perceptions of each nation’s Soft Power – segmented across each of the 7 key pillars of influence.

The results also included comprehensive demographic data such as age, citizenship, gender, employment and working status, as well as regional residency information to further parse and segment the findings across each pillar and nation.

Outcome and Business Impact

Formation of the Global Soft Power Index

The research and data on the opinions and perceptions of 35,000 citizens across 42 countries provided by Bolt formed a key input for the world’s largest research project on Global Soft Power, with Brand Finance surveying over 55,000 people across 100 countries throughout the study.

The findings formed the creation of the Global Soft Power Index, to be presented at the Global Soft Power Summit in London – helping over 100 countries to better manage their nation brands, understand and improve their current and historical reputations, and enhance their global policy making.

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