This is how the “Trump effect” is hurting brand America

Famous for his hairstyle

Donald Trump is the new leader of the free world. Take a moment to truly consider the magnitude of that statement. After a drawn-out, bloody battle for the White House, the rest of the world and the United States can finally see eye to eye on one thing: President-elect Donald Trump might not be the beacon of hope he has promised. The globe is in disarray, trying to pick up the pieces we never thought would come to fruition. World leaders are openly denouncing President-elect Donald Trump, yet he hasn’t even taken office. So what does this mean for the United States? Can Donald Trump make the Nation brand America great again… and again (side note — let’s not forget Trump used the Reagan Bush slogan).

Reagan Bush 80’s Campaign Slogan — Let’s Make America Great Again

As demonstrated by its decline to №2 on the 2017 Digital Country Index, the brand of the United States has seen better days.

The perfect storm created by a tumultuous election season and what I like to call “The Trump Effect” has undoubtedly taken its toll on the image the country puts forth to the rest of the world. This can be demonstrated by looking at the influx in global searches for relocation each time Trump was one step closer to winning the U.S. presidency.

In February of 2015 when Trump announced his candidacy, in March of 2016 when he won seven states in the Republican primary election, and in July of 2016 when he finally secured the presidential nomination, each resulted in a decrease in online searches for relocation to the U.S.

However, the dire situation in the U.S. gets even more interesting if we look to its North American neighbour Canada for more information.

When Trump began to gain traction in the U.S. primary election and then won the presidential nomination in July, Canada saw a spike in relocation searches. Overall, the relocation searches for Canada performed by global citizens saw a 31% increase during the course of the U.S. election.

Nation Brand Canada is benefiting from Justin Trudeau’s policies (Image: Newsweek)

Even more telling, however, is the increase in relocation searches specifically performed within the U.S. Each time Trump was one step closer to Oval Office, U.S. searches for relocation to Canada grew. Additionally, these searches saw a 5% overall increase during the U.S. election season.

Although the world may still have a political hangover from the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election, it is now more relevant than ever to discuss what President-elect Donald Trump means for brand United States. The 2017 Digital Country Index results make it hard to dispute that Trump has sent the international perception of the United States into sharp decline. In the months to come he has an uphill battle to mend the bridges burned throughout the election cycle.

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