TOP Best City Brands 2023

Toronto secured 12th place, earning a score of 73.3 out of 100

By Discover | May 25th, 2023

The latest Brand Finance City Index was released on May 18th, and it’s based on a global survey. Out of 100 cities, Toronto scored a top spot within the 20 first listed.

Per the list, Toronto secured 12th place, earning a score of 73.3 out of 100. “Toronto has performed consistently well across many of the pillars and attributes, a testament to the all-round strength of the Canadian powerhouse,” reads the list.
Toronto is the only Canadian name to make the top 20. Vancouver and Montreal are the other two Canadian cities to make the overall list out of 100.

According to the ranking, Toronto’s performance in Business & Investment stands in 7th, as for future growth potential, the city comes in 5th and 7th position for best cities for investment.

And, surprise, the city is apparently an ideal destination for retirees and secured a spot in 7th. As for education, it also comes in 7th.

Overall, Toronto has been recognized as the 9th best to live in, “highlighting its desirability as a residential destination.”

London crowned as the world’s best city brand

London has been named the best city brand in the world, followed by New York and Paris, by the inaugural Brand Finance City Index released today.

With a score of 84.6 out of 100, driven by its high familiarity among respondents worldwide, London has recorded stronger brand perceptions than any other city in the study. Familiarity is understood as knowledge about the city gained through repeated exposure or direct experience, and it allows to form a deeper affinity for its brand.

David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“London’s exceptional performance in the Index can be attributed to its global familiarity. Coming first on this particular measure, London has a huge advantage over its peers, leading to its success in the ranking overall as the world’s best city. Knowing a city allows the public to form positive perceptions about it – to recognise its reputation and to consider it as the preferred place to live, work, study, retire, visit, or invest. High familiarity means a deeper understanding of its qualities and a broader reach of its appeal, allowing the city to draw significant economic benefits from inbound migration, investment, and tourism.”

Crowned as the overall winner, London ranks 1st in two of the seven key dimensions – study and visit – as well as in the top 4 in all other ones.

Renowned as a hub for academic excellence, London is ranked as the best city globally to study. The British capital hosts top universities – such as University College London, King’s College London, Imperial College London, and the London School of Economics, while prestigious schools in and near London that prepare for university – like Eton and Harrow –attract students from around the world. It is no surprise that the city comes 1st globally for great universities and great private schools.

Thanks to iconic landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London, and renowned cultural institutions like the British Museum, National Gallery, and the West End theatre district, London is a prime tourist destination. London’s top global ranking as the best city to visit, is supported by its 3rd place for great museums and art galleries and great theatres and music venues. The appeal of London can also be attributed to its strong identity and character, where London ranks 3rd globally.

Everyone wants a bite of the Big Apple, coming 2nd behind only London

New York City has secured 2nd spot, behind London, with a Brand Finance City Index score of 83.0 out of 100. NYC also ranks 3rd globally in familiarity and boasts 2nd spot in three out of the seven key dimensions: investstudy, and visit.

Widely regarded as the global capital of finance, NYC ranks 2nd behind only Zurich as the best city to invest in. It comes 1st for the city of global significanceeasy to do business in, and strong and stable economy attributes, which explains its appeal to investors.

Home to several of the world’s most esteemed universities – including Columbia, NYU, and the City University of New York – the Big Apple has also been recognized as the 2nd best city in the world to study in behind only London. It is 2nd for the great universities and leader in science and technology attributes, comes 4th for great private schools, but falls much behind London on great publicly funded schools, ranking 41st overall. In general, NYC is perceived as the least affordable city in the ranking, coming 100th.

Ranking 1st for great shopping, restaurants and nightlife and 2nd for great theatres and music venues, home to Fifth Avenue shops and Broadway theatres, NYC lives up to its name as the ‘city that never sleeps’. As a result, NYC ranks as the 2nd best city in the world to visit.

Paris is in vogue, ranked 3rd in the world

Paris rounds off the podium, coming 3rd in the ranking with a Brand Finance City Index score of 79.7 out of 100. Paris is also ranked as the world’s 2nd most familiar city.

Complementing its strong familiarity score, the ‘City of Love’ is also ranked as the 3rd best city in the world to visit. Boasting an abundance of renowned attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and the Moulin Rouge, Paris unsurprisingly scores better than any other city in the Culture & Heritage pillar, ranking 1st globally for beautiful architecturegreat museums and galleries, and great theatres and music venues. The French capital also performs strongly in People & Values, ranking 2nd globally for being open and welcoming, fun, and having a strong identity and character, but falling behind on being friendly where it ranks 25th – perhaps in line with stereotypes.


Zurich leads rankings as the best city in the world to work locally, work remotely, invest, and retire, but low familiarity undermines its reach

Zurich is a highly desirable destination to work locallywork remotelyinvest, and retire, claiming the top spot for each dimension. The city scores exceptionally well on reputation (4th) and consideration (1st) when considering all seven dimensions combined too, but a low score on familiarity (53rd) prevents it from taking a higher spot in the overall Brand Finance City Index ranking (17th).

David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“Zurich is a great example of a city brand successful in converting familiarity and perceptions into reputation and ultimately consideration. More so than for other cities, those that get to know Zurich, feel persuaded by its appeal as a destination, especially for work, investment, and retirement. Much like Swiss watch brands, Zurich is a “luxury city brand” – with a lower familiarity among the public, but a high regard among those that know it well. The trade-off of this positioning is a more modest reach than that of more popular city brands, such as London, New York, or Paris.”


View the full Brand Finance City Index 2023 here

The Survey

Presented by brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance, the Brand Finance City Index is based on a global survey of close to 15,000 members of the public conducted in April 2023 in 20 countries on all continents to measure perceptions of the world’s top 100 city brands.

To arrive at a comprehensive assessment of the city brands in the ranking, alongside measuring familiarity, the survey asked the respondents about the general reputation and their personal consideration of each city as a place to live, work locally, work remotely, study, retire, visit, or invest in. The evaluation of preferences across these seven dimensions was complemented by perceptions of 45 underlying city brand attributes, grouped under seven pillars (Business & Investment, Liveability, Culture & Heritage, People & Values, Sustainability & Transport, Governance, and Education & Science).

To ensure comparability among the top 100, the Index excludes domestic perceptions about city brands, taking into account those of foreign respondents only. Nevertheless, the domestic perceptions were also measured in the survey and are available for the 20 countries where the research was conducted.

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand evaluation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

The company has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The data derived and opinions presented in this study are based on survey findings, publicly available information, and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear.

Source: Brand Finance


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Leila Monteiro Lins

Leila has over 35 years of experience in both Journalism and marketing. In April 2010, she founded DISCOVER magazine in Canada. Previously printed and distributed twice yearly, the magazine recently changed to its new digital format in October (2020), facilitating online availability in a pocket version.

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