I’ve done more than a bit of jabbing at the idea of nations, states and cities “branding” themselves. Admittedly, most of my experience in this area lies in branding businesses where success is measured by your impact on your customers and their lives. The other day I noticed an email address in my bloglet subscription list from one of the principles of Placebrands, a firm specializing in branding various parts of our globe.
They have a page that outlines their 8 principles of placebranding. It certainly makes sense when you realize that the goal may not even be more tourists, more industry or more trade. It may be as simple as making the residents of the place feel better about themselves.
Here are a few of their principles:
2. Truth Places often suffer from an image which is out of date, unfair, unbalanced, or cliché-ridden. It is one of the tasks of place branding to ensure that the true, full, contemporary picture is communicated in a focused and effective way; never to compromise the truth or glamourise it irresponsibly.
6. Complexity and simplicity
The reality of places is intricate and often contradictory, yet the essence of effective branding is simplicity and directness. It is one of the harder tasks of place branding to do justice to the richness and diversity of places and their peoples, yet to communicate this to the world in ways which are simple, truthful, motivating, appealing and memorable.
8. Things take time
Place branding is a long-term endeavour. It need not and should not cost more than any place can comfortably afford, but is neither a quick fix nor a short-term campaign. Devising an appropriate place brand strategy and implementing it thoroughly takes time and effort, wisdom and patience; if properly done, the long term advantages, both tangible and intangible, will outweigh the costs by far.
Going by the words on their web site, I’d say Placebrands is a sincere group of people helping to make their clients feel better about themselves and helping to change the way the rest of us think of their clients. What do you think?