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Transcript of City Branding
Key players consulted and listened to both local people and ‘outsiders’
New brand personality plays on traditional strengths such as local character
Local people used to give the brand real personality
An under-explored aspect of city branding literature
Growing evidence that the most effective city branding involves and energises local players, whereas initiatives that don’t engage most often fail
Stakeholder engagement is crucial to the acceptance of city branding and negates scepticism
Introduces a level of ‘real world’ testing of ideas
Creates a cadre of well-informed advocates
Longer term process of redevelopment after significant decline
Eschewed big bang rebrand in favour of piecemeal organic approach
Assembled strong evidence base on which to drive future branding
CASE STUDY: MIDDLESBROUGH Aspiring city with poor national reputation
New modern art gallery has not only attracted international visitors and kudos but massively changed preconceptions, generated local pride and opened up new creative industries hub aligned to academic excellence in gaming
However, a delicate balance in not pandering to populism in order to retain global reputation while negating some political opposition
CASE STUDY: EAST LONDON Vibrancy and cultural offer which brings visitors is not universally accepted by residents
More work needs to be done by local agencies in bringing together stakeholders in order to resolve such tensions, which while helping to market the area do not necessarily aid cohesion CASE STUDY: MARGATE Address hostility/defensiveness among stakeholders – ensure identified weaknesses do not dent pride
Assert that branding isn’t solely about promotion but tackling deficits in the city’s offer
Recognise that new audiences might not play well with established groups – night time economy for instance
Utilise the leadership of different players for different audiences – accept different kinds of communication
Stakeholder engagement is a premium activity because it is difficult and challenging – generating much needed debate Longstanding brand of can-do innovative city
Rather than trade on past, used 2002 Commonwealth Games to reposition the city globally
City council has stepped back and allowed local actors to take ownership and drive process through a collaborative marketing agency
Different sectors key to ensuring collaboration and diverse offer to visitors and residents CASE STUDY: MANCHESTER An old art but a new science
City branding now recognised as a discipline but stakeholder engagement must be better recognised within it
Tools and skills for effective stakeholder engagement must be developed and refined CONCLUSIONS No set approach, each branding initiative must be tailored to that set of stakeholders
Understand diversity of stakeholders in any place and tap into that
Involve from the outset
Source those who make the city work – taxi drivers, hairdressers etc.
Challenge assumptions of residents and outsiders about the city
Challenge – on both sides City branding and Stakeholder Management Stakeholder engagement is crucial to any city branding strategy
But doing it effectively requires an approach that is more democratic and exploratory
A key reason for failure in city branding is limited consultation among the city’s stakeholders
A more participatory and iterative approach promotes ownership and pride in the brand Summary City Branding: Theory and Cases
Edited by Dr. Keith Dinnie John P. Houghton and Andrew Stevens From By Amazon link: http://tiny.cc/qsqiy