Creating an effective City or Destination Brand Strategy that brings all stakeholders together at the beginning of the process is central to igniting advocacy, pride and a genuine sense of ownership amongst all interested parties. It paves the way for the brand to resonate and imprint in the everyday vernacular of the individuals who know and appreciate the unique elements of the City and who can most effectively share its stories and celebrate its strengths. In turn it creates the opportunity for the Community and broader Stakeholders to share an authentic and cohesive message that reflects the spirit of the brand.
Critically however, it is more important than ever to recognise that everyone is different
– it is no longer a case of “one size fits all”. Whilst brands historically have tended to “homogenise” their customers and treat them all as identical, it is now clearly evident that this will no longer be tolerated. Today’s customers, whether it be members of the local community, various stakeholders or potential tourists, expect to be recognised and valued as individuals. Their expectation is that the way a brand communicates and the experiences that are associated with it, will be seamlessly tailored to them. Now more than ever, it is imperative that city brands understand and empower the individual in order to succeed and have longevity.
Hence clearly understanding the individual groups that comprise the Place Branding target markets of a City or Destination, and their inherent drivers and priorities, is central to developing an effective and tailored Place Branding Strategy, supported by Place Making initiatives. There is a need for strategic choices about how to match brand values with the personal values of specific audiences and decisions as to whom to target and whom not; and what you want to be and what not.