I really admire the work that Ed Burghard of The Burghard Group is doing at Strengthening Brand America to advance the thinking in applying private sector branding principles to the field of place branding. His latest contribution is to take on the challenge of translating the landmark 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al and Laura Ries into a place branding context.
I agree with Ed’s 22 Immutable Laws of Place Branding, but because it’s the season for giving, I would like to add two more Laws of Place Branding. These concern circumstances that are possibly more related to place branding than private sector branding and may have been missed from the original treatise.
23. The law of consultation. A place brand should not be defined behind closed doors by a select few. It must be defined and built through collaboration and consultation with multiple, diverse (and sometimes non-traditional) stakeholders to engage, inspire and generate future support and on-brand actions.
24. The law of future generations. The long-term vitality and success of a place brand requires that there be continuity in understanding, knowledge and energy in regard to the brand strategy. The concept of “passing the baton” to the next generation of elected officials, brand managers and partners must be integral to the original brand strategy. Without this attention we have seen the brand investments made by some cities become diluted and gradually fade away. Usually, all that remains is a lonely logo searching for meaning.
Given the nuance and challenges of branding places there are probably other laws we can add to the list. But for the moment, if we pay attention to these we will be strengthening the way in which these brands are defined and managed. Would you like to add more?