The question as to whether place branding needs a rebrand because of the misunderstandings that surround it at times was recently posed to me by Samantha North in an interview for PlacesBrands.
“I agree with the sentiment that there are many misunderstandings relating to the branding of places. I also think it’s true that far too many places start out with the idea of branding but mistakenly have a narrow view of what branding is. They do not fully engage it as a powerful strategic guidance system. Many set out on their brand journey only when they think it’s time for a new look or a snappy tagline or slogan. I think that an even more common pitfall is to consider it as a new advertising campaign. I think that many states and nations are particularly guilty of this. They then proceed to announce a new ‘brand’ every few years.
But despite these challenges, I don’t believe that there’s a need to rebrand the concept of place branding. We have to keep in mind that there are many on the client side who are involved in place branding projects who may be encountering the concepts of branding for the first time in their careers. Hence, so much of our everyday work at TDM has always been education and building the capacity of our client communities. I believe this is where the emphasis needs to be. Rebranding or introducing a new vocabulary may simply add to the confusion and will still require intensive educational focus.”
Comments by others on this subject can be found here.
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