Promoting place with branded space
Producing an identifiable name and image has long been a prerequisite to ensure success for a product or company.
Yet, although places have long drawn on culture to heighten visitor numbers, communicating place experience through targeted marketing campaigns is a more recent feature of branded advertising.
In recognition of the various strategic partnerships which go into making a place brand successful, London-based forum City Nation Place has today announced a shortlist for the first City Nation Place awards.
Designed to celebrate best practice in branding, the places nominated encompass not just cities - the traditional remit of place branding – but also countries, regions; even the Wirral Waters project in Merseyside, England.
The City Nation Place awards cover four categories of place branding strategy: Best citizen engagement; Best use of social media; Best communication strategy; and Place brand of the year, with judges selected from an array of place branding experts. Communication strategies, the creation of governmental initiatives and place branding consultation are among their expertise. Hailing from a diverse array of places including Barcelona, Macedonia and India, a truly international perspective is ensured.
One nomination in the ‘Best use of social media’ category is for the city of Lyon, France, for its ‘ONLYLYON’ social network strategy. A campaign created in 2007, the city aims to penetrate the international market for French city breaks and increase its visibility abroad. With two Facebook pages as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and Instagram accounts visible and accessible via the ONLYLYON website, its online marketing campaign is focused towards a perhaps younger audience more likely to discover travel information through a digital capacity.
In the running for an award for ‘Best citizen engagement’ is South Africa and its Brand South Africa initiative, which aims to mobilise citizen participation in the creation of a South Africa national brand. With citizenship a flagship element of the Brand South Africa project, a key investor focus is also derived from heightening the visibility of the country as a profitable business destination. Globally, social responsibility of Brand South Africa extends to offering work experience initiatives and mentoring those with business potential, who could contribute to the country’s future economic development.
Managing director of the City Nation Place forum, Clare Dewhirst, says, “It’s been fascinating to read how these very different places from around the world are facing similar challenges, and arriving at such different approaches to solve them. The City Nation Place Awards are providing an opportunity to showcase creativity in use of social media, in the leveraging of culture and tradition, in the integration of tourism and investment promotion strategies.”
Winners of the first City Nation Place awards will be announced at a conference on 5 November, in an event with over 150 representatives.