'A brand’s strength is built upon its determination to promote its own distinctive values and mission.'
-Brand Expert and Author Jean-Noel Kapferer
Branding identifies and differentiates one product from another. And places are considered products. Place branding is a specialised form of marketing that involves telling a region’s story in ways that provide a competitive advantage.
Developing a place branding strategy is one of the most complex forms of branding because the brand isn’t owned, or controlled, by a single entity. A place brand essentially belongs to the people.
Everyone living and interacting within the area, either as a resident or a visitor, owns and influences the place brand and are integral to its success.
What is place branding
A place brand is the face, or image, an area presents to its residents and to the people who visit or do business there.
It’s important to consider a few basic marketing fundamentals when developing a place brand:
- What are the objectives and goals for your town: are you wanting to see an increase in visitor numbers or are you wanting to stimulate investment?
- Who is your target audience?
- What financial and human resources can be allocated to support the new brand in the short, medium and long term?
Why develop a place brand
The main aim of having a unique brand for your community is to differentiate your area from your competitors. These areas may include other main streets, precincts, towns or cities.
There can be a range of reasons for developing a new place brand. You may want to:
- combat negative perceptions about your area
- refresh an outdated brand
- promote your region to generate tourism and economic development
- instill a sense of community pride
In some situations, the decision to rebrand may be a combination of all these factors.
What makes your place ‘your place’
Solid insights inform the strongest brands so consider these questions. What:
- makes your place unique?
- can your place offer that other competitors can’t?
- is your place famous for?
- do you stand for?
- is your community’s promise to people?
- are the reasons people do – and don’t – visit your area?
Our place branding process: discovery
We have the in-house graphic design, copywriting and strategy expertise to deliver your new place brand from conception to completion. By engaging one agency to create your new brand, you are maximising the cost-effectiveness of your investment.
We will work with you to discover what your community has to offer using our unique four phase Brandsphere™ brand creation process.
We will meet with your key stakeholders and facilitate a workshop to hear first-hand what locals think about their area as part of our primary research. This phase can also include hard copy and online surveys to canvas feedback from the wider community if required. We will also review current and existing tourism and economic reports as part of our secondary research to help identify your area’s internal strengths and external opportunities.
Our place branding process: strategy plus visual identity
Based on the findings from our initial discovery stage, we will develop a place brand strategy outlining recommended target audiences, key messages and marketing opportunities as well as the town’s proposed new vision, values and brand story.
We will also create a new visual identity which may include a new logo as well as other brand assets which you can use in marketing activities.
Our place branding process: implementation
After the brand strategy and visual identity are approved, we’ll develop an implementation plan outlining recommendations for you to consider.
We know that a new brand can take several years to fully roll out. We can create an implementation plan that spans multiple financial years, if needed, so you can allocate ongoing resources and budget and maintain momentum.
A new brand doesn’t magically emerge; there’s a lot of work and informed research that sits behind its development – and a lot of consultation. It’s critical that any new place brand has the support of its people which is why we work closely with communities from start to finish to develop place brands which appeal to external target audiences and instill a sense of local pride.
Explore our branding portfolio and see how we can tell your area’s distinct story.