Most Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) today rely to some degree – if not a great extent – on traditional survey research. Surveys enable DMOs to ask tailored questions to a targeted demographic, resulting in meaningful insights. Surveys are, and will continue to be, an important component of marketing and branding strategies.

Meanwhile, in today’s world, we find ourselves awash in data beyond just survey research. From a DMO’s perspective, it can feel overwhelming to make sense of what data to use, how to analyse it, and how to take action on it. But it is actually quite feasible for DMOs to leverage data in powerful ways by putting it alongside existing traditional survey research to gain deeper insights, helping their destination become more competitive.

The impact of over tourism is gaining media coverage. Along with reducing plastic wastage, creating a place brand strategy that balances the needs of tourists, citizens and businesses is increasingly crucial. Inga Hlin Palsdottir, Director of Visit Iceland at Promote Iceland outlined how your place brand can address this holy trinity and ensure your strategy is sustainable.

When countries are trying to create a Country Brand strategy, they frequently do it without a strategic approach in mind and often lack a proven methodology or model for doing so. In practice, these countries learn the process as they progress and consequentially make unforeseen mistakes. As they lack comprehension of this task’s complex nature, they don't manage the process effectively.

Thus, using a tried and tested methodology or model for managing a Country Brand’s development, planning and implementation is one of the most important parts of any Country Brand development project.

A central facet of our ongoing age of uncertainty is the increasing overlap of political and commercial behaviours. Identities and spaces that were a generation ago seen as separate have increasingly overlapped, leading to new challenges in shepherding organizational reputations. Nowhere is this trend more apparent than when chaotic political environments impact how people view the health of nations. The United Kingdom's ongoing struggle with the implications of Brexit and the responses from the rest of the world provide a fascinating case study.

Eindhoven have taken the world stage by storm, winning the 2018 City Nation Place Award for Place Brand of the Year. Peter Kentie, Managing Director at Eindhoven 365, took the time to share the thinking behind their repositioning, and to explore their innovative approaches to funding and stakeholder engagement.

Among the many tantalizing tropes trotted out by diplomats and China watchers is one popularized in the late fifties by John F. Kennedy: that the Chinese word for “crisis” 危机 weiji is a combination of two characters for “danger” and “opportunity.''

While this interpretation is mildly controversial, it still pops up in mischievous comments by Al Gore and Susan Rice, among others.

Doing good by the world whilst simultaneously improving brand image is a win-win for everyone involved. A sustainability agenda is no longer an optional extra for companies that want to maintain or improve the support they receive from customers, employees, investors and beyond; it is an essential part of doing good business in an open and transparent manner.

So what can cities, regions and nations do to improve their approach to sustainability and encourage more efficient output from the companies that reside there?