With so much on offer, how do people choose where to go on their next vacation? According to the most recent Google Traveler study, 77% of leisure travelers search the Internet as a trusted source of information when choosing a destination for travel. In many ways, the digital perception of place brand is the prospective tourist’s only reality.
So what is the digital appeal for countries in Latin America & the Caribbean?
There are numerous examples of places that didn’t listen to their community and launched communications campaigns which were then lambasted by citizens who disagreed with them (Vilnius’ ‘G-Spot of Europe’ campaign springs to mind quite quickly), and of places who are facing a citizen backlash to the success of their tourism attraction strategy, or even – as the case of Long Island in the USA and the rejection of the new Amazon HQ plan – a rejection of successful investment attraction and economic development. So how do you ensure your community are engaged with your place brand strategy?
With just two weeks until our inaugural City Nation Place Latin America & Caribbean conference and with a line-up of place branding leaders set to share their expertise, we’ve gathered eight of the best quotes to give you a quick sneak preview of the ground-breaking discussion planned for Costa Rica. Of course, many of the issues they raise will be relevant around the world….
Collaboration is the key to a success of your place brand vision. Bettina Garibaldi, Senior Vice President at Ketchum, shared some of her insights with us around how collaboration can be leveraged to maximise the impact of your communication strategy and ensures that you're able to make the best use of your resources.
As our understanding of the complexities of what we mean by “place branding” [vs “place marketing”] grows, so does our awareness of the challenges that place branding and place marketing must face. And as we head towards our fifth annual City Nation Place Awards, we hope to see an increase in strategies which can demonstrate a ‘sustainable approach’.
Identifying what makes your place unique can be a challenge. We spoke to Javier Cortés, Studio Director for Design at Gensler, to discover his thoughts on how place brands can overcome these challenges and create an unparalleled experience for their visitors.
“Benchmarking allows us to actively share our responses to communication challenges with our peers and demonstrate our best foot forward,” stated Daniela Montiel, International Partnerships Manager at Marca Chile and one of the Jury members for the 2019 City Nation Place Awards. She added, “In my case, reviewing the benchmarks/entries from the past couple of years has truly been a source of inspiration.”
So what are our judges looking for? What do they think are the key ingredients of a great place strategy or place marketing campaign?
The meteoric rise in social media usage has provided an entirely new medium for countries to share their stories with the world. But how do you walk the line of promoting what makes your place unique whilst still acknowledging your history? Dr Robert Paul Jones, Executive Director of the G.U.E.S.T center at Texas Tech University shared his insights with us before he joins us as a speaker at City Nation Place Latin America & Caribbean.
At first, Latin America seems enticing with its sunny weather, low cost of living, beautiful beaches, and incredible history. And without surprise, these features are frequently promoted in international travel and lifestyle media.
But are these reasons enough to get a traveler or business motivated to seek out Latin America as their next destination? Are the rich Latin culture, weather, and affordable cost what it takes to make its vibrant cities a top destination to work, live, and do business in?
Before he joins us as a speaker at City Nation Place Latin America & Caribbean, we asked Federico Moreno-Nickerson, Vice President of Development, Apple Leisure Group, to share their take on the key trends affecting place branding.
Sometimes at City Nation Place HQ, it feels that we spend a lot of time focussing on the ever-evolving challenges that place branding faces – the problems that have us banging our heads on the wall in frustration. But it’s important to remember that there’s also a great opportunity to be creative and over the years, we’ve seen some truly innovative tourism and investment promotion campaigns. Here are just a few of the most imaginative and unusual place marketing campaigns that make our job, as collectors of place branding stories, so interesting.
We caught up with Leah Chandler, the Chief Marketing Officer at Discover Puerto Rico, and Nate Huff, Senior Vice President of Miles Partnership, before they join us as speakers at the City Nation Place Latin America and Caribbean conference in order to discover their takes on the key challenges facing place branding in the region.
We caught up with Daniela Montiel, International Partnerships Manager at Marca Chile, and one of our esteemed jurors for the City Nation Place Awards, to uncover her take on some of the key challenges facing place branding at the moment and what she will be looking for in an award-winning entry.
The FutureBrand Country Index measures the strength of perception of countries around the world in the same way we study consumer or corporate brands. Now in its second decade, the Index reorders the World Bank Top 75 countries by GDP according to strength of perception.
The Index examines what transforms a country from a spot on a map to a place our survey respondents ultimately want to invest in, live in, visit, and buy goods and services from. Countries have traditionally been measured and ranked by measures of might — GDP, population size, even a sovereign’s nuclear arsenal. However, in the current day when our world is defined by rapid change, do these measures continue to make sense in the ranking of nations?
June 6th saw nearly 200 dedicated place branders arriving in West Hollywood for the third annual City Nation Place Americas conference. As always, the debates were honest, the conversations cutting-edge, and it was an insightful and inspiring experience to exchange ideas with the top minds in destination marketing and economic development. However, in a day packed with perceptive commentary, there were five key ideas that particularly stood out to us.
Before he joins us as a speaker at City Nation Place Latin America & Caribbean, we asked Glenn Jones, Chief Experience Development Officer, Bermuda Tourism Authority, to share their take on the key trends affecting place branding.
Clare Dewhirst, Director of City Nation Place, was fortunate to be invited to share what she has learned from our speakers, award entrants, and contributors around the key differences between place branding and place marketing in a webinar session hosted by Civitas, one of our Partners for the 2019 City Nation Place Americas conference. We’re happy to share the script for that session here…
We’ve been lucky enough to secure some of the most innovative, creative and strategic minds in place branding and economic development for the third annual City Nation Place Americas conference, and with just one week to go until the conference, we wanted to share some of our speakers’ best quotes to help inspire your own place brand vision.
As bite-sized vacations and road-trips are rising, Nashville sits at the cross-roads of several massive highways and within reasonable driving distance from a good swath of the population. Finally, Nashville is growing its population and its business-appeal. More people living there and drawn there for business meetings leads to word-of-mouth and “come visit me” requests that help fuel influence-based travel. Oh, and Music City is also booming because of great marketing.
We were fortunate enough to be able to catch up with Rob Hunden, CEO & Founder of Hunden Strategic Partners, to get his insight on the key trends affecting place branding in the USA and Canada ahead of City Nation Place Americas on June 6.
Leading destination marketers, economic developers, property developers and city leaders from across the UK arrived in Birmingham on Tuesday for the first annual City Nation Place UK conference. From start to end, the one-day conference was packed with exciting and inspirational conversations, as place branders shared their experiences through case studies and discussions.
Given the scope and range of the debate, it’s a challenge to sum it all up in one article, but here are the seven key takeaways that stood out the most.
With the first City Nation Place UK conference right around the corner, we’ve collated the eight best quotes to give you a quick teaser for the conference on the 14th May – but they’re relevant to place all around the world. With conversations spanning from international perceptions right down to leveraging neighbourhoods to drive your place brand strategy, the debates at the conference promise to be trailblazing.
At City Nation Place, we talk about creating and implementing nation branding strategies that engage all stakeholders. The Brand Summit South Africa is a working example of an initiative to bring together all the key voices of a nation to focus on how to develop and promote the brand to the world. Ahead of the second Summit, taking place on 6 & 7 June in Johannesburg, we caught up with Solly Moeng, the convenor of the Summit, to find out more.
Is the USA ahead of the UK when it comes to integrating destination marketing and economic development, and securing funding? Politicians and the private sector can be more supportive of economic development over tourism with funding – integrating tourism and economic strategies more effectively can secure longer-term financial security. John Lambeth, CEO and Founder of Civitas, shared his insight into the challenges DMOs face to secure funding and how collaboration is the key to long-term success.
A year ago, a report by the Center for an Urban Future highlighted a record increase in tourism to New York City over the past two decades and outlined the economic benefits that this had delivered for thousands of Brooklyn residents. Brooklyn has no doubt benefitted from NYC & Co’s strategy of promoting the outer boroughs and lesser-known neighbourhoods. Fred Dixon, CEO of NYC & Co discussed this at the first City Nation Place Americas conference in 2017, which also included a presentation from Franz van der Avert, head of Amsterdam Marketing, outlining a similar policy of sharing the load of over-tourism to create a broader distribution of economic benefits by encouraging visitors to explore further afield than the centre of the City – taking in neighbourhoods that, technically, were even outside the city.
For the first time, City Nation Place Americas will take place in West Hollywood, and we were fortunate enough to be able to discuss some of the key challenges facing Los Angeles with Ernest Wooden Jr, President & CEO at Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Bureau, and our closing keynote. LA is now planning for the Olympics in 2028, and Ernest will be joining us to explore how they are developing a strategic plan to engage citizens, develop infrastructure to support sustainable development in tourism and its economy and secure collaboration between the key stakeholders to build a unified vision for the future of LA.
We were lucky enough to be able to ask Scott White, President & CEO at Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau on his take on some of the major challenges and opportunities facing place branding.
We asked Victor Hoskins, Director at Arlington Economic Development, to share his thoughts on some of the key trends affecting place branding in the USA and Canada. Victor will join us at City Nation Place Americas to discuss pro-active advocacy, positive citizen engagement and the challenge of reacting to negative publicity and policy.
At City Nation Place, we were able to talk to both Tony Attard, Chairman at Panaz Limited and Rachel McQueen, Chief Executive, Marketing Lancashire to share their views on brand vision, tourism and engagement within the UK.
We were fortunate enough to be able to catch up with Doug McLean, Director at Edmonton Events, ahead of his participation at the City Nation Place Americas conference, where he will be exploring how culture can be leveraged to drive your place brand strategy.
We were lucky enough to be able to catch up with Kian Kamas, Chief of Economic Development at the Mayor's Office in the City of Tulsa to discuss her views on the latest trends impacting on the landscape of economic development in Canada and the USA.
Ahead of the inaugural City Nation Place UK conference, we asked Conrad Bird, Director of the GREAT Britain campaign, why he believed it was important for the key decision makers in UK place branding to share their insights and learn from each other's experiences, as well as what he considers to be the international perception of Brand Britain.
It’s sometimes possible that, when you are convinced of the value of what your organisation is achieving, you neglect the task of helping others to share the same vision. At City Nation Place events we’ve often talked about engaging citizens, politicians, and the private sector in the process of place branding – working together to understand your place’s assets, creating a plan to grow and leverage your assets, and implementing that strategy with the consensus and contribution of all stakeholders. However, in our research for future agendas, a new word is appearing in the conversations we are having with place branding practitioners around the world: “advocacy”. There’s a growing recognition of the need to advocate for the beneficial impact of your place branding strategy – as Victor Hoskins, Director of Arlington Economic Development in Virginia USA [one of the winning places in the race to host the new headquarters for Amazon] commented, ironically it can be when you are most successful that you need to advocate the most.
David Aboulkheir is an expert in place branding and is currently in charge of attractiveness at Lille Metropolis development and urban planning agency (ADULM). This article draws on the learnings of a workshop organised for the 39th national meeting of French urban planning agencies, which focused on design and innovation. It took place in Lille and Dunkerque, November 2018.
To make sure we’re on the right track at City Nation Place, we’ve been talking to place branding leaders around the world – those responsible for place making strategy, for tourism promotion, for economic development, for nation branding, for regional development and for city marketing strategy. There are come clear themes emerging around the common challenges, and perceived opportunities and so, as a preview of the topics we will be building into the Forum agendas, here’s our list of the eight key place branding trends for 2019…
Some of the scariest words in economic development are, “it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” It’s a trope because it’s a sentiment people express every day. It speaks to the reputation of a place in general, and to aspects of that perception specifically. Cities and nations are places where people live, visit and work.
Amazon’s search for a second North American headquarters city has made economic development a headline-grabbing topic. So it’s important to ask: What drives the reputation of a place?
Bleisure travel, whereby business travellers extend their work trips for leisure purposes, is a fast-growing worldwide phenomenon.
According to a recent study by CNBC, over three quarters (77 per cent) of international business travellers have taken a “Bleisure” trip in the last 12 months, with the typical stay lasting an extra three to four days.
Cities the world over are planning furiously for their futures. But what does the future hold for travelers who visit them? How will they get there? Where do they stay when they do? What will they explore? How will they capture and share memories of their encounters? National Geographic Travel knows that tourism is booming, but in an increasingly globalized world, how do the destinations we love manage environmental impacts from legions of new fans?
The term “placemaking” is seemingly everywhere, bandied about by planners and developers as a kind of cure-all for most any development objective. But when properly understood—and implemented—it transcends city planning and marketing silos and spotlights a city like few initiatives can.
From Blockchain and crypto-currencies to retail banking, FinTech has exploded onto the global stage. Average global adoption now stands at 33%, up from 16% in 2015 and one-third of consumers utilise at least two or more FinTech services and are increasingly aware of it in their daily lives. (Ernst and Young FinTech Adoption Index)
The emergence of ‘FinTech hubs’ has mirrored this growth.
As controversy continues to rage in the United States over Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad campaign, it turns the spotlight on the “values” of the brand. Brands have always been about more than the logo or slogan: brand managers have always focused on brand values to create customer loyalty. But in recent years companies have had to think more carefully about how the statements of CEOs around political issues will impact on customer perceptions, or on whether their communication strategies can add to their brand values by making statements about societal values. So what about place brands?
In the lead up to the City Nation Place Awards, we asked our judges to outline what they believe is essential to a good place branding strategy. Their insights should be invaluable to anyone involved in place branding and, throughout their responses, there were key ideas that continued to resurface: community engagement, authenticity, creativity and demonstrable results.
Home is a reflection of who we are, at our best, and who we hope to be. There is always a deep, meaningful reason why we choose to live where we live. We want to express our pride in an authentic way, celebrate what makes us unique, and reinforce it in the way we plan and build together. What gets in the way of powerful place-branding?
Investment promotion agencies and economic development teams are increasingly adept at attracting international companies and growing their locations. We see sector specific segmentation and an understanding that “liveability” and the values behind your place brand are as important as tax incentives. However, relatively few locations have developed the policies, processes and mindsets necessary to help the businesses they have worked so hard to attract actually thrive. This blog discusses the basic principles of Aftercare, and, with a couple of examples, shows the value Aftercare can deliver.
On May 17th, City Nation Place gathered delegates from across the Asian and Pacific regions to discuss the challenges facing place branding and place marketing in the region. The delegates represented a wide range of organisations, all at different stages of developing a place branding strategy; this report captures the in-depth discussions and debates that arose over the course of the conference.
We caught up with Don Skeoch, Chief Marketing Officer at Los Angeles Tourism, ahead of his participation at this year’s City Nation Place Americas conference in a session that will look at how marketing teams can manage political stakeholders.
That’s right, it sounds counter intuitive. As economic and tourism developers or promoters, we are always trying to outdo our competitors with more, bigger, better (more restaurants, more tourist attractions, the largest population of college educated workers). Or perhaps, some places go the opposite direction with less, lower, simpler (low taxes, few regulations, simpler lifestyle). READ MORE
How can a collective negativism affect a neighbourhood, city, region or nation’s ability to transform its economic fortunes? What does it take to unlock that negativism? Read this perspective on how to understand the psychology of your place and engage stakeholders in a more positive and effective outlook.
We caught up with Sylvie Gallier Howard, Chief of Staff with the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce, ahead of her participation at this year’s City Nation Place Americas conference in a session that will look at what the Amazon RFP process has taught those participating about their “pitch readiness” - specifically at how economic development and tourism promotion teams can work together more effectively to the benefit of all objectives.
We caught up with Kristian Sonnier, VP President of Communications & Public Relations at the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, who will be opening the City Nation Place Americas conference on June 5thwith the story of 300 years of place branding and how New Orleans’ brand strategy will capitalise on its tri-centennial. How does he see the connection between tourism and economic development? What does he think is the key to great place branding?
One of the most pressing issues that place brand strategists need to deal with is the increasing interest in the impact of their strategies on the places where they work, particularly from brand stakeholders, politicians and the media.
Read the perspective of leading place branding consultants who are increasingly having to address this issue for their clients and who believe that this will continue to be a major consideration for individuals and organisations funding the preparation, implementation and management of place and destination brand strategies.
On 8th November 2017, the day before the main City Nation Place agenda, the City Nation Place Think Tank convened for the third year.
This year the theme of the Think Tank was “The difference between place branding and place marketing”. The Think Tank was organised in association with the International Place Branding Association, guided by esteemed academics and place branding experts Robert Govers and Martin Boisen and was sponsored by The New York Times.
The purpose of this series of blog posts is to share our collective experience (including working with each other) as practicing place brand consultants on developing and implementing place and destination brand strategies. Our purpose is to inform current practice and contribute to the debate among practitioners and academics about what might be effective and cutting edge practice in the field.
The New York Times is hosting the pre-conference Think Tank session at this year’s City Nation Place Global conference where our delegates will be considering the differences between place branding, and place marketing. We caught up with Nahim Mehenni, Director for Place Branding at The New York Times and Raquel Bubar, Director, T Brand Studio International to discuss the media owner’s interest in this topic, to find out what The NEW YORK TIMES team has learned from working with clients in the tourism and investment promotion sector and to provide some tips on how place brands can get the most out of a relationship with a media company…
We caught up with Jessica Wardle, Managing Partner at M&C Saatchi, who will be hosting a breakfast briefing at the upcoming City Nation Place Global conference in November, focused specifically on the FDI Decision Making Journey. We’re keen to understand what changes she's witnessing across the FDI sector and in the promotion of investment opportunities by cities, nations and regions.
Our team of place and destination branding consultants recently prepared a strategic advice note for a seminar in Dublin for the Irish government and key stakeholders to explore refreshing the country’s national brand of Eire, the Republic of Ireland.
In this post, our team of place brand practitioners examines what causes some place brand strategies to fall short of some, or all, of their objectives. There’s been little analysis of what can go awry, how to remedy a failing initiative, or avoidthe most common pitfalls altogether.
This is the first in a new series of blog posts for City Nation Place created by leading place brand consultants to share their experience and contribute to the debate about best practice in place branding. At a time of political turbulence in many places around the world, this first blog addresses the topical issue of working effectively with politicians.
The challenges of working effectively with politicians and the politics of organisations
How can you best leverage business improvement, creative innovation, and historic districts in your place branding and marketing strategy? How can the relationship between tourism and citizen and urban patterns be managed more successfully through the effective development of neighborhood attractions?
Moderater: Steven Pedigo, Director of the Urban Lab and Clinical Assistant Professor, Schack Institute of Real Estate Panelists: Susan Veres, SVP Strategy, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation Alan Boniface, Principal, Dialog Nicole Fichera, Boston Innovation District / Seaport
The report provides an essential snapshot of the strategic and investment intentions of those responsible for developing and managing a competitive identity for cities, nations and regions around the world.
Andrew Davis, a speaker at the City Nation Place conference shares his views on how investment promotion strategies fit in to the place brand mix and how the place brand is so important when it comes to attracting talent and business.
We live in an interconnected, hyper-connected world. Local events take global proportions. Latin America is experiencing a moment of transition: political and economic crises, major changes in Argentina, tottering democracy in Venezuela and impeachment in Brazil.
The concept of place branding is fairly new in the new world. The geographical and cultural distance between our sub continent from the rest of the world contributes to an isolation that apparently enhances this abyss. I say apparently because, in fact, this cultural distance is not so big.
This blog post is about the creation of Place Brand Strategy Books and the benefits they can bring.If you have never seen one you might well be asking what brand strategy books are, who are they for and where they fit into the place brand process?