Articles

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…

City Nation Place UK will provide a new Forum to bring national, city and regional teams together to focus on how strategic place branding and marketing can drive economic development. 

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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?

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?