Tobias, do you remember when you first heard about branding in connection with places, and your initial thoughts?
Back in 2002, while I was finishing my master’s thesis, I was in the lucky position to be offered a job at one of Denmark’s (at that time) most renowned strategic design agencies, 11 Danes. At 11 Danes, we worked with all the classic design disciplines and created corporate identities for a wide variety of clients. In the same year, Richard Florida published his bestselling book, The Rise of the Creative Class.
Richard Florida’s book was a game changer because it got us thinking about how we could mix classic design-driven branding with a more holistic view on branding a place through creative hubs, people and industries. It was an eyeopener.
We started to see place in a very different way and developed our own strategic framework for branding cities, the CityDesign model. The model described the discipline of place branding kind of the same way as you set up a play at the theatre, where success depends on the actors, the scenery and the staging as the main factors.