As expected, there is no one secret to successfully managing and sustaining a city, region or country brand. The following five points are a mere snapshot of expert views on what it takes to successfully manage a place brand.
We received a long list of different suggestions on how to lead a long-term, sustainable place brand project. Those are all freely available to our subscribers further below, so you can uncover the keys to success most relevant for your specific situation or place.
The most common experience-based recommendations were the following:
1. Setting long-term goals and creating mechanisms that impede sudden changes
Place branding strategies require time for their creation and implementation. Political cycles do not always respect these timings. For this reason, place branding experts underline the importance of education and communication as a means of brand maintenance.
Ed Burghard wrote: “ensuring all constituents in a community understand the brand promise and how their efforts support its delivery is an ongoing educational challenge.”
If stakeholders (politicians, industry professionals, businesses, residents) understand the function of a place brand from the inside, they are more likely to give credibility and long-term support to the brand.
Nikolaj Lubanski said it is essential to “have support from a wide range of stakeholders who furthermore should be willing to invest in the brand long term; it takes time to build up a brand.” He also added, “the city brand should also be authentic and true to the region it is representing.”
This leads us to the second key aspect to successful place branding: authenticity.
2. Authenticity through involvement of the local community
Many of our panelists underlined the importance of making sure that visual and verbal brand identity is in accordance with the essence of the place and its community. Furthermore, once established, the message and the narratives must be constantly ‘hacked’ to assure they correspond to the changes that take place over time.
Oliver Zöllner put it as follows:
Managing and sustaining a city/region/country brand calls for a constant cross-checking if the brand message is still in tune with the place under question, as storylines, narratives, values, moods, etc. (the 'realities' of the place), tend to change and shift constantly. As place branders, we don't want to communicate brand stories that are fancy make-believe - we must seek to grasp the spirit of the place, and its essence.
In terms of authenticity, Cecilia Pasquinelli calls for the ‘ordinarity’ of the place brand, in contrast to the widely spread practice of creating original, extraordinary brand stories:
There is a need to legitimize the brand not as a matter of exceptionality or extraordinarity (…) but, instead, as a matter of ordinarity (evident and present in community’s everyday life, on the bus when going to work, in the supermarket when buying products, amongst your apps when you need some help, in order for the brand to be “used” progressively).
Source : https://placebrandobserver.com/place-brand-management-keys-success/