3 February 2015

Expert chat: José Torres on city brand fundamentals

- See more at: http://placesbrands.com/expert-chat-jose-torres-on-city-brand-fundamentals/#sthash.7NH8n1qh.dpuf
José Torres of Bloom Consulting talks to PlacesBrands about why most city branding attempts fail, the ingredients for success, and how to brand unknown cities. 
PlacesBrands: José, let’s start with a basic but important question: Why should cities care about branding themselves?
José Torres: Thanks to globalisation, the brand/reputation of a city impacts on six dimensions (brand impact areas): investment, tourism, talent, pride, public diplomacy and exports. Today, the brand plays a huge role in affecting these six objectives.
The internet has made it extremely easy for people to quickly Google and decide where they want to go. The brand of cities and countries is an asset; it’s a decisive factor for stakeholders to decide if they want to go there or not. From an international perspective, a brand is one of a city’s most valuable assets. 
Many city branding campaigns are not successful because most of the time these are actually advertising strategies. I’d like to clarify one point: I’m not against advertising – I think it has its place, and a city brand strategy CAN involve some element of advertising. But cities take the wrong approach when they believe that city brand = advertising. This is not so. 
At present, the majority of proactive city branding strategies fail. Although, accidental success HAS happened, for example with San Francisco, where they implemented good policies, well-thought out actions etc, and so they developed a good reputation – organically. They did the groundwork, almost without thinking about the ‘brand’. This is exactly what city branding should be like. 
One of the key elements of groundwork is stakeholder involvement and investment. Within a city brand, there are many stakeholders all with different agendas. Everyone that touches the brand should be involved in developing the strategy. This is one of the major keys to success in city branding. 
PB: What are some other keys to successful city branding?
- See more at: http://placesbrands.com/expert-chat-jose-torres-on-city-brand-fundamentals/#sthash.7NH8n1qh.dpuf