You are on page 1of 45

School of Geography


Re-branding the city: changing the image of places and spaces

Rachael Unsworth

What is a brand? Why brand a place? Types and examples Process and problems The case of Marketing Leeds


Product differentiation - superior quality

douard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergre, 1882 Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, London

First English registered trademark 1876

Place marketing
Assert individuality in pursuit of various economic, political or socio-psychological objectives Need to attract inward investment, visitors, high skilled workers, promising students Shape place identity and promote to specific markets
Kavaratzis M. and Ashworth, G.J. (2005) City branding: an effective assertion of identity or a transitory marketing trick?

Why create a brand image for a city or re-brand a city?

creates/changes awareness + creates/ builds consumer demand for a product in an increasingly competitive market place

Competition among cities is like riding a bicycle: if you dont pedal, youll fall off. However, globalization is making us increasingly uniform, so we must construct and promote our difference in order to continue existing (Mirn, Urban Land Institute).

Major assumptions
Places can be treated as spatially extended products and Places are in competition in a way that is similar to competition between companies and products

Types of branding/re-branding
Structural re-branding/re-positioning; rebranding using events/'year of ......' ; slogans Creating a new image for a place that is transformed or wants to be transformed pulling out its best assets and qualities, what makes it special

Process of creating a place brand: workshop at Core Cities conference 2007

Identify visual, verbal, experiential elements of places to communicate What are the main (3?) things that you want people to know about your place? Develop message and consider how to put it across to different audiences internal and external. Forge associations between place and (potential) consumers

BRAND IDENTITY How the owners want the brand to be perceived BRAND POSITIONING The part of the value proposition communicated to a target group that demonstrates BRAND IMAGE How the brand is perceived
Kavaratzis M. and Ashworth, G.J. (2005) p.508

Brand and image

Something that exists in the collective mind of the consumer
FT article 2002

Examples of slogans
B in Birmingham, Birmingham: Europe's Youngest City, or Birmingham, The Global City With The Local Heart Oct 2007: announced new exercise Glasgows miles better Kingston-upon-Hull: 'The pioneering city' 'Uniquely Manchester' Nottingham: Our Style is Legendary changed to Edinburgh: Inspiring city

Problems with place branding?

Can cities be treated like products? Do cities compete in the same way as products? Do messages ring true? Can everywhere be world class?

The Work Foundation: specialisms and characteristics of individual places can help cities build and sustain a distinctive identity argues for 3 conceptions of distinctiveness: functional, physical and intangible warns against flashy iconic developments or image campaigns not based on an underlying reality

Positive images of the city heritage, new facilities, public realm, sunshine

Unlikely to feature in marketing campaigns? Ordinary scenes, social divide, dereliction, abandonment, rain

The case of Leeds

Identifying a need for re-branding The Vision for Leeds strategic aim to go up a league Marketing Leeds troubled conception, birth and early years; growing stronger?

The need for re-branding

Old-fashioned imagery associated with the city

Low recognition outside the city

Brahm report 2003

Not making the most of its strengths

Vision for Leeds 2004

Strategic aim of Leeds: Going up a league Appropriate aspiration?
are cities like football teams? does the urban hierarchy work like leagues?

Leeds United sank down the rankings just as Leeds adopted this metaphor

If you dont work to go up a league, you will end up going down one
Senior Planner from Gothenburg, Vision for Leeds workshop, July 2002

Survey: identity of city

An Agency Called England asked: If Leeds was a person, what sort of person would it be? Response: A young male, friendly, your best friend, a really nice person to know, an ambitious person, living in a trendy apartment, driving a VW Golf GTi

Divisive process of selecting brand concept from consultants

Made in Leeds v. Leeds Live It Love It
Thompson Design v. An Agency Called England

Key stakeholders unwilling to support Made in Leeds

Marketing Leeds as arms length company Seen as separate from Leeds City Council Needed to attract private funding Greater flexibility in operation

Launch of Leeds Live It Love It

26 Sept 2005 Victoria Quarter champagne party Introduced brand image and slogan Film of famous Leeds people saying what they like about their home city

Launch of Marketing Leeds

Victoria Quarter Sept 2005

Celebrity presenters

Chris Moyles & Gabby Logan

Brand image
Control imagery a single message from all in the city Within this, vary content according to audience

Typeface and colours controlled

Row over second-hand city slogan

A new slogan aimed at boosting the global image of Leeds is the same as one used in a 2003 campaign in Hong Kong

After the party

Chief Executive sacked Debbie Green brought in

Using the brand image to convey messages


Marketing Leeds plan 2008

Key Issues Raise profile of Leeds on national stage Promote a strong business image Promote the cultural offer Position Leeds on the international stage - and co-ordinate, not duplicate!

Marketing Leeds plan 2008

Supporting current events and activities Thought Leadership Technical Yorkshire Women in Business Leeds Business Week National high-profile Financial Services event support for partners international activities FT business supplement Thought Leadership Social Networking Quarterly meeting with business and lifestyle champions Networking events for business leaders Thought Leadership The Business Series Leeds as a centre of innovation: Business of Culture, Environment, Financial Services, Security and Protection, Innovation, Sport

Lots of action. How effective?

Brand extension? Subversion?

Work on improving the offer and promotion will look after itself?
infrastructure public realm quality of built environment cultural activities and institutions skills social cohesion crime reduction

Greening of paralysed sites?

Energy crops, flowers for fun, vegetables, wild flowers, grass

Buildings and infrastructure:

minimal costs in use efficient, low maintenance cope with heat, cold, excess water or drought flexible: long life, loose fit dispersed services improved connectivity transport & remote effective, multi-purpose green infrastructure

People households, institutions, communities, businesses:

adjusted expectations forward thinking + contingency plans genuine community involvement & neighbourliness mixed use & diversity as a strength creativity and innovation valued enhanced cultural activities

Ashworth , G.J. and Voogd, H. (1990), Selling the City: Marketing Approaches in Public Sector Urban Planning, London: Belhaven Press. Boyle, M. and Rogerson, R.J. (2001) Power, discourse and city trajectories, in Paddison, R. (ed.) Handbook of Urban Studies, London: Sage, pp.402-416. Florian, B. (2002) The City as a Brand: Orchestrating a Unique Experience. In: T. Hauben, M. Vermeulen & V. Patteeuw, City Branding: Image Building and Building Images. Rotterdam: NAI Uitgevers. Gold, J.R. & Ward, S.V., eds. (1994), Place promotion: the use of publicity and marketing to sell towns and regions. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons. Hankinson, G.A. and Cowking, P. (1995) What do you really mean by a brand? Journal of Brand Management, 3(1), pp. 43-50. Hankinson, G.A. (2001), Location branding: a study of the branding practices of 12 English cities. Journal of Brand Management 9, pp.127142. Hauben, T., Vermeulen, M. & Patteeuw, V. (2002), City Branding: Image Building and Building Images. Rotterdam: NAI Uitgevers. Kavaratzis, M. (2004), From City Marketing to City Branding: Towards a Theoretical Framework for Developing City Brands. Journal of Place Branding 1, pp. 5873. Kavaratzis, M. and Ashworth, G.J. (2005) City branding: an effective assertion of identity or a transitory marketing trick? Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 96(5), pp. 506514. Kearns, G. and Philo, C. eds. (1993), Selling Places, Oxford: Pergamon Press. Scott, N. (2005) Brand loyalty, Yorkshire Evening Post: Marketing Leeds Special Supplement, 27 September. Trueman, M., Klemm, M. and Giroud, A. (2004), Can a city communicate? Bradford as a corporate brand. Corporate Communications: An International Journal 9, pp.317330. Urwin, C. (2006) Urban myth: why cities dont compete, Discussion Paper no. 5, Centre for Cities, London. Ward, S.V. (1998), Selling places: the marketing and promotion of towns and cities 18502000. London: E & FN Spon.