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Creating Place Advantage

New training programme: Creating Place Advantage Coming up this October in Toronto, PlacesBrands is excited to announce Canada’s first ever training programme for place branding and destination management professionals – Creating Place Advantage.  Taught by Malcolm Allan, one of the industry’s biggest names, the programme will show you how to build a ‘Brand Masterplan’ for  your city, event,...

The winner takes it all: City brand rankings

Despite my academic research on the links between place branding and spatial planning, I’m also an attentive observer of everyday events. Over the last few weeks, I have witnessed the release of a cacophony of city and country brand rankings, brand barometers and nonsensical top 10 lists of something spatially localised. In my view, it seems that some place promotional campaigns are still selling geographies, instead...

From cubicle to cloud

Place branding expert Julian Stubbs delves into all things global, digital and cloud-related in his new book, ‘E-ployment’. Based on his own experiences building the global cloud-based agency UP THERE, EVERYWHERE, Julian’s book is a light-hearted, accessible account of the journey that led him into the cloud, beginning with his own Eureka moment. There, he realised that freelancing could be lonely, but that perhaps the...

Ten nations, thousands of stories

‘Ten nations, thousands of stories’ – a motto that unites ten countries bordering the Baltic Sea. In 2007 the international project ONE BSR (One Baltic Sea Region) was launched. This initiative aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the Baltic Sea Region through promoting a single brand that emphasises tourism, investment and talent. Notably, all the countries and regions participating in the project share...

Colourful logos, dark realities

The top five most-read articles on PlacesBrands motivated me to write this post, along with some disquieting thoughts I’d been having. I want to follow up on my thoughts about the application of branding techniques to places, in particular by highlighting elements often hidden by scholars and misunderstood by practitioners. Nowadays, policy makers and practitioners tend to apply place branding as a ‘magical...

2013 wrap-up: Best of PlacesBrands

As 2013 draws to a close, here’s our run down of the top five most-read articles on PlacesBrands this year. In reverse order: 5. The case of the bankrupt city and lessons to be learned from it. We present the Japanese city of Yubari, which pulled itself back from the brink using a pragmatic and imaginative approach. 4. Can cities set examples for each other to follow? A comparison of twinned cities St. Petersburg and...

Seething city: Revealing Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a unique story. Born as a prize of conflict, bred under a colonial power, and finally handed back as a fully formed international city. Famed for its shopping and dining, Hong Kong is viewed by many travellers as a ‘gateway’ to the rest of Asia. But Hong Kong is far more than that. We talk to Hong Kong resident Chung Wah Chow about hidden gems, cemeteries, and social reforms. Walk in Hong Kong is a...

A chat with Malcolm Allan, director of Place Matte...

Malcolm Allan is the managing director of Place Matters Ltd, a specialist place and destination branding strategy consultancy. He has worked on branding strategies for Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ecuador, among many others around the world.  Malcolm is currently working for Team London Bridge on a brand identity for the London Bridge area. Further afield,  he is currently working with Canadian agency, Trajectory,...

Unpacking sense of place, revealing place brand

Time, ancestry, landscape and community are common aspects of every place. Similar attributes with different meanings are everywhere. The combination of those elements is what creates the uniqueness of the place – its particular sense of place. Sense of place is a combination of social constructions interacting with physical settings. Human engagement within a place connects materiality to meaning (Harvey 1996), in an...

City diplomacy: A new alternative to branding

“While nations talk, cities act” –New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. This simple but pithy remark highlights the growing relevance of cities’ appearance and behaviour in global affairs. UN statistics clearly show that over half the world’s population now lives in cities. This is set to rise to two thirds by 2050. When mapping the economic power of cities, McKinsey Global Institution estimated that 600 urban centres...

5 tips to keep your place brand people-focused

by Rob Wolfe *** Abraham Lincoln’s unforgettable 1863 Gettysburg Address speech ended with the words “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” I assert that this notion also applies to place branding for your neighborhood, community, or city. Here, I provide 5 tips for people-focused branding, which is vital for destination branding success and for ensuring your branding...