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New York city branding

What makes destination brands succeed?

New York city branding

This post is by Michelle Polizzi at Brandfolder, the world’s most powerfully simple digital asset management platform.

Imagine you’ve just stepped into a yellow taxi on Fifth Avenue.

You glide along the pavement beneath giant, shining skyscrapers while the smell of fresh pizza wafts in through the window to ignite your appetite, and suddenly, you step out into the bright lights of Times Square where the energy is nearly palpable.

Even if you’ve never been to New York, you knew which city I was describing because New York’s destination branding is universally recognisable.

Destination branding is a marketing concept that involves communicating the feelings, culture, and overall mindset people experience when visiting a place.

Branding a destination is challenging because it involves variables that can’t be fully controlled, like how food tastes at a restaurant or what the weather is like.

If destination branding is so abstract, what does it take to successfully market a destination?

To answer this question, here’s an explanation of why destination branding is so important, as well as three examples of brands who succeed at the challenge.

When Milton Glaser designed the “I Love New York” logo in 1977, he intended the campaign to last just a few months. Much to his surprise, that slab serif typeface and pop art heart became a lasting icon for the city that reigns today, almost 40 years later!

The “I Love New York” campaign succeeded because it has consistently brought international tourists to New York, and along with them, their wallets.

In 2013, the World Travel and Tourism Council released a report that placed the global economic contribution of the tourism industry at nearly 7 trillion dollars.

Because the tourism industry is so valuable to economies at the city, state and national level, it’s no surprise the industry is fiercely competitive. Tourism brands have to convince travellers why they should visit their city instead of another one, and they have to create an experience which keeps visitors coming back for more.

Montréal, Minnesota, and British Columbia are three examples of destination brands that have recently launched new campaigns to deepen their connection with consumers, attract new visitors, and more accurately reflect their modern identities.

Check out the full post for Brandfolder’s take on destination branding, and case studies of Montreal, Minnesota,and British Columbia, focusing on how these destinations have used community feedback, social media, and more!

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