Posted by Yvonne on 09.02.2010

As read on:

How does the city contribute to make citizens’ life meaningful? How does it serve as a tool to develop their activities? Shoot-&-run doesn’t work here. Branding requires long term commitment to the story and values of a product or service.

It is what you have to offer that counts, and a bit of communication:

  1. Identify core values of your city. What does it stand for? It is about accepting reality and extracting those values that unify every single citizen.
  2. Define your personality. Every city has its own characteristics that make it unique; some are classic, contemporary, or eclectic. Can you clearly define yours? Act consistently.
  3. Develop a consistent imagery. If branding is about telling a story that adds value to the product, it helps when there are recognisable visual elements attached to it. Design a logo, font type, colours, and style. Stick to it and apply to any media support. Additionally, exploit local imagery.
  4. Preach by giving example. Translate values into actions when practicing city management and policy making. (I.e. don’t spend money publicising the economic penalisation of littering and at the same time allow it in public events)
  5. Be open to ideas and contributions. Let the community build into city values. Provide communication channels; make it easy to speak out and always provide coherent feedback.

Note: Landmarks definitely contribute to building a city brand, as long as it adds to the story and it is appropriate for the context.

If for your city, you’re able to tick each element of the list with the mark done & in place, then we are talking about a world-class branded city. Citizens become fans when high level of engagement with the story is achieved.