REPORT: How important is strategic place branding for achieving revitalization?

Readers of the new Resilience Success Guide know that many communities try to take shortcuts when trying to revitalize.

One of those shortcuts is the “write a check” approach, where they simply buy some banners for their Main Street–or an entire marketing/branding campaign—and call it a “revitalization initiative”. This sort of superficial, piecemeal approach seldom achieves much of consequence, but it’s useful for creating the illusion that city leaders are actually doing something.

That said, branding campaigns can be of real value when they increase confidence in the place’s future, and are based in reality.

Now, the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) in the UK has partnered with the University of Greenwich to publish joint report. It answers the following questions:

  • How important is strategic place branding for the success of town centres and visitor destinations?
  • What can and cannot be achieved by place branding?
  • Should places be branded at all?

ATCM and the University of Greenwich present key findings from a peer-reviewed research study published recently in the journal Cities, titled “Confused branding? An exploratory study of place branding practices among place management professionals”. It was conducted with town and city management professionals, and explored their perceptions of place branding.

This report touches on a number of key issues such as the challenges of place branding in an era of social media and the shared economy, appealing to a younger generation without disenfranchising an older generation and bringing the practice of branding and management together to ensure authenticity.

Photo of the University of Greenwich’s Medway campus courtesy of the University of Greenwich.

Download full report (PDF).

See ATCM website.

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