Silvan Wyser | 26 April 2023 | 5 min reading time
Placebranding increases the attractiveness of places – cities, regions, settlements, destinations – and strengthens their identity and reputation. With targeted place branding, a "place" is positioned in order to achieve a desired effect with various stakeholders and to be able to survive in competitive markets.
Place branding is not another buzzword from the marketing scene. The term originated in the 1970s when the advertising agency Wells Rich Greene was commissioned by the New York City authorities to create a strong campaign for New York State. The result went down in history. In a taxi waiting at a red light, graphic designer Milton Glaser scribbled the simple idea "I♡NY" on a piece of paper with a pencil. (The original design is on display at the Museum of Modern Art). This logo lasted for decades, was copied 100s of times and experienced the absolute peak of its popularity after the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001. Milton Glaser died at the age of 91 on the 26th of June 2020 his birthday and is considered the spiritual father of place branding from "I♡NY". Recently, the further development of the logo was presented. Designer Graham Clifford was responsible for replacing that the sweeping serifs with a simple Helvetica. The red heart was replaced by an emoji and the "I" became a "We". New Yorkers are dismayed and Milton Glaser is probably turning in his grave.
The branding of companies – or products – is part of a marketing strategy and serves to market them. Place branding is about the development of a big, vision, which is first worked out; i.e. what you stand for and what you are good at or want to be good at. This vision is always created by involving various stakeholders, usually the locals. The subsequent communication of this vision is understood as place branding. Or to put it more simply: while corporate branding should have an impact on turnover, place branding focuses on satisfying visitors, tenants or residents. In this sense, place branding also differs from classic location or destination marketing.
A very important step on the way to the right place branding is to identify the different stakeholders. Think about people. And their needs.
People are interested in people – and less in architecture. This not only affects the visual language, but also the content.
An important feature of successful place branding is the focus on the uniqueness of the object. On the essential. On the simple. Think of "I♡NY".
You can get more people interested in your cause if you create a perfect claim – something that makes them want to know more.
All information must be up to date and as authentic as possible. Why? Because visitors will love it. And Google too, by the way.
A) Which city in Switzerland is called "the city of lights"?
B) In which country do you see the northern lights (aurora borealis) best?
C) Which (American) city never sleeps?
D) Which is the city of love (ok - that one was a gift)?
E) Where is the "Red Square"?
F) And last but not least: Which Swiss city is called a fog hole...?
You will find the answers below.
We Craffties have implemented numerous place branding projects. And even though we are known for our modesty: All of them have been successful.