Globalization and the technological revolution have shrunk the world and increased the rivalry between cities to be relevant. In such a competitive environment, the place branding (The creation and management of brand positioning of cities, destinations, countries or regions) is a discipline with great projection.
One of the subject gurus, Robert Govers, formulated almost ten years ago that the key is to generate coherence between the identity of the place, its offer, the visitor’s experience and the perception that people have of the territory. Another forced appointment author, Simon Anholt, states that in the place branding, more than in any other area, actions are worth more than words. Anohlt, in a quote as provocative as reproduced, comments: “You would not believe the number of countries that tell me: we have a sad image, can you fix it? And my answer is: and isn’t it that you have a sorry country? “.
The era of brand-cities
In the era of cities, cities have become brands that evoke an imaginary. Tokyo is synonymous with technological avant-garde, Paris, romanticism and sophistication, New York, cosmopolitanism and frantic activity … Renowned city-brands are coveted by companies to create an association that can be beneficial for both sides, in a increasingly common trend. The naming The city side by side with that of a commercial product generates an association of values and emotions transferable from one to the other. Think of perfume and cosmetic brands such as L’Oréal Paris, perfumes like Carolina Herrera or DKNY, always with images of the city of skyscrapers in their advertising, just like Maybelline New York. Beefeater London gin also uses very British iconography in its posters, as does Rimmel London makeup line.
The ‘naming’ of the city side by side with that of the commercial product generates an association of transferable values and emotions
This tandem works when the values of the city brand and the business brand resonate in the same direction, are consistent and complement each other. On the other hand, we must also be aware of the risk of a crisis in any of the two points of the spectrum, since the negative valuation of the product can damage the image of the city and vice versa.
The Barcelona brand
“A city is not only what it has, but what it communicates,” says the director general of the Barcelona Center de Disseny, Isabel Roig. “The place branding It is an effort that must be constant and coordinated. We are many entities that have been placing the Barcelona brand in creativity, talent, design, innovation values for years. ” That is why the phenomenon of cobranding Barcelona can be found in seemingly disparate sectors such as cosmetics (Natura Bissé Barcelona), design lighting (Faro Barcelona), music festivals (Cruïlla Barcelona), table football and billiards (RS Barcelona ) or fashion (Custo BCN), to name just a few examples.
The city of Barcelona has worked a very good international reputation and is well positioned in the main rankings of brand strength. The director of the Casa Seat Barcelona space, Gabriele Palma, says: “Barcelona is doing very well. It is an internationally recognized brand in fields of culture and design, and is increasingly positioning itself as a pole of innovation and attraction of talent. ”
The city of Barcelona has worked a very good international reputation and is well positioned in the main rankings of brand strength
According to Roig, there is a “singular, nonconformist and ambitious” Barcelona with the desire to return to large-scale exciting projects. “
The challenge for him place branding In Barcelona it is often the coordination of different initiatives to add and scale projects. If we coordinate and continue working wherever we want. ”