City branding goes beyond simply attracting visitors to a destination through distinctive slogans.
It should create a unifying identity for the city and tap into the essence of a location’s appeal through:
A successful brand will help contribute to positive gains in revenue, jobs, and new business opportunities which in turn lead to greater prosperity for both the state and municipal governments, as well as for the city residents themselves.
Success Stories: Las Vegas Las Vegas has created one of the most successful city brands around the idea of escape from daily life to an adult playground. It’s famous slogan “What Happens Here, Stays Here” captures this spirit of indulgence in a subtle, distinctive way.
Success Stories: Las Vegas However, Vegas’ positioning was not always so clear or memorable. The 90’s was a period of confusion and soul-searching for the marketers in the desert. The official slogan of the time was “Crazy Times Call for Crazy Fun”. But specific hotels decided to widen their audience to include families by investing millions into lavish theme parks. It was only after years of declining visitor numbers that the hotels dropped their family branding and Vegas returned to selling sin.
Success Stories: Austin Austin’s recent branding success is based in organic growth. It successfully identified its unique selling feature, its live music scene and built its brand around it.
Slogan: Live Music Capital of the World
Known for: strong local culture, delicious BBQ, bohemian neighborhoods
Visitors describe trips as “wild weekends” and “affordable getaways”.
Places for Improvement: Portland Portland is one of the most vibrant and progressive cities in America. Sadly, it’s “Travel Portland” campaign is as generic as possible. Source: Travel Portland Website A new positioning would help emphasize its main selling point, its progressive lifestyle, and focus its marketing efforts on its target audience, progressive young adults and young families.
Places for Improvement: St. Petersburg- Clearwater St. Petersburg, FL knew it had to do something to dispel travelers worries about its beaches after last year’s Deep Horizon oil disaster. However, its branding campaign did not convey any unique selling point about its beaches.
Tagline could be for any beach anywhere.
The ad campaign only serves to remind visitors about the oil spill.
No oil is not a reason to go somewhere.
Source: St. Petersburg Clearwater Area Conventions and Visitors Bureau
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