"Doing" place branding right by Jeremy Hildreth at Ukraine Country and City Branding Forum

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Presentation by Jeremy Hildreth, a founder and creative director of WhereBrands, at the First International Forum "Ukraine: Country and City Branding", December 8, 2010, Kyiv

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  • This is deceptively simple. But this is it. If any element of a place’s branding strategy, tactics or execution doesn’t fall under one or more of these categories, stop doing it.
  • Big cities like
  • Countries like
  • And smaller places, troubled places even, ranging from E Timor to N Ireland. I have been very, very privileged to learn also from many masters of marketing and branding. I really have stood on the shoulders of giants, and I ’m grateful to be standing here today able to teach you this stuff with a fair degree of confidence.
  • All places are in different situations image-wise. They have different strengths and weaknesses, assets and liabilities, histories and potentials. And most of all they have different starting points. As my former colleague Wally Olins has famously and amusingly put it: [click]
  • Ukraine is neither.
  • You must arrive at a creative and strategic plan that ’s right for you and you alone.
  • The product you ’re selling must be worthy of the image you desire.
  • What are they talking about? And who would ever believe this?   Well, when developing this talk, I got curious, and I researched it. [click]
  • It seems that a Swedish logistics consulting firm did a calculations in 2007 and determined that Santa should live in Kyrgyzstan if he wants optimal access to the chimneys of the world ’s population centres on Xmas. But the ad doesn’t explain all that, and even if it did, I can assure you this will not fly, even with reindeer.
  • Don ’t be boring, don’t claim things that are too dull to be worth claiming (like ‘the purest snow in Europe’ or something), and don’t claim things that are patently untrue.
  • Let me ask you:   Q: What factor has the biggest affect on future perceptions of a place?   Any ideas? [Get three answers before giving my answer]   A: Current perceptions!   Makes sense, really. [click]
  • Metaphorically, you ’ve gotta go with the grain. Proper place marketing absolutely requires you to take stock of current perceptions, and actually may be more about taking account of perceptions than it is about trying to change them.   (And you can ’t really change perceptions, you can only create new ones in order to help old ones go away or become, at any rate, less prominent. Take the case of Israel. Israel wants tourists. Israel does as well as it can here. Show ad for Israel. Changes the subject in a way that doesn’t seem like a dodge. There if I feel like it launch into asides about how perceptions from different spheres are jumbled. How simon’s data show Israel isn’t regarded has having much in the way of cultural heritage – are you kidding me? Jerusalem! And how the US is back on top but for awhile people were saying the landscape of the US was less beautiful. Political opinions were colouring how people imagined the physical beauty of the country.]
  •  
  • Not just the content, but the style.
  • What you want your marketing to be above all is interesting, and interesting can be achieved different ways.
  • Right. There are roughly 5 big issues in place branding which we really must understand, and have a rough idea how to contend with, before we set out on the path.
  • A great example of this is when Ireland some time ago made writers, musicians, painters and other artists tax exempt. Sends a real message, doesn ’t it?, about the kind of place Ireland is.
  •  
  • that really adds personality or a human element – something truthful and relevant and human
  • "Doing" place branding right by Jeremy Hildreth at Ukraine Country and City Branding Forum

    1. 1. “ Doing” place branding right: axioms | questions | techniques 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth Jeremy Hildreth Creative director, WhereBrands (UK) Kyiv, Ukraine, 8 December 2010
    2. 2. From Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: <ul><li>“ When you ’ re young, your potential is infinite. You might do anything. Nearly. You might be Einstein...you might be DiMaggio. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Then you get to an age when what you might be gives way to what you have been. </li></ul><ul><li>“ You weren ’ t Einstein. You weren ’ t anything. </li></ul><ul><li>“ That ’ s a bad moment. ” </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    3. 3. <ul><li>With a place this moment never comes. </li></ul><ul><li>You are always young. </li></ul><ul><li>You always have potential. </li></ul>
    4. 4. So okay … <ul><li>Right now, you are not Sweden. </li></ul><ul><li>You are not California. </li></ul><ul><li>You are you. </li></ul><ul><li>Make the most of that. </li></ul>
    5. 5. The meta-process: <ul><li>Figure what your story is . </li></ul><ul><li>Determine what your story should be . </li></ul><ul><li>Tell the revised story directly . </li></ul><ul><li>Get the revised story told indirectly . </li></ul><ul><li>Make the story stronger and more true . </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    6. 6. 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    7. 7. 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    8. 8. 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    9. 9. Five axioms of place branding: <ul><li>Brand image and brand identity are not the same thing. </li></ul><ul><li>There’ s only so much “ best practice ” one place can learn from another. </li></ul><ul><li>By and large, you must earn your reputation. </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptions are stickier than you think. </li></ul><ul><li>If you can ’ t be perfect, you can at least be interesting. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    10. 10. 1st axiom of place branding: <ul><li>Brand image and brand identity are not the same thing. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    11. 11. <ul><li>“ Brand ” </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    12. 12. <ul><li>“ Brand ” </li></ul><ul><li>Brand image/reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Brand identity </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    13. 13. Let’ s be clear: <ul><li>Logos, flags, colours, songs, websites and so on: </li></ul><ul><li>… brand identity </li></ul><ul><li>What people have in their heads about you: </li></ul><ul><li>… brand image/reputation </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    14. 14. Place branding question: <ul><li>Do you realize that “working on your brand [identity]” may not help your brand image/reputation? </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    15. 15. 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    16. 16. 2nd axiom of place branding: <ul><li>There’ s only so much “ best practice ” one place can learn from another. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    17. 17. 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth “ When it comes to images, most countries aren ’ t France. Most countries are Paraguay. ” Wally Olins
    18. 18. Most mess up very basic things: <ul><li>It definitely should have said: </li></ul><ul><li>Vilnius, Lithuania | European Capital of Culture ‘09 </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    19. 19. Place branding question: <ul><li>Are you selectively imitating only relevant success models, and mostly doing you own thing anyway? </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    20. 20. 3rd axiom of place branding <ul><li>By and large, you must earn your reputation (and it must fit you). </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    21. 21. 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    22. 22. 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    23. 23. Place branding question: <ul><li>Is the reputation you want obtainable, & worth having? </li></ul><ul><li>In the meantime, are your interim claims credible and/or sensible? </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    24. 24. 4th axiom of place branding: <ul><li>Perceptions are stickier than you think. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    25. 25. <ul><li>Q: What one factor has the biggest affect on future perceptions of a place? </li></ul><ul><li>A: Current perceptions! </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    26. 26. <ul><li>Time, worldview... </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    27. 27. … and emotions <ul><li>You cannot be reasoned out of a position you weren’ t reasoned into. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
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    29. 29. <ul><li>“ Writing is easy – until you think about the reader. ” </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth Ernest Hemingway (?)
    30. 30. 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth “ I leave out the bits that people tend to skip. ” Elmore Leonard, novelist
    31. 31. Place branding question: <ul><li>Are you respecting your audience? Does your story genuinely justify their attention? </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
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    33. 33. 5th axiom of place branding: <ul><li>If you can’t be perfect, at least you can be interesting. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    34. 34. Interesting = <ul><li>Relevant + </li></ul><ul><li>clear </li></ul><ul><li>or stylish </li></ul><ul><li>or emotionally engaging </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    35. 35. Often, most interesting of all… <ul><li>Stories. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
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    37. 37. Place branding question: <ul><li>Are you creating and selling stories? </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    38. 38. Five axioms (recap): <ul><li>Brand image and brand identity are not the same thing. </li></ul><ul><li>There’ s only so much “ best practice ” one place can learn from another. </li></ul><ul><li>By and large, you must earn your reputation. </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptions are stickier than you think. </li></ul><ul><li>If you can ’ t be perfect, you can at least be interesting. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    39. 39. <ul><li>Bonus section! </li></ul><ul><li>Two important techniques. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    40. 40. Top technique 1: <ul><li>Be substantive . </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    41. 41. Symbolic actions (Anholt) <ul><li>“ A particular species of substance that happens to have an intrinsic communicative power: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They might be innovations, structures, legislation, reforms, investments, institutions or policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>which are especially suggestive, remarkable, memorable, picturesque, newsworthy, topical, poetic, touching, surprising or dramatic. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most importantly, they are emblematic of the strategy: they are at the same time a component of the [place’ s] story and the means of telling it. ” </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    42. 42. Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth 08/12/2010
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    44. 44. Top technique 2: <ul><li>Label your exports. </li></ul><ul><li>(Label stuff that’s Ukrainian as Ukrainian, and do it in an interesting way.) </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
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    47. 47. <ul><li>Label wines (and other Chilean exports) in a way that characterises* and conveys ‘Chilean-ness’ and teaches people something about the country. </li></ul><ul><li>* or even mythologizes </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    48. 48. Use creative, clever labeling: <ul><li>Made by Chileans, the British of South America . </li></ul><ul><li>Made in Chile, the most stable, safe, prosperous and democratic nation in South America. </li></ul><ul><li>Chile: Latin America’ s success story. </li></ul><ul><li>Product of Chile, home of 55 active volcanoes. </li></ul><ul><li>Made in Chile, called “ the thin country ” by the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    49. 49. MADE IN UKRAINE <ul><li>Tell a little story. </li></ul><ul><li>Plant an idea in the mind. </li></ul>08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth
    50. 50. <ul><li>WhereBrands.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://blog/WhereBrands.com </li></ul><ul><li>@WhereBrands on Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Дякую . </li></ul>Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth 08/12/2010
    51. 51. 08/12/2010 Copyright 2010 Jeremy Hildreth

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