On 24 June, Pablo Lezama, CEO of Fogdog, Untold_’s strategic consultation arm, published an article in the La Nación newspaper in Argentina about the keys to the brand positioning of a location and the different phases of marketing cities:
“When we work for a country, city or region’s brand, we have to emphasize a sense of belonging. That sense is built on a foundation of pride. When I feel part of a place or group it is because I recognize values with which I identify and that I make my own. This recognition means making a connection involving gratitude, values and meaning. Working for a municipality in the Province of Buenos Aires, we were faced with the problem of a great diversity of social classes and thus different expectations with regard to value. For example, ‘having a lot of green spaces’ is rather different to ‘building better connection and sewer systems’.
But one can still point out that a city has the sea, or buildings, or shops or intelligent, creative, and enterprising people. The marketing of cities, or better said: the positioning of locations, is aimed at building communities with a sense of belonging that are held together by a shared characteristic or ideal. Silicon Valley, Palermo Hollywood, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Nordelta, New York, Patagonia or even a building like Chateau are brands with an attractive narrative for different people and different kinds of identity. When it comes to strategic planning we are faced with the challenge of identifying what we call ‘the truth of the brand’. This involves putting the DNA of a place into words; understanding what people already know from experience but haven’t been able to express; finding an ‘insight’ into what people didn’t know they knew about themselves; and marking out the terrain on which an effective conversation can be had. The positioning of cities is certainly closely linked to what in the discipline of bioenergetics is called ‘putting down roots’. The energy that connects us to a place, to its roots, to the land on which our identity is built.”
The full article can be read online here