The globally competitive environment in which we live and act makes it important for places, no matter their size or composition, to clearly differentiate themselves and to convey why they are relevant and valued options. Undoubtedly, places have always competed with each other, but today, following to economic and cultural globalisation and the increasing mobility of talents and capital, the competitive environment is increasingly fierce. Today place branding is more important than ever, and a powerful place brand strategy can mean the difference between stumbling and success, between economic growth and stagnation.
The global competition of cities is estimated to host 2,7 million towns, 3 thousand large cities and 455 large metropolitan areas with a population over one million. All of them compete in the struggle for attention and this is not limited to the contest between countries and cities. Even within cities there is a fierce competition between city centres versus neighbourhoods, shopping malls vs. traditional down towns, design hotels versus mainstream hotel chains, Starbucks versus Kosta Coffee and so on.
In Place Branding, there is always a risk of simplification. All too often place brand development results in slogans, but such results are failures. Rather than being advertisement-based, efficient place branding is about delivering an exceptional experience that is memorable and emotional. In this sense, place branding is a bridge building activity between stakeholders and several target markets. The integration between the main target markets is therefore of key importance for places success.