Sunday, 24 June 2012

Destination Branding for Small Cities


I've just finished reading the recently published second edition of Bill Baker's book "Destination Branding for Small Cities". I've known Bill a good few years and, although we have never actually met, through his writings (the first edition and his insightful blog) I feel like I've got to know him well. And the man I have come to know is one of the most eloquent and accomplished ambassadors for, and advocate of, sensible place branding. By that I mean practical, common sense ways of creating places that work, places with discernible distinctiveness, places that you can identify with. What Bill writes about and practices is not the "fluff" of marketers called in to decorate a city with a logo and a tag line. Rather, he describes the hard work, the challenges, the complexities and the benefits of place brand strategy. Through an extensive array of case study examples and interviews with other practitioners in the field he has assembled a practical "how-to" toolkit for any city governor, mayor, councilor or planner thinking of developing a brand strategy for their place. My recommendation is to buy a copy even if you think you are well grounded in the field. Bill always has something new to add to my understanding of it. And if you live in a place which is obsessed with its logo or the need for one, then buy and send a copy to its elected leader to get her or him on the right lines.