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Place brands: what they are and what they are for

If you like some products, services or even companies, you know that you recognize them by their brands. For example, Apple is a company brand and iPhone is a company's products brand.

It may not be so obvious if you are not in the advertising, marketing, communication or administration area. Brand and logo are complementary, but different things. The logo (Apple apple, for example) is the graphic representation, the design, which was elaborated from elements of the Apple brand identity. This brand identity is formed by concepts that involve its mission, vision, values, history, organizational culture, synthesized in a value proposal. Based on these concepts, the logo is created. Therefore, a brand is a concept and a logo is the graphic representation of this concept. In the same way, the brand of a product has its concept based on the positioning of that product and its logo is the graphic representation of that positioning.

And why all this conceptualization and graphic representation work? Because people will better fix an idea in their minds and will have more lasting memories if the brand concept and design are harmonized. Well-built brands allow for better communication between companies and their products.

So far, everything is more or less known.

But how does this happen in one place?

Can neighborhoods, cities, regions and countries be conceived and managed as brands? How can this happen and what advantages does this approach bring to the place and to the people who live and work there?

First, to soothe hearts, yes, a place can and should have a brand. And no, just because the place has a brand doesn't mean it will be managed as a product or as a company.

The way of building and managing the brand of place is quite different from the way in which commercial brands are worked. The concepts are similar, but the tools used are different.

For example, places have identity, but this is mapped and harmonized by understanding the productive and economic dimensions of the place, its history and local culture, its political relations, its intangible attributes and ambience, its ability to generate connections between people and their potential. These dimensions are grouped as physical evidence and symbolic evidence of the identity of the place.

Once categorized, the next step is to harmonize them as identity elements of the brand of the place. Every place has a conceptual identity (which may or may not be mapped and harmonized), but not every place has a brand design. The design of the place brand is a possible unfolding of the conceptualized brand identity.

And what is a place tag for?

  • It serves to integrate and orchestrate all communication efforts about the place.

  • It serves to give concreteness about the place in people's minds, generating greater and better memorization.

  • It serves to help local products and services to position themselves in an articulated way with their place of origin, gaining differential and competitiveness.

  • It also serves to provide tools for monitoring and measuring the perception that people have about the place, helping to manage its image and reputation.

Do you know any case of a logo that clearly represents the identity of the place? Tell us!



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