Branding a place or a large organization is a tough task. It is tough mainly because you are dealing with many stakeholders, each having their own agendas. When I face such a situation, I always say: “In branding 1+1=11.”
Especially for organizations with multiple stakeholders, my main job is to have their agreement on a common vision. That is the most difficult part of such projects: achieving consensus. Particularly many place branding projects fail because the brand consultant fails to build consensus. But when there is a common vision, even the unknown places are put on the map. The case in point: Ile d’Orleans.
Ile d’Orleans is a mid-size island close to Quebec City, Canada. The island is renowned for its farms. Quebec City being a beautiful destination has no shortage of tourists. However, how do you convince those tourists to visit an island full of farms? By getting and sticking together.
Apparently farmers and retailers in Ile d’Orleans realized that on their own they don’t stand a chance to attract any tourist. So they came together, all pitched in for an umbrella brand. Once you achieve a critical mass, you get something to market to tourists: half-day agro tourism, including winery tours, cheese tasting and sugar shack. As a proof of equity, the Tourism Information Office is not allowed to recommend any “particular” place. They can only give you non-biased information. That is good consensus building, good place branding.
Why don’t you tell me other good examples that you know?