Branding a place or a large organization is a tough task. It is difficult mainly because you are dealing with many stakeholders, each having their agendas. When I face such a situation, I always say: “In branding 1+1=11.”
Particularly, for organizations with multiple stakeholders, my primary job is to have their agreement on a shared 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. However, when there is a common vision, even the unknown places are put on the map. A case in point: Ile d’Orleans.
Ile d’Orleans is a mid-sized island close to Quebec City, Canada. The island is renowned for its farms. Quebec City is 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 do not 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 visitors: 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, right place branding.
Why don’t you tell me other good examples that you know?