1+1=11: Creating critical mass

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?

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7 Replies to “1+1=11: Creating critical mass”

  1. (Am almost back doing what I love on this site. Happy New year)

    I know it is out there but cannot put a hand on it. So can I ask here. Can Family Branding- defined by Marketing (11th Edition by Etzel et al pp 250- 251) is ‘a strategy of using the (countrys Olympic host name eg London 2012 beauty peagent- for branding (and revenue generation) purposes”.,
    Canthe organisers still use the tag line London 2012 to market the event/product if it is noticed there is a demand for subsequent peagents or can using the tag be part of a strategy to creating events after the main Olympic event has concluded where none existed.

    Eko2012ng.com just ended and that is our debate. I believe the side attractions it had can become marketable products or better it should have being the strategy (since they were emerging market products)

    1. Hi Ohio and welcome back.

      I believe by family branding, the author refers to umbrella branding – i.e Honda selling both cars and bikes under the same name.

      Now, though I don’t know much about the ownership situation of the London Games, I’d say the Olympics Community would not like a former host to generate revenue off of Olympics. But I guess there might be some ways to use the tagline (I guess it was the People’s Games – if not trademarked by the IOC). Here in Montreal, EXPO is still used occasionally, though it took place 50 years ago.

      That is more of a legal issue than branding one. I can see how you can milk it, provided you “own” the rights.

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