The cities of the future

We had a pleasant chat with Professor William Straw, the Director of McGill Institute for the Study of Canada Professor, Department of Art History and Communications Studies. Professor Straw is interested in a range of topics, most of them having to do with media and cities. He is a world-renowned expert in urban culture. We asked him…

Open Space Technology

In Turkey, not a day goes by without a fascinating development… It seems like the Turkish protestors are on a mission to teach the world a lesson in 21st Century leadership. As you might know; a peaceful, local protest aimed to protect a public green space in Istanbul turned into a nationwide (even global!) movement…

Self-organization

Protests against oppression in Turkey are in full swing. And if you are willing to listen, the New Young Turks can teach your organization two great lessons: Here is the first lesson: The protestors –who are young, highly educated, highly skilled, internet-savvy, white-collar employees– demonstrated that in this day and age no mess, no corruption,…

The Canadian Archetype

I am an immigrant living in Canada. Years ago, I decided to move here, and I could not be happier with my decision. If you are like me, which means if you are someone who enjoys observing and analyzing his surroundings, then living abroad is great fun. As an outsider, sometimes you see things that…

Branding Czech Republic Part 2

Previously, we analyzed the Czech Republic’s new promotional logo, which did not receive a warm welcome. Unfortunately, the campaign failed to convey unique and compelling messages to the three major audiences of any place branding campaigns: Visitors, potential investors, and the locals. We think this campaign did the expected: Promoted “the stereotypical Czech Republic.” However, successful branding requires us…

How to brand a destination?

Is place branding a money trap invented by evil advertising agencies? Is it a fool’s gold for destinations? Has any place ever benefited from so-called place branding? How about this scary stat?: 86% of place branding projects fail within a year of introduction. Is there a way to break this curse? Let’s figure out the…

Explore Canada “gets” it!

About six months ago, Canada launched a tourism campaign called “Know Canada,” targeting Americans. We discussed why the strategy of the campaign was wrong. Here is the key argument: The campaign is based on facts, whereas “purchase decisions” are based on emotions. We also debated that the campaign was addressing to the wrong part of our…

Branding Czech Republic Part 1

I have always thought that the most difficult branding projects are the place branding ones. As such, I have written quite a bit about the unique challenges of these beasts. The reality is, unfortunately, most of them are destined to fail and this is proven by hard data. Months ago, Czech Republic revealed its new…

Why do place brands fail? The human-centered mistakes. Part 3

This is the last installment of our three-article series: “Why 86% of place brands fail?” First, we talked about the mistakes consultants make. Then, we addressed some of the common misperceptions of places. Today, we will conclude by discussing the role of leadership, consistency, and honesty. Let’s start with leadership. Needless to say, places need…

Why do place brands fail? The mistakes of the places. Part 2

Previously, we mentioned that 86% of place brands fail. Then, we first examined the mistakes that brand consultants commit. Today, we will talk about the other half of the equation: The errors that places make. This essay is the second installment of our three-article series.  

Why do place brands fail? The mistakes of the consultant. Part 1

NEWS FLASH: 86% of place brands fail within a year of introduction! Over the past ten years, k629, a place-branding consultancy, has developed a database of more than 5,000 place brands. From that data source, they have found that only 14% of place brands continue a year from launch. They estimate nearly $75 million has been…

Archetypes or stereotypes?

Recently, I have learned that 86% of place branding projects fail. While the research does not explain why, I am willing to bet that one of the principal causes of failure is “thinking stereotypically instead of archetypically,” and go even farther to suggest the only way to successfully brand a destination. Case in point: Ottawa. The picture on the left was taken…