Ever wondered why it’s so easy to associate certain logos, fonts and imagery with the country or location in the world they belong to? Read on as we take a closer look at locational branding in today’s FMS Blog article.
What is Locational Branding?
Locational Branding (also known as Place Branding) is a term used to describe how locations in the world use their nation, region and city as a brand. It encompasses how different places and countries use images and text styles to communicate their values to its target market. Locational branding is used for locations to be able to compete with others to gain higher rates of tourism and boost businesses. Simply put, locational branding is a process which is followed by public administrators to create place brands.
When Did Locational Branding Begin?
Practices behind creating place brands first began during the 19th century, originally by the United States. It was put into effect so that they could attempt to attract more people into populating its rural regions and for an increase in tourism to the country. As a concept, there are certain thinkers throughout history that are said to have first thought about locational branding as a promotional tool. This includes figures such as Wally Olins, Simon Anholt, Avraham and Ketter and Seppo Rainisto amongst others.
Examples of Countries and Places That Have Adopted Locational Branding
In the current day, there are several notable examples of countries and areas in the world that have adopted locational branding. These include:
In a simple yet largely effective exercise, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority branded the state of Las Vegas simply as ‘Vegas’. This was done as a direct link to many of the landmarks and historic locations found in the Las Vegas Valley including the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada Henderson, North Las Vegas, Nevada and certain parts of Clark County. To replicate the glamorous and busy lifestyle of the state of Las Vegas, it’s branding regularly features bright colours, often with a neon style visual effect that can be seen on the signage of many of the state’s casinos and bars.
The city of Jerusalem has very strong locational branding, as it is known as the ‘Holy City’. This branding creates significance behind its religious and sacred past of sites in the city. These include the Western Wall, The Garden Tomb, The Temple Mount and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The ideology of Pilgrimage has been part of Jerusalem’s history for years. In fact, the Swedish Research Council suggest that Jerusalem may be one of the longest places in the world to have been branded after having undergone several campaigns and re-designs for centuries. Much of the fonts and images used in Jerusalem’s locational branding represent tradition and historic culture.
New York City
New York City in New York, USA is often tipped as being the most iconic place to use locational branding. Jonathan Gabay, founder of Brand Forensics, explains why many believe New York City to be a shining example of effective place branding. “New York City is probably the world’s greatest branded city. The brand key is integration and direction. That is driven by a combination of single-minded leadership about what New York is: an eclectic mixture of people, all of whom, regardless of sex, age or creed have the potential to realise their dream. This combination is so admired that it seamlessly gets branded on anything from a baseball cap to a coffee mug.”