Place branding 2.0
Simon is founder and Publisher of the Good Country Index and the Nation Brands Index
Meet the man who coined the term “nation brand”. The author of five books about places and their images, and an advisor to the leaders of 56 countries, cities and regions over the past two decades. What is left to say that we can’t hear from his TED videos, with millions of views?
Place branding is dead. Long live place branding 2.0!
Logos don’t work. Commissioning slogans, advertising and PR campaigns is an insult to innovative, sustainable or otherwise admirable countries and cities. It is, demonstrably, a waste of taxpayers’ money. Tourism is perhaps the only area where promotion actually works: yet simply attracting more visitors can often do more harm than good.
It’s time for some new questions
No longer “how well are you doing?” but “how much are you doing?”. No longer “what is your competitive advantage?” but “what is your gift to the world?”. No longer “what can we say to make ourselves famous?” but “what can we do to make ourselves relevant?”.
If you want to be admired, says Anholt, there’s only one solution: be admirable.
This is place branding 2.0:
Simon Anholt coined the term ‘nation brand’ back in 1998. His original insight – that the images of places are critical national assets that need careful management – helped create a major global industry. Twenty-two years later, he has a message to that industry: you’re doing it wrong.
Place Branding 2.0 is based on ten principles:
- It’s about responding to global needs, not bragging about assets and achievements;
- What matters is what you’re going to do, not what you’ve done;
- It’s connected to, but totally different from, tourism/investment/trade/talent promotion;
- It’s not a campaign or a project: it’s a new perspective on strategy and policy;
- Consultants imply it’s easy and expensive: in fact it’s incredibly difficult but basically free;
- If you need to spend money telling people about it, you’ve already failed;
- It’s a multilateral, collaborative exercise; it’s about building relationships, not competing;
- The ultimate objective is not a better image or more trade: it’s being a ‘gooder’ place;
- It’s not optional: if all places don’t do it, we’re doomed;
- The concept of “soft power” is about thirty years out of date.
Simon is the founder of the Good Country, an innovative global initiative that with the help of big data, helps to bring countries together to tackle global challenges. Altogether 56 countries have worked with him over the past two decades. Simon’s TED talk launching the Good Country Index has received over six million views and was ranked as the #5 “most inspiring” TED talk ever. The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index and City Brands Index are among the leading surveys in the field.
Simon will talk about how countries as well as cities, regardless of location or size, can create change for their citizens – and change the way others think about them.