Whatever their drawbacks, one of the benefits of technology and globalisation is that they enable cities and businesses to operate and to access markets across the world, to an extent that has never before been possible.
One of the results of this is that York, like all outward looking, modern cities, is presented with an historically-unprecedented opportunity to leverage its strengths and to compete with its peers globally. In doing so, the city and its businesses need to be able to appeal to a wide range of very varied local, national and international audiences. These include investors, prospective employers and employees, researchers, academics and students.
In a crowded field, getting this right is both important and difficult. The starting point however is understanding the brand and the brand proposition: what are the values and characteristics that make York unique? Having established that, York’s policy making and execution, together with its place-based marketing can then be utilised to consistently reinforce the brand.
This is the aim of the current project being undertaken by For the Love of Place and Hemingway Design (repeatedly referred to as the “A Team” of place branding)is to influence perception and reputation through the use of consistent “on-brand” messaging to a range of core audiences.
Examples of cities that have recognised this as a vital tool of economic development, and which have benefitted accordingly, include Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Porto. Some of these benefits are wholly expected: for example allowing the city to make a consistent case to inward investors. Others, such as the boost in local pride for residents, can be a unifying and empowering force.
Make It York is playing a central role in this project as it evolves, and is looking forward to being able to working with key players across the city as the branding is agreed and then marketed.