Location branding is an interesting one and something that intrigues me. I am an Irish person from a country that is symbolised by green fields, castles, sheep, friendly people and the lovely black stuff. More specifically I am a Limerick person. As a Limerick lady I have always received a reaction when I tell people where I am from. Of late this reaction is one of interest and positivity, which feels really good because I know how great Limerick is.
Personal branding is getting a lot of attention at the moment and rightly so. However branding is not only about people, products, and services, it is also about experiences, events and destinations. Location branding has always had a steady amount of attention but I am not sure if it gets enough.
As a self-confessed brand obsessed individual (that’s a mouthful!), any form of branding makes my head turn but I do have a certain fascination with the branding of towns, cities and countries. When it comes to destination branding there are some great examples of locations that have really worked hard to ensure they deliver a great brand experience. One great example is Liverpool. Liverpool transformed itself over the last few decades and in 2008 was rewarded by being named the European Capital of Culture.
Liverpool achieved this great title due to the experience it offered. Brand experience is not just about tourists and that is often lost when it comes to location branding. For me, the people who live, work and play in a location are the most important people and what they experience is the reality. Of course, visitors to any destination are extremely important but the funny thing is visitors are usually happier when they are met by locals that are proud of where they live. I visited Liverpool this time last year and it was the people who really made my trip. If you haven’t been, it is worth the trip.
Back to Limerick …. the people are amazing, there is so much growth, so many exciting things happening and Limerick is now a candidate for the European City of Culture. Liverpool did it, so can we. And we can do it because we have a brand that is loved by the people who live, work and play here.
I have all my fingers and toes crossed.