The starting point is to understand what your community promise is, and the target audience. The promise must be relevant, competitive and authentic. Defining your brand promise is hard work – you need to discover what your brand promise is, and articulate it in a way that is understandable to everyone involved in your branding process.
If you skip this step, the branding effort won’t succeed. Instead, you’ll have a narrowly focused marketing or salescampaign. Indeed, as our US colleagues advise, you will have invested in a logo and tagline that have no sustainability. On the other hand, a proper branding effort guides community development decisions for decades.
In the Australian context, the persistence of state brands is an anachronism. International visitors don’t think of travelling to NSW, the Northern Territory or South Australia.
They think in terms of actual places, like Sydney, the Hunter, Uluru and the Barossa Valley. Examples of other regions and regional cities with already strong brands are the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Far North Queenland, the Hunter, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.
However it’s the regions and communities on the next rung down that stand out for brand development. Three core attributes are:
One shouldn’t get worked up about conforming to some politically correct geographic scope or boundaries, because these are largely defined by the three core attributes. It should also be stressed that a hierarchy of regional branding can exist. For example, ‘Riverina’ is the regional brand, and Wagga, Griffith, Cootamundra, Junee, etc. are local brands within that hierarchy. Likewise, ‘The Kimberley’ is the regional brand, with Broome and Kununurra as the local brands.
Regional branding must have outcomes. Without them it becomes a pointless, academic exercise.
The brand needs to encapsulate
We are thinking of making an approach to some state governments to access some funding to hire some marketing professionals to assist groups of local councils. Please contact us if you are interested.
Did you notice Bendigo’s three month exhibition ‘Grace Kelly – style icon’? What an extraordinary coup! It’s also a very good example of the benefits of brand building. So I chased up Sharon Wells at the Bendigo Art Gallery for the good oil for our loyal readers.
The factors underlying this exhibition appear to be six-fold.
Visitor traffic has been huge. Based on entry fees of $20/head ($5 for primary schoolers, $10 for secondary schoolers), I guess that revenues might nudge $4 million.
A great aspect of this project is the spin-off business it has created for other art and tourism facilities, hotels, motels, restaurants in and around Bendigo. It has given Melburnians an additional reason to take a weekend trip.
While on the subject of regional events, the program for the centenary of Anzac has been announced by PM Gillard. The funding totals $83.5 million for refurbishments of WW1 galleries at the War Memorial and war graves; overseas commemorations; local community commemorations; education programs; a travelling exhibition; a new interpretive centre in WA; and the restaging of events and activities. The Centenary will run from 2014 to 2018.
The Chair of the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board, the recently retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said his Board will advise the Government on the detailed planning, development, prioritisation and scheduling of the Centenary Program and liaising with the community. He is also encouraging private sector sponsorship in relevant projects.
We are currently working with councils to access this funding. Contact us if you’re interested.
I am writing this on 28 May, as PM Gillard faces more leadership speculation following the government’s decision to allow the import of 1700 workers for its Roy Hill Iron Ore project in the Pilbara.
Was it a conspiracy between the Resources Minister Ferguson and Immigration Minister Bowen to white ant the Prime Minister? For sure both are in the Rudd camp, but I suspect this latest embarrassment results from a stuff up:
On semi-related matters, have you ever wondered why there have been so many factory fires of late? Why Singo, with his longstanding Labor connections, allows his shock jocks to endlessly attack the Gillard Government? Why the Government of the world’s most buoyant economy is polling so badly?
Rod Brown is a Canberra-based consultant specialising in industry/regional development, investment attraction, clusters and accessing Federal grants. He also runs the Cockatoo Network. He can be contacted at email@example.com or phone (02) 6231 7261.
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