Archive for the ‘Destination Branding’ Category

My sister and her special brand

April 9, 2015

West Cork

I was chatting to a friend of mine recently and mentioned that my sister, whom she’d never met, was home to visit.

Instinctively, I felt the noun ‘sister’ didn’t do her justice, so I followed it with a few words that I felt encapsulated her as a person “she’s a do anything for anyone, a loves to laugh, strong character but she’s also a complete softy”. I smiled as I said it, naturally because of the feelings and memories that her ‘image’ had evoked.

Branding’ can be disregarded cynically as corporate speak for manipulation and trickery but in reality emotional evocation through identity applies to everything and everyone – even sisters.

Reputation/branding is one of our most valuable assets.

When building and managing a company or an organisations’s identity, it’s incredibly effective to personify it so that it elicits the same positive thoughts and feelings among its consumers. A solid brand identity is established through brand values that are built and communicated with passion and consistency and, importantly, over time.

We work with not just companies and organisations, but individuals and even regions to help them define and harness their brand. We do this by helping them tell their stories, by mapping out their core values and by highlighting what makes them truly special.

That then helps us to devise and implement strategies/a unified behaviour that represents and firmly establishes and illuminates this brand. We explain how it needs to be carried through everything; logo, signage, marketing materials, CSR activities, internal and external communications and its people.

West Cork brochures

The power, potential and evocative nature of branding hit home to me again recently when I was wrapping up on a tourism project for a destination branding initiative, which involved the creation of two tourism brochures for West Cork.

Throughout the project the goal was to convey the region’s sense of identity as distinct, authentic and compelling, encouraging visitors to immerse themselves in the landscape enriched with a deeper knowledge of the region’s past and present. During the course of my work I learned so much myself about West Cork’s history, folklore, landscape and sights and how woven together they create this truly compelling, evocative and inspiring identity.

Each of those tens of thousands of brochures, distil not just information, but they tell a special story, they convey an experience, a unique identity, a reputation and a promise.

Branding is where the tangible and the intangible meet.

She’s a lot more than my ‘sister’.

Aoibhinn Twomey - Fuzion PRAoibhinn Twomey

Aoibhinn Twomey is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion PR & Marketing which has offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland

 

 

We can’t let the South Mall go south!!

August 6, 2014

South Mall, Cork

When I was in college in Cork in the early ‘80’s I used love to walk down South Mall and take in the atmosphere of this bustling busy business street and I vowed I’d someday work there – that is of course, after I travelled and conquered the world!!!

I always knew that Cork would be my home and after a long and winding road now it is. I can’t believe that I am lucky enough to not only work on the South Mall, but that I own a business on this historic business precinct.

We have an equally good location in Dublin on Fitzwilliam Street and even though we continue to grow in Dublin, Cork will always be my base and the South Mall will always be where I am drawn to work – and often play thanks to great places like Electric, right across the road from us!

I know though at the moment I am seeing the Mall with tinted glasses.

Because it’s home to me the glare of all the “To Let” and “For Sale” signs fade into the façades of the buildings. But what must people think when they look at the South Mall now, when viewing the area as a location to set up a business?

With all the vacant signs, it’s probably the last place people new to the city would consider setting up a business. I bet sometimes some people think all that is missing is the tumble-weed – although there are weeds growing off many of the empty buildings!!!

Something has to be done.

Reports and studies are great but are they getting us anywhere? Is anyone taking the advice, recommendations on board? Where are the incentives to encourage people to move into the South Mall? Are the Estate Agents doing their jobs properly? Is there something more the business community could be doing? Is there more that the landlords should be doing to make their properties more attractive to businesses?

Electric, South Mall

It just breaks my heart sometimes when I see another business leave, just as strongly as it leaps for joy when I see a business opening. Thankfully there have been a few in the last six months.

Perhaps the business community on the South Mall should join together?

Now I know we have an excellent Chamber of Commerce and there is the Cork Business Association – but should we mount an organic PR campaign for the South Mall; where businesses pro-actively talk up this great business precinct and support the businesses on the Mall.

This could not only help keep businesses on our main business centre but also encourage more businesses to make the South Mall their home. We could make sure new businesses on the Mall are welcomed by neighbours, through social media, through one to one well wishes and the ultimate support, by doing the best to do business with neighbouring businesses.

The South Mall could once again become a real thriving business community, supporting each other and encouraging new neighbours.

So who will start the ball rolling………

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron is a Partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

Cork needs your valuable input!

April 26, 2014

Cork - Big on Life

It’s important that destinations have a clear brand, which captures the essence of the place and one that is easily understood.

For over a year a team of us have been working diligently doing research, gathering information, conducting interviews, holding workshops, reading reports and executing surveys about the Cork Region.

Taking all of the findings, information and feedback we have carefully constructed a Brand Description, which we are now testing.

As part of this process we need your views on the emerging Cork Region brand and marketing strategy to help drive sustainable economic growth.

We have created a micro site to present this brand description so that we can get feedback from the Cork Region, the rest of Ireland and from around the world.

We want to know if it captures the essence of Cork and if the proposition is compelling and attractive as a tool for economic development.

We ask that you read the Brand Descriptor on the micro site and then take a few minutes to answer 12 questions at the very end of the process.

This should take no more than 15-20 minutes, which we know is a big time commitment but we really do need your valuable feedback so we can progress with this work.

You can access the microsite by clicking here: Cork Region Brand Descriptor

Thank you so much for your input!

Greg Canty 

Note:

The draft Cork Region place brand has been developed by a partnership of Cork stakeholders – led by Cork City and County Councils, and also involving Fáilte Ireland, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork Chamber, Cork Airport, Port of Cork and the South West Regional Authority.

The Destination Consulting service of Colliers International in partnership with Fuzion, Location Connections and Placematters is the advisory team.

Destination Branding and the special “DNA” of Corkonians

March 24, 2014

Cork region

We’ve been privileged to have been working on a really interesting marketing project in conjunction with Colliers International, Placematters and Location Connections for the Cork region, which was commissioned by some of the key stakeholders.

Destination branding is something all cities and regions must now consider as they must market themselves in a clear, concise and consistent way to all target audiences they wish to attract. How a region markets itself must be believable and true so that the actual experience matches the reality.

As part of this marketing process you must first understand what the offering is, decide what parts of this offering are attractive to relevant target audiences and then package this offering in a clear brand description for the region.

All the subsequent marketing of the region should be consistent by all stakeholders so that maximum return on investment is achieved and that target audiences develop a clear understanding of the unique offer from that destination.

As part of the research work we conducted about the Cork region we discovered that many people are attracted to the size of Cork, “it’s not too big and not too small“, they love how quickly you can get from the city to the country, they love the nearby  coastline  and they also love the friendliness, humour and warmth of the people.

Even the Huffington Post identified Cork as an “overlooked city in Europe that must be visited in your lifetime!

It is easy to understand the physical attributes of the region but the people dimension is one that is more difficult to pinpoint.

The Queen visits Cork, Friendly City

Is it really true that Cork is a friendly city just as the Lonely Planet Guide declared in it’s Top 10 List of cities to visit? The guide praises the city saying ‘Cork is at the top of its game right now: sophisticated, vibrant and diverse, while still retaining its friendliness, relaxed charm and quick-fire wit.

How can you explain this friendliness?

Do Corkonians really have this special “friendly” gene in their unique DNA?

In our research in Cork we conducted questionnaires with many foreigners working in the Cork region and they consistently told us how they had no intention of staying initially but this is now home and they would not be leaving. Cork is great fun and the people are very “friendly“.

As much as this proud Corkman would like to think people from Cork do not have a special gene, no more so than people from any other part of Ireland.

If it’s not a special gene then why do we behave in such a manner?

  • In Cork you can enjoy a good career with small SME’s or with large multinationals without the big commute.
  • You and your children can receive a great education right on your doorstep
  • You can enjoy a vibrant and friendly city where strangers still chat to each other that is easy to access
  • It’s a relatively safe place to live, visit or go to college
  • You can be in the country or walking on a beach within half an hour
  • You can enjoy a lively, entertaining, art loving, multicultural place where independents can still thrive
  • The food and entertainment offering is diverse and top class
  • You are connected to the world and major city hubs via an airport that is 10 minutes from the city centre.
  • On the very practical side of things Cork is a significantly cheaper place to live than Dublin and a more economical place to do business.

While the career opportunities aren’t as great as in Dublin or London, an internet world makes this less of a problem and the overall sense of well-being from an exceptionally better life balance makes the Cork region a very clever place for people to choose to live their lives.

So why are people from Cork friendlier, warmer and wittier?

Maybe this ideal sized region with an abundance of natural attributes just makes us happier?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Colliers International offer Destination Consulting services

Placematters are Destination Branding experts

Location Connections are an International FDI  site selection consultancy


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