International experts analyse the positioning strategy of the most innovative cities

The "CityBranding&Marketing" Congress, organised by San Sebastian City Council / Fomento San Sebastián, is an open reflection on the actions that San Sebastian needs to become consolidated as the City of Innovation. The Congress has been a success in terms of participation, attracting around 200 people.

 

Andy Stalman, known as “Mr. Branding”, highlighted today’s strong competition "Not all cities have good branding, nor do all of them have poor branding. But they all have branding". He also highlighted the importance of creativity and emotional ties: “creative content is shared and consumed. What they are saying to us will be forgotten, but we will never forget how they make us feel”.

 

David Adam, creator of the Peking and London Olympic Games strategy, defined branding as "a new global language that seeks to attract talent, and which cities need to speak fluently".

 

Competition between cities will continue to grow over the forthcoming years and new rivals will not cease to emerge. International experts participated in the "CityBranding&Marketing" Congress today, organised by Fomento San Sebastián, to highlight the importance of having a brand strategy that enables the new social demands to be faced in a technological and globalised world.

 

Fomento San Sebastián is participating in AT Brand, a European project that aims to foster integrated and coherent city branding, along with other cities, such as Liverpool, Cardiff, Dublin, La Rochelle or Faro. The aim of the congress is to learn from the experiences of other capital cities, to develop a narrative, a key idea and a city brand linked to innovation. To do so, the city’s main agents have spent months in a participatory working group to create a shared and consensual brand. The congress was opened by the Mayor of San Sebastian, Juan Karlos Izagirre, who pointed out that one of the city’s objectives is to build a brand focusing on innovation. Euken Sesé, Director of Fomento San Sebastián, emphasised that branding goes beyond a slogan, as it approaches "a visualisation of joint identity".

 

During the congress, experts in citybranding put forward experiences and case studies from diverse European cities, such as Liverpool, Dublin, Zurich, Oslo, Barcelona, Cardiff or Cork… Pablo Berástegui, Director of Donostia 2016, presented the experience of the San Sebastian candidature, and assured that the "main legacy of our city has been overcoming conflicts through culture”.

 

 

David Adam, founding director of Global Cities, the leading agency supporting development of organisations and cities, indicated that the big cities should ask themselves whether they are "on people’s mental map", as positioning goes "much further than the physical side". This creator of the branding project for the Peking and London Olympic Games defined branding as "a new global language that seeks to attract talent, and which cities need to speak fluently".

 

Andy Stalman, known as “Mr. Branding”, highlighted the strong competition on the international panorama and assured that "Not all cities have good branding, nor do all of them have poor branding. But they all have branding". He also pointed out that “technology today is added as a sixth sense” and he highlighted that branding is “not a logo, but a strategic asset”. He put forward branding experiences that are committed to creativity and emotional ties: “creative content is shared and consumed. What they are saying to us will be forgotten, but we will never forget how they make us feel”.

 

The Liverpool experience was presented by Peter Smith, from Marketing Liverpool, who explained the keys to the British city’s successful positioning campaign. Among other points to bear in mind, he highlighted the need to "get out of the centre of cities", with actions like welcoming travellers at airports and train stations.

 

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