To keep all interests happy, Madison, Wisconsin, seeks to identify with higher-level benefits
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Some of the biggest problems in creating an effective place brand are how to resolve conflicts among competing interests and then how to keep the various interests aligned behind the brand.
Those interests typically pit tourism versus economic development, but they might be individual vested interests within the place to be branded. They might even be competing interests among similar constituents, such as two tourism destinations, both of which want the brand to tilt in their favour. In such a situation, how the brand is positioned must be true for the entire place you are trying to brand.
Lindsay, Stone & Briggs (LSB) has recently begun a six-month branding process for the city of Madison, Wisconsin. The study is being done for a consortium of business and tourism groups led by the Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The goal is to find a unifying brand that can serve all interests while avoiding the usual pitfalls of interest-group brand meddling. The process is first to use psychological research to identify emotional benefits that cut across multiple segments, and then to apply the concept of archetypes to bring the brand to life. The paper will explain shortly how LSB plans to do that.
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