Fifteen Common Destination Branding Pitfalls

Adopting a city or destination brand offers tremendous rewards if done correctly. However, sometimes these well-meaning efforts introduce levels of complexity and pitfalls which could easily have been avoided if leaders had understood the nuances of brand planning for cities.

Many city branding projects get off to a great start with a lot of publicity and energy, only to soon run out of steam. Their momentum starts to lag, fresh ideas are not as frequent, designs start to miss their mark, and suddenly the brand has faded, it is confused, and becomes very fuzzy to customers and stakeholders. Here are some of the fifteen common pitfalls that can contribute to these situations are:

  • Insufficient Understanding Of Branding
  • Lack of Stakeholder Buy-in
  • Failure to Grasp the Scope of Branding Places
  • Focusing On Short-Term Results
  • Forgetting The Customer’s View
  • Expectations that are out of Sync with the Realities of the Place
  • Insufficient or Irrelevant Research
  • Weak or No Positioning
  • The Lure of “Bright Shiny Objects” in the Form of Logos, Taglines and Designs
  • Forgetting to Deliver What You Promise
  • Unhelpful Mindsets
  • Bogged Down in Arguing over Taglines and Logos
  • Going It Alone as a DIY Project
  • Not Engaging Specialist Skills
  • Not Following the Brand Guidelines and Strategy

Those places that take steps at an early stage to avoid these and other potential pitfalls are in a much better position to develop a sustainable brand strategy that will unify and energize stakeholders. It will also improve the city’s economic development and tourism performance, and enhance the city’s social capital.

Produced by: Total Destination Marketing

Best Selling Book: Destination Branding for Small Cities

Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS