If you ask people where they’d like to spend their next holidays, study or work, chances are good someone will mention the city of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. This extraordinary success of city branding is not least due to the work of Juan Carlos Belloso. In this interview, the place brand expert shares exclusive insights and thoughts on cities, reputation and what it takes for a place brand strategy to be successful.
- How place branding impacts the economic and social development of places;
- What place branding is all about;
- Why changing and improving the image of a place is a long-term effort;
- Why places should develop their own measurement systems;
- Why a city brand can be more powerful that the country brand;
- The role of leadership in place branding;
- How the city of Barcelona managed to achieve its current level of awareness and recognition;
- How place branding can support the sustainability of a city;
- The main challenges in managing the Barcelona brand strategically.
Juan Carlos, what fascinates you about place branding?
I think the greatest thing about place branding is that you have a direct and tangible impact on the economic and social development of places and the well-being of people. The other great thing about pace branding is that it involves so many disciplines in a holistic way.
Those include place design and place making, economic and social development, branding and marketing and/or other specializations, such as citizen engagement and public diplomacy. Working in place branding also provides you the opportunity to get to know, experience and interact with so many different places, cultures and people.