Brand builders working at the intersection of commerce, culture and community, providing place-based strategies, stakeholder engagement, design and communications.
Which topics linked to the branding and reputation of places are you most passionate about at Trajectory?
Place branding authenticity and resilience; community engagement, co-creation and empowerment; design platforms; local stories.
Ikonicast – Reimagining DC: Soul of the City. This episode explores DC’s trajectory, from bankruptcy to today. Rich Bradley & Monica Ray talk about place branding, local empowerment & the spicy politics of mumbo sauce. Listen to the episode here (Spotify link).
Five hashtags which best describe Trajectory?
#BrandResilience #DesignThatMatters #authenticity #AmbitiousPlaces #CommunityCo-creation
Jeannette Hanna is Chief Strategist for the Toronto-based brand agency, Trajectory. Writer, lecturer and host of the brand podcast, Ikonicast, Jeannette is also regular contributor to The Place Brand Observer and a member of its expert panel.
Jeannette’s place brand work includes award-winning strategies for regions, cities and districts across North America including: a number of branding assignments for Washington, DC (Destination DC; DC Downtown BID; Capitol Hill Neighborhood; Congress Heights; Dupont Circle; National Cherry Blossom Festival); Crystal City/National Landing, VA; Raleigh, NC; Butler County, OH; Reimagining Detroit.
In Canada, she’s worked with the Niagara Region; City of Mississauga; City of Sault Ste Marie; Hastings County, ON and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.
Jeannette has also been a communications consultant for the Bermuda Cultural Map and the country’s Performing Arts Project. She regularly lectures at conferences and business schools including York University’s Schulich School of Business and Georgetown University’s Urban & Regional Planning program.
She co-authored, Ikonica, A Field Guide to Canada’s Brandscape and is a contributor to the cultural development primer Rediscovering the Wealth of Places and the Association of Canadian Advertisers’ guide, Measuring Marketing Communications Effectiveness in an Ever-changing World – the Role the MarCom Dashboard.
Your place branding advice:
Destination brands must be authentic. Authentic means: done in an original way; based on facts; being emotionally appropriate, significant, purposeful and responsible. All those apply. The challenge is to create a process for capturing a broad range of inputs and then bring them together in a meaningful synthesis.
Because cultural customs, stories and values are so integral to the way of life in any place, it’s often hard for locals to see how their environment is distinct.
The job of place branding is to help surface those one-of-a-kind qualities. That’s where the “genius loci” emerges.
The biggest mistake places make is to create some live/work/play pastiche and then try to get the populace to “buy-in.” That’s deadly.
See also the interview with Jeannette Hanna.