Trajectory Brand Consultants

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?

Community engagement; authentic place branding; integrative strategies for place making, place branding and place governance; local stories and empowerment platforms.


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

Five hashtags which best describe Trajectory?

#CommerceCultureCommunity #authenticity #civicbuilders #interdependence #SimpleRules

Jeannette Hanna panelWho is leading Trajectory?

Jeannette Hanna is a brand strategist, writer and lecturer based in Toronto. As co-author of the book Ikonica, A Field Guide to Canada’s Brandscape, she explored the interdependencies of commerce, culture and community with co-author, Alan Middleton. It’s a theme that’s been honed over her tenure as co-founder and brand strategy lead for Spencer Francey Peters (later, Cundari SFP) and Trajectory.

Her client roster reflects Jeannette’s range – from billion dollar enterprises to innovative start-ups – across a broad spectrum of sectors including education, healthcare, culture, tourism, economic development and financial services.

Her place brand work includes award-winning strategies for regions, cities and districts across North America including:

USA: Destination DC; Downtown BID, DC; Congress Heights, DC; Raleigh, NC; Butler County, Ohio.

Canada: Niagara Region; City of Mississauga; City of Sault Ste Marie.

Bermuda: Bermuda Cultural Map; Bermuda Performing Arts Project.

Based in Toronto, Jeannette teaches regularly at York University’s Schulich School of Business.

She contributed to the cultural development primer Rediscovering the Wealth of Places, has edited Toronto, A Visual Librarium and the Association of Canadian Advertisers’ guide, Measuring Marketing Communications Effectiveness in an Ever-changing World – the Role the MarCom Dashboard.

Jeannette served on the board of the Design Management Institute (Boston) for nine years. She’s a founding practitioner with, the international strategy hub focused on managing in complex, uncertain environments; and a mentor for the Design Management Studies program at George Brown College in Toronto.

Advice you’d like to share?

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.

Where can we learn more about your place branding work?

On our website, or follow us on Twitter.