Frans van der Avert, Chief Marketing Officer of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region, in this interview tells us why strategic destination branding has become an essential tool for city marketers, and how the popular Dutch destination uses place marketing to deal with challenges such as visitor overcrowding in parts of its city center.
- Amsterdam Marketing, and its approach to destination branding;
- How Amsterdam Marketing deals with issues such as visitor overcrowding;
- How Amsterdam is adapting to the Sharing Economy and web portals such as AirBnB;
- Why measuring the success of place branding initiatives is so difficult;
- Five tips for city marketers eager to 'do it right'.
Frans, what do you understand as the “brand” of places, and which aspect of city branding is the most important?
For me, the brand represents the core values of a city. Every city has its own "DNA": its history, current situation and future aspirations.
From a customer point of view, place branding has to do with awareness of your brand/city. For example, everybody knows that Amsterdam is a city, not a country or a drink. That is the first step: brand definition. Reputation is an important brand aspect. How is Amsterdam (emotionally) perceived. What are first impressions and associations. Here place branding becomes vital.
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