Place branding as a tool for conflict resolution and peacebuilding: how can place branding methodologies help ease internal tensions in fragmented societies, or societies that are recovering from conflict? Can place branding be used in that way and if so, how?
Those are timely questions in a world with multi-cultural communities and a growing population - prone to experiencing more and more tension and dispute over limited space and resources. Below the answers of our panel of place branding specialists (in alphabetical order – highlighted respondents are available for consulting, research or as speakers).
A few key takeaways:
- Place branding helps in providing a fresh impetus post-conflict through focused storytelling, by highlighting the positives of a place.
- The objective should be about overcoming negative press and burying differences, to focus on the present and work towards a common goal to reap benefits in the future - both economic and for harmonious living.
- It is imperative to involve all the stakeholders in the decision-making process of brand building.
- A bottom-up approach works best since it involves everybody, from grassroots community groups to higher levels of decision-making.
- Trust is vital to bring out the best from all the groups.
- Place branding can provide a sense of unity among a reconciled group, and can assist in collective image building, giving all parties a representation and voice.
- Finding common ground among the diverse participating groups is the most important step in the branding process.
- Place brands can help visitors to identify with a place and its communities, leading to stronger tourism and a boost to economic development in the region.
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