Public Vs. Private Sector Branding Explained: Similarities and Differences

Which are the similarities and differences between public and private sector branding?

Yet another valuable question from one of our readers (want to propose a question? Here's how). 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:

  • Private brands are built to benefit a few. Public brands are for everyone.
  • The private sector has more control over the brand touch points than the public sector, which has to deal with and coordinate a multiple and diverse array of stakeholders.
  • Private branding requires fewer layers of approval. Budgets are not as fixed.
  • Both public and private sector branding require the same rigor to develop and project – in terms of research, honesty in interpreting results, and creative storytelling. Both must be based on substance, to establish credibility.
  • Public sector branding is more time-consuming to develop, harder to ensure focus, and more open to media criticism and public vilification.
  • Private brands tend to be owned by companies; whereas public brands are owned by no-one but emotionally invested in by almost everyone.
  • Private sector branding is essentially about a commercial transaction. Place branding usually serves territory revitalization.

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The Editorial Team

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