One of my earliest memories of place branding comes from growing up in the northern town of Stockport and coming into possession of an official Stockport Town Council tea towel. It was emblazoned with a collage of images of the brick railway viaduct, the bus station and the Merseyway shopping centre – but the thing that caught my eye was the cheerful slogan: ‘Stockport – It’s a great place!’
It’s not the most subtle copy line, but it’s the same essential message shared by countless big-budget tourism campaigns around the world: come here, it’s great. The challenge is how you do that in a way that sticks – and not only sticks, but changes the long-term behaviour of tourists and investors.
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