PublicAffairsAsia and Ogilvy Public Relations today release “Location Branding 2012″, a groundbreaking study which reveals Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney as the top city brands in the region.
The report, which can be downloaded here (http://www.publicaffairsasia.net/location_branding2012.pdf ), examines the branding issues associated with investment and tourism. The study establishes a clear hierarchy of brand attributes that countries, cities and regions should focus on to attract foreign direct investment and tourism.
For investment the most critical issues are the business operating environment and political stability, while the availability of a range of cultural activities including food, the arts and heritage are the most important factors for building an attractive tourism brand.
Commenting on the report Steve Dahllof, CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations, Asia Pacific, said: “We can see from the analysis that the strongest city brands in Asia Pacific – Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney – are the cities whose reputations are comparatively long-standing. With 11 of the 16 rated cities receiving a very good rating from less than a third of respondents, many cities across the region still have their work cut out for them when it comes to defining their brand image.”
He added: “On a continent as diversified as Asia, it’s imperative for these emerging countries and cities to deploy sophisticated location branding strategies that take full advantage of all the campaign tools at their disposal.”
Noting the results, PublicAffairsAsia’s Executive director and Publishing Editor, Craig Hoy, said: “The central finding of this research is that location branding is both complex and challenging. The data reveals that cities, regions and countries across the region need to do more to develop their brand reputation as a clear majority see branding as very important to the economic development of cities and countries in Asia Pacific.”
Notably, the report finds that:
• An overwhelming majority of respondents (88 per cent) believe that more needs to be done to develop the brand reputation of cities and countries in the Asia Pacific region.
• Location branding is significantly harder than branding a product, according to 77 per cent of respondents, with 52 per cent saying it is much harder.
• The business operating environment (73 per cent), political stability (72 per cent) and the built environment (63 per cent) are the top three priorities for campaigns to attract business investment.
• The top priority to brand locations for tourism is promoting a place’s cultural offering, including food, the arts, heritage and leisure opportunities (61 per cent). Secondary priorities involve the natural environment (47 per cent), hotel leisure facilities (50 per cent) and transport (44 per cent).
• Word of mouth is seen as the most essential channel for brand positioning (59 per cent), followed by public relations (51 per cent), social media (40 per cent) and advertising (30 per cent).
• Well-established regional markets round out the Top Four of the strongest Asia Pacific city brands – in rank order Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Tokyo.
• Some cities still have a way to go to establish their reputation – Mumbai, Delhi, Jakarta and Manila round out the bottom of the city rankings.
We do hope you find the report of interest and look forward to any questions you may have.
PublicAffairsAsia Steve Dahllof
Ogilvy Public Relations, Asia Pacific