Photo: Barcelona – TheGuardian
A recent study conducted by The Guardian and the brand consultancy Saffron about which city is the most “attractive” one , which one is showing the best image and “brand” to the world, let us reanalyze what people likes and values; what makes a place attractive. This is useful for us to sharpen our analytical tools, to sell.
According to this study about The world cities with the most powerful brands, Barcelona is the 6th most powerful city brand in the world. The Catalan capital is ahead of cities like Rio de Janeiro (7th), San Francisco (8th) or Las Vegas (9th). The ranking is led by the U.S. city of Los Angeles, followed by New York, London, Paris and Seoul. You can check the list and the strengths of the first 25 city brands in the article. And there is also a link to download the data of the rest of the city brands.
Assets of the City and its Media “Buzz”.
The report measures two dimensions to create a city brand: first its own assets, such as infrastructure and transport, tourism and culture, attractions, security, climate and economic prosperity.
But it measures its “buzz”, a combination of social media (Facebook likes and Twitter sentiment analysis) and mainstream media mentions.
Back to the example, Barcelona got 6.8 out of 10 in the assets part, not bad, but it got an excellent a 9 out of 10 buzz mark. According to the study by Saffron, Barcelona sells its image and brand really well. In the international ranking, Barcelona is ahead of many renowned world capitals such as Dubai (position 10th), Madrid (12th) Bangkok (15th), Sidney (16th) and Berlin (25th).
It surprises being Venice out of the photo, but generally “all European cities doing a poor brand work, and there are many of them.
City Brand Concept.
According to Saffron consultancy “a city brand is defined as the average perceptions and associations of ideas that people have of a particular city.” It is therefore an approximation of the image that people have of a city.
“Everyone likes Barcelona”, from the technical point of view, its brand is like Rio de Janeiro’s but without crime “, this is how The Guardian summarized the good brand position of this city on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
Two Faces of the City Brands.
Certainly it may be different the perception that a visitor have of a place, from that of a resident’s perception. There is a difference between the perceived “authenticity” and the “soul” of a city, that happens in its daily routines. But we should not see these two perceptions as opposed one each other, they are the complementary dimensions. Both give us valid information. Our clients are both local and international, and most likely a same client integrates both perceptions to some degree.
The image in The Guardian’s report defines the uniqueness of a city in terms of a visitor, it is focused on a “pervasive sense of exoticism.” The highly desirable reaction of “Ooh , I could live here”, which is also called the “Barcelona effect”.
But although partial, the report gives us interesting insights. And do not forget to have a look to what the study states about the other top 24 city brands.