Sunday, 17 January 2010

Introduction to rebranding

What is rebranding and why is it needed in some places?

What is rebranding?

Rebranding is the way or ways in which a place is re-developed and marketed so that it gains a new identity. It can then attract new investors and visitors.

The purpose of rebranding is to develop a place economically, socially and even environmentally in some cases.

Towns which are deprived are given a second chance at reliving through rebranding.

The examples of rebranding I have studied:
  1. London Docklands - Newham and Tower Hamlets.
  2. Manchester
  3. Cornwall - St Austell 

How have places rebranded themselves?

Towns can rebrand themselves by re-imaging. The term ‘image’ means the impression that is given to the public of the place. 

If rebranding is like marketing a place to attract visitors and investors; then an image is similar to an advertising campaign. The image of a place is important as that is what ultimately decides what group of people it brings in.

For example if a place had an image of being young and trendy then this would pull in all young people who are perhaps very outgoing and technologically advanced. Whereas a place which had an image of tranquillity, peace and greenery will attract people who are more older and have more love for nature.

What are the different ways in which places rebrand themselves?

  1. Sports - through events such as Commonwealth games, Olympics etc. e.g. 2012 Olympic games in London Docklands
  2. Music- festivals and famous bands can attract people to an area e.g. Take That were from Manchester.
  3. Destination Tourism - where specific attractions such as the Eden Project are created to attract tourists.
  4. National Parks - they offer many facilities such sailing which attracts many people who live in cities as they cannot do these activities there.
  5. Festivals - music festivals, cultural festivals etc. ‘Garden festivals’  took place during the 1980s to provide a green image of inner cities so young people stopped leaving the place due to a lack of jobs.
  6. Industrial heritage - from wine tasting experiences to buildings and museums named after the original use of the building. 
  7. Eco-friendly images - these attract many investors and visitors as with climate change this is seen to be the new way forward.
  8. Flagship developments - these are similar to destination tourism but the emphasis is more on providing benefits for locals e.g. Trafford Centre in Manchester.
  9. And there are many other strategies.
Why is rebranding needed?
  1. Loss of industry - In the 1980s, Asia grew in manufacturing goods and resources. Hence, importing goods from overseas became so cheap that firms stopped buying goods and resources from the UK and switched to imports. This meant that people who were trained and working in the primary and secondary sector lost their jobs as firms could not compete with import prices.
  2. Population change - This meant that people started emigrating to other part of the country in search of jobs for which they had skills. The state of the economy changed because economy was now made up of majority of service sector and many people did not have the skills to deal with these jobs.
  3. The spiral of decline - This is the negative multiplier effect. People emigrating, business declining and a lack of jobs meant that even if a business did start up as people did not jobs they did not have the money to spend on it hence the new business would suffer to. This would carry on into a negative multiplier circle.

Why did London Docklands need rebranding?

London Docklands used to be one of the largest docks in London. However, they had to shut which lead to the deprivation of the area. They had to shut because ships increased in size and they needed deeper water which the docks could not provide. So Tilbury 20 miles downstream and Felixstowe 70 miles away was better adapted to larger ships and commerce moved to those places leaving the original docks deprived and derelict.

Why did Cornwall need rebranding?

Cornwall is peripheral town in the South West of England. Due to lack of access and cheaper abroad holidays the number of visitors has been declining in Cornwall. Seasonal tourism is what is prevalent in Cornwall and this means that many business suffer. Also, as with the docklands many primary sectors jobs especially farmers lost there job because importing agricultural goods become cheaper.  The end result was that the negative multiplier effect took place and Cornwall became deprived.\

Why did Manchester need rebranding?

Manchester had a negatively perceived image because of the decline in textile and mill factories which led to the spiral of decline just like in the Docks.It led to gun crime and violence, giving Manchester the name 'Gunchester'. To put the icing on the cake, Manchester was bombed by the IRA making the rebranding process a necessity.

Fieldwork and research 

What is a ‘profile’ of an area?

It is a short description which is sometimes accompanied by a fact file and photos which gives one a taster of a place. A great example of a profile can be found on ‘’.

Some fieldwork and research techniques used to sample and profile an area...

  1. Environmental quality survey is a survey where you select your opinion of certain aspects of a place e.g. litter. From this bi-polar charts can be produced and it is easy to compare different places on their level of environmental quality.
  2. Photo panoramas  are a complication of photos depicting what a place looks like. They help us get a visual feel for place. 
  3. Goad maps are historic maps showing what is in a place and physical landscape features such as river. Comparing them to maps of today can give some idea of how an area has progressed or might I say regressed.
  4. Census data is a database which is updated every 10 years (last one was in 2001) and sample census takes place every 5 years. They help you see a range of data for different places and comparing figures to averages of the country and so on help you see exactly how a place is doing. For example, we can measure the health of citizens, employment status, residential quality and much more.

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