A brief by Elise Baudelet, junior expert in territorial marketing at CAAC
Cork, member of the CAAC, and its region launched its project in 2013, and, one year later, a brand descriptor has been published online.
In May 2013, the region of south west Ireland has started to work on a brand and a marketing strategy to drive sustainable economic growth. In order to do so, Cork region has created an integrated approach to build up its strategy and define the brand identity. Actually, to set up the brand proposition, the project has initiated an audit of the current messages that the region was promoting regarding its offers and services. Then they analyzed the offers and experiences. During one year they gathered information, conducted interviews, held workshops, read reports and executed surveys in relation to the Cork Region. From this analyse, a brand description was designed which is currently tested on a micro site. The local stakeholders (citizens, companies, tourists…) as well as people from around the world can give feedback. It aims to determine if it captures the essence of Cork and if the proposition is a convincing and attractive tool for economic development.
Once the brand will be corroborated by stakeholders, Cork region will have a comprehensive brand designed to retain and attract investment, businesses and talented people. Even if a significant investment is needed at first, it is necessary for places to have a clear brand, easy to understand and which captures its essence. Indeed, all places have a “de-facto” brand through the citizens and tourists’ perceptions of their identity and their reputation. City managers, on behalf of their people, their institutions and their companies, need to discover how the world sees their place to enhance a strategy for managing it. Therefore, the Cork region initiative seems to fulfil this place branding principle. With a similar spirit, the CAAC aims to impulse an Atlantic Arc brand through its participation in the ATBrand project and has invited the city of Cork to join the mirror group.