By Tamara Guirao, CAAC Coordinator
Friday 27th June was the last day of the ATBRAND* workshop in Liverpool and it was held in a brand (evidently!) new venue of the city, the Everyman. As Head of Stage Geoff Dennard says in their website “The new Everyman represents a huge investment in the redevelopment of a highly important British theatre, in financial terms and human aspiration and endeavour.” Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, underlined the possibilities of the space, from direct ground-level theatre, to performances to workshops like the one we were having.
Showing the evident relation between private and public sector in the construction of a city brand, Barry Crichton, from Deloitte, presented the roles of both the real estate market and the talent pool as a factor of attraction and “truth” when positioning a city at international level. Colin Sinclair, from Brentwood, also intervened to emphasize that, as shown by the example of Greater Manchester, the focus in city branding should remain in the significance of the brand, more than at its logo. As he said, “a brand for a city is its city name. Your brand is reputation.”
Chris Brown retook the floor to share the key role played by Liverpool’s integrated strategy concerning funding as ERDF or capital development, combined with national and private funds. Co-branding with other cities, such as the North of Britain can lessen challenges like the lack of infrastructure. Mindsets are currently changing, easing the way for cooperation between different local authorities and /or with the private sector.
Yaw Owusu, its curator, presented the dimensions involved around the Liverpool International Music Festival. For him: “LIMFestival is focused on three things; celebrating greatness, discovering the new and inspiring the next. We want people to discover the DNA of a global music city and be surprised and inspired by the collection and scope of artists, spaces, events and collaborations in place.” He also mentioned the search for authenticity and excellence as well as the need to rely on the city as a backdrop.
The session and the workshop were wrapped up by Miguel Rivas from Taso. The main take away he proposed was to recognise “The need to RE-LEARNING and overcoming most common short-sighted views in the field of city branding”, for instance avoiding a direct adaptation from commercial strategies.
These intense three days left me in awe, awaiting the next ATBRAND workshop in La Rochelle in November. Should you wish to attend, please contact me!
*ATBRAND is an INTERREG Atlantic Area project, co-financed by ERDF. It is leaded by Dublin City Council and partners are the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities, Liverpool, Cardiff, Donostia-San Sebastian, La Rochelle and Faro.