By Tamara Guirao, CAAC Coordinator
The next day of the ATBRAND* workshop focused on how the brand of Liverpool was built. As the city “stands for itself”, the issue that centered the process was to seize a global place that reaches beyond its size and confounds preconceptions. This “show, don’t tell” approach has given birth to the tagline “It’s Liverpool”, accurately completed by the “I’m Liverpool” individual statement.
As Peter Smith, from Marketing Liverpool said “the role of social media cannot be minimised”. Social networks allow the city to speak for itself, and citizens have naturally adopted the #itsliverpool hashtag. During her presentation, Caroline Hoppé (Marketing Liverpool) clarified that having a well-delineated brand is “worth your while” so as to “connect you to a network of partners in the city.”
Participant of the URBACT Citylogo project, Cesare Torre, from City Promotion of Genova, shared with us the background of the current promotion campaign of this Italian City. The weight of audio-visuals was stressed by a practical example. Genoa’s “More than this” brand undertakes the identity of the city from the port tradition and the Columbus heritage till todays’ challenges and aspirations. Milestones like the America’s Expo in 1992 or the Capital of Culture in 2004 have accelerated the assumption by the city of its own identity. Understanding that the “brand is a way to attract new jobs”, Genoa has worked with all stakeholders in order to unearth the means that fit the expectations.
In the afternoon, Sue Finnegan, from Culture Liverpool, explained the combinations between city branding and specific big events and projects. As she said, cities have “to play in their own strengths”. Same as for Genoa, carrying out the Capital of Culture project shaped the promotion of the city in several ways. Events like the Sea Odyssey Giants for the anniversary of the Titanic draw on the city’s own history and represent a clear feature of uniqueness. The strategy has captured the attention of the private sector which has both aligned with the brand and taken an active part on the endeavours.
The session ended with an operational workshop leaded by Miguel Rivas of Grupo Taso. As it was shown during the two days, images and more specifically photos are key to define the perception of the city both for citizens and for foreigners. Thus Mr. Rivas analysed different proposals from all over Europe to come back to the Atlantic Arc, working with participants. “Real photos with real people” was one of the main points of this experiment.
The remainder of the day was dedicated to explore the relationship of Liverpool with the Beatles. Both the Museum and The Cavern Club play a key role in this nexus, thus bringing forward an original soundtrack all around the Mersey.
*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.