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Logos and slogans are over, hears destination marketing conference

Destination marketing now more complex than ever, according to European Cities Marketing meeting keynotes in Madrid

Pictured: Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company

Logos and slogans are over, as destination marketing has now become more complex than ever before.

That’s what attendees at the European Cities Marketing meeting in Madrid were told by keynote speakers from the world of destination marketing.  

Keynote speaker Robert Govers, founding chairman of the International Place Branding Association, said having a cool slogan was not enough anymore.

He said: "Cities should use their brand recognition and create an image for themselves. A city is not a product but an environment in which multiple products are created for multiple customers. 

"City brands are co-created by people connecting, reacting! This works if you are a strong brand which sells itself. If you are a weak brand, the product builds the brand and you need to engage in democratic collaboration.

"It's not about logos and slogans but about communities with identity strengthened with strategy, substance, symbolic actions and locals' participations."

Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, explained to the 160 attendees from 65 cities that destination marketeers need to let go of the notion that they are the only voice of the city and set their brand image free. 

He said: "We are not the only owners of our brand. We focus on curating, not creating stories. We love stories but no longer can control conversation.

"Logo and slogan: those days are over. People need authenticity."

Attendees were offered many opportunities to learn from their peers, as six member cities (Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Istanbul, Munich and Nantes) along with five external speakers from Europe, took part in city showcases.

Ignasi de Delàs, European Cities Marketing president, said: "As always, exchanges between members were at the heart of this European Cities Marketing Spring Meeting in Madrid. The keynote presentations, City Showcases and Inspiration Lounges examined all the aspects of city branding with inspiring examples and many lessons learned".

The next ECM meeting will take place in Madeira, June 8-11, 2016 and the theme will be “Dare to share: how the sharing economy affects your city”.

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