City can’t settle on a slogan or brand to market its appeal. That’s the thought-provoking sub-title to Henry Aubin‘s Montreal Gazette article this morning. To some extent, the theme is triggered by the demise of the new casino project, which he sees as favourable. It’s also seen as favourable by a city branding expert currently in town, Simon Anholt. However there’s no obvious positive suggestions in the article. The most cogent advice seems to date back to Socrates some 2,400 years ago who said “.. Be what you desire to appear.”
Simon Anholt’s company has done a branding study on 30 top cities in the world. Montreal wasn’t part of that study but it’s instructive to look at the top 12 in the Overall Rankings Rank
- New York
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
Vincent Ponte, one of the principal designers who influenced Downtown Montreal and who died recently, would certainly know how Montreal should slot in. He felt that Montreal was one of only three North American cities with a distinct personality, the others being New York and San Francisco.
So what is that distinct personality? What typifies it? I think many would relate to the vibrancy of the city, which in turn fuels creativity. There’s even research to suggest that the bilingualism of which Montreal is justifiably proud plays a part in that. So let’s go for a brand for Montreal that doesn’t need to be translated, “La Ville Vibrante“.
Branding Cities – words from Simon Anholt
Are Cities Considered Brands? – the Official Anholt City Brands Index Website
BrainWare ABC – Alzheimer, Bilingualism, Creativity