The project, Branding Greater Montreal, is the subject of much discussion and criticism. Robert Charland, Chair; economic development, Montreal Metropolitan Council, comes to its defence this morning in the Montr?al Gazette. As he rightly says:
At a time when Montreal is competing with such cities as Boston, Barcelona and Toronto to attract investment, tourists and talented workers, the need for an active promotional role on the international scene is the object of wide consensus among the various business, cultural and community leaders consulted by the Montreal Metropolitan Community before undertaking the important exercise of branding the Greater Montreal region.
That’s very true and some high-priced consultants have now been engaged to handle the project.
The discussion seems to centre on the whole question of cost and benefit and whether this is right in the mission of the Montreal Metropolitan Community. What never seems to get discussed is whether this is the right branding decision. Some cities seem to have done quite well with such branding exercises, and Glasgow is often quoted as a success. Regions have had a more difficult time: for example East of England does not seem to have grabbed any attention.
In this case Montreal already has an incredible awareness around the world. Trying to create another brand, Greater Montreal, will do more harm than good. One hopes the consultants will so advise their client.