Wednesday, 6 May 2015


This blog post is about the creation of Place Brand Strategy Books and the benefits they can bring.

It was originally published by City Nation Place on 5 May 2015.

If you have never seen one you might well be asking what brand strategy books are, who are they for and where they fit into the place brand process?

The answer is that the core purpose for the creation of place brand books is to ensure consistency of understanding of brand strategy, its implementation, management, marketing and communication.

Typically they are created to brief stakeholders of the place on how to create, enhance and communicate the offer of the place and the desired experience it will provide. Typical content includes:

  • The process that was followed to create the agreed brand strategy;
  • The central purpose of the strategy;
  • The core elements of the brand proposition, brand essence and brand pillars – specific offers and experiences;
  • The target market audiences for the proposition.
  • The key messages the place wants to communicate to those target market audiences about the offer and experience of the proposition;.
  • The action stakeholders can take to communicate the proposition – jointly and individually;
  • The actions stakeholders can take to invest in the further development of the proposition;
  • The implementation and management of the brand strategy and its renewal over time.

While brand books are principally focused on informing the internal audience of a place they can also act as a brief for external facing creative work on as place and attraction marketing strategies and the preparation of coordinated communications by stakeholders in collaboration and for their own individual strategies and plans.

This is not about guidelines on the use of logos and typefaces

This kind of place brand (strategy) book is very different from design-focused brand guidelines or “Brand Bibles”. The role of Brand Bibles is to guide the use of brand identities/logos for use in marketing campaigns and general awareness raising activities. 

Their audience is people specifying how and where to place logos, the correct use of font types, sizes, colourways and visual expression to ensure consistency across multiple applications.

Inspiration and Insight

When I was involved in setting up Placebrands in 2002/3 and working on the development of a place brand strategy for the Overhoeks area in north Amsterdam for ING Real estate (at the time one of the largest urban development and regeneration projects in the Netherlands) thinking about how best to communicate the emerging place brand strategy for the area, my co-director Simon Anholt introduced me to the concept of brand books and shared with me the brand book created for the Diesel clothing range and it stimulated me to begin to develop my thinking on what might be a place or destination equivalent.

Diesel was one of a number of fashion brands that had the powerful insight into the positive impact that a book that explained their brand strategy could have on their staff, their suppliers and their advisers. I realised that Diesel, like many fashion mavens and retailers, were early promoters of a holistic approach to brand experiences, an insight that led me to believe that places should do the same.
The founder of Diesel, Renzo Rosso, recognised that for a consistent brand experience, everything the brand does needs to fit together and to be “On-Brand”, in other words to be in line with the agreed brand proposition; all touch points (places where people interact with it) of the brand have to be aligned; all point of sale materials, the music and smell in the shops needs to be consistent, complementary and add up (and be building blocks) to provide the planned brand experience. To capture and communicate his brand Rosso created the Diesel brand book.

Picture courtesy of Diesel

The role of the brand book is to ensure that everyone working for the company understands the brand strategy in all of its manifestations, how the brand is experienced, how it is marketed, how its products are created, how it is explained, its values and how they are exemplified.

So, who is the Audience for Place Brand Strategy Books?

While place brand strategy books are principally focused on the internal audience of a place – the staff of the stakeholders who put the strategy together – local authorities, further and higher education institutions, special regeneration or development partnerships, they can also be very useful to place marketing and place management partnerships, chambers of commerce, and those who wish to promote the specific  offers and experience of the brand proposition – e.g. museum operators, sports venues, event organisers, retail centre operators, property developers and agencies set up to attract inward investment.

They can inform place marketing strategies and communication action plans created by stakeholders in combination or their own individual strategies and plans.
And, if the brand strategy has progressed to the point of having a detailed plan for the implementation and delivery of the brand proposition – what I term as an “Experience Masterplan”, the brand book can also incorporate information on this and how it is being implemented.

Place Brand Books – Explaining Strategy - Development, Management, Marketing and Delivery

My take on the development of place and destination brand strategy is that it’s about gaining clarity on the offer and experience of places that local stakeholders want to promote, improve on, develop and add to over time; the planning, implementation, marketing and management of that offer and set of experiences.

In my practice in this field I increasingly emphasise the importance of consulting with local stakeholders on their views of their place in its current state, the importance of involving them in the development and planned implementation of the agreed brand strategy, and the importance of offering them opportunities to invest in its realisation.

And I record the development of the strategy over time in order to be able to tell the story of its creation to others who may not have been able to get involved with its development for one reason or another but who may nonetheless wish to support it, promote it and invest in its realisation.

And my favoured “vehicle of choice” for doing so is a place brand book.

Let’s look at a couple of recent examples of place brand books that have been created for place brand strategies that I have had a hand in creating – for the City of Mississauga in Ontario in Canada and the Cork city region in south west Ireland.


Downtown Mississauga with “The Marylin’s” twin towers development at its heart.

Picture courtesy of

In 2013 brand strategies were created for the city of Mississauga and its downtown area by a team led by Trajectory Inc. of Toronto.

Background information on how these strategies were created can be found at

In summary the brand strategy for the city and its downtown was created with significant input from local stakeholders including officials of the city, representatives of employers, further and higher education institutions and a wide range of local community groups and organisations. 

Why does this matter? Because it demonstrates authenticity which is key to creating a sustainable strategy. People need to see visible proof this is not a “faux” idea but something they co-created as a community.

The brand building process consisted of:

  •        An audit of existing print and digital city marketing and communication tools and a synopsis of previous studies and reports.
  •        A review of the many attributes and brand assets the City had to support its image.
  •        An analysis of relevant city branding case studies and best practices, including a global review of 16 comparable cities and downtowns and interviews with international experts.
  •        23 one-on-one interviews with key community stakeholders to explore Mississauga’s current brand and reputation providing important insights into the strategic direction of the City.
  •        A 15-minute online survey, completed by 500 Mississauga residents and 100 small businesses to gain a better understanding of their thoughts and opinions of Mississauga.
  •        A series of four brand workshops with a Brand Advisory Panel (each one consisting of between 80 and 100 participants)  to better understand Mississauga’s current reputation, in terms of both its positive attributes and what Mississauga must improve in the future in order to continue to be successful.

Taken together, this process resulted in a thorough fact and research based approach that was the foundation of the overall brand exploration and development process of this project.

At the conclusion of the brand-building process a brand book, “Shaping Our Brand Story”, was created that covers the factors that shaped the brand story that the city wants to tell its target audiences (internal and external), the core ingredients of the city’s brand offer to those audiences and the characteristics of the brand offer and experience. These audiences included staff of the city council, employers, major developers, operators of retail malls, further and higher education institutions, transport systems operators.

It has been strongly supported by the city and is being used as a strategic guide for a city-created communications strategy and is the foundation for a three-year marketing plan.
In parallel with this work the City Council’s Communications Team developed a new logo to represent the brand proposition, illustrated below.

The new Mississauga Brand Logo
Courtesy of City of Mississagu

This logo has been used to illustrate the central ingredients, brand pillars and areas covered by the new brand proposition as illustrated below.

Image courtesy of the City of Mississauga

The brand strategy development is supported by a special microsite and video. A copy of the brand book can be downloaded here 

This book has been downloaded by thousands of people and is providing a consistent story for locals and potential migrants and investors on the city’s brand proposition and agreed plans for its improvement and development over the years ahead.

This is an example of a brand book that has migrated from having an internal focus to becoming a valued city marketing and promotion resource.

Cork City Region

In 2013/14 a group of public stakeholders including the Cork Chamber of Commerce, the Port of Cork, Cork Airport, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, Fáilte Ireland (the Irish tourism development body), Cork City Council and Cork County Council, came together to form the Cork Strategic Marketing Group with the shared objective of improving the message on the offer of the region to generate economic development and inward investment.

The Group hired a team led by Colliers International from Dublin to undertake an audit of the current marketing and messaging from the region, to assess what local stakeholders thought about its current offer and their ideas for its improvement, to develop, test and refine a compelling and coherent brand strategy for the region and create a brand book to brief local stakeholders and key intermediaries on the brand proposition that is now the basis for future marketing and messaging.

                            Extract pages from the Cork Brand Book

A copy of the brand book can be downloaded at

This brand book summarises why the brand strategy and the story of how it was created, the Cork brand promise and the four central pillars of the brand offer.
The brand strategy was developed through an 8 stage process:

  •         An audit of current marketing and messaging about the current offer of the region to assess the extent of its accuracy, the extent of coordination of messaging and the impact of the messaging.
  •        Meetings with sub regional interest groups and sector groups to identify their views on the current offer of the region and the impact of the messaging.
  •        An online survey using social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) to gauge individual’s views on the offer, marketing and messaging of the region.
  •       The development of a draft brand strategy for the region and its testing through a specially designed web site which hosted a “Descriptor” of the draft brand and a questionnaire for people and organisations to respond to from Cork, Ireland and around the world.
  •        Meetings with key groups of stakeholders to assess their opinion of the draft brand strategy.
  •        The refinement and finalisation of the brand strategy in the light of feedback from the consultation process.
  •        The development of a brand book describing the process of creating the brand strategy, its essence and its four core brand pillars as the agreed basis for marketing and messaging the brand proposition to target market audiences.
  •        Detailed briefings for the staff of key stakeholders on the development of the brand, the content of the brand book and how to make effective use of it.

The Cork Brand Book sets out:
  •       The reasons why the brand strategy was developed – principally to help better-position Cork and Ireland for future economic success and support and drive the economic development of the region.
  •       The essence of the brand proposition – “A menu for your success”.
  •       The offer and experience that Cork wants to be known for, the four core pillars of its brand proposition:
           - The economic offer
         - The quality of life offer
         - The education offer
         - The visitor offer
         - Guidance on using the book.

This is the first edition of the brand book and it is expected that it will go through many iterations over the future as the brand proposition is strengthened and developed through action and investment by local and international investors. It will tell an emerging and ever more compelling story over time.

The Benefits of Brand Books

Developing a place brand strategy is a powerful process that brings all of the stakeholders together to create a compelling and engaging story for the place. And, the story of any place is not static and it is vital that it is constantly revisited and revised. A good vehicle for doing so is the place brand book.

In essence place brand books ensure that multiple stakeholders of places “sing from the same hymn sheet” and are consistently “on-brand” in promoting their agreed brand proposition and messages about it to target market audiences, work to an agreed shared plan to implement their strategy and jointly develop and build their brand proposition over time.

A powerful benefit is that it helps the place speak more coherently and thus have more conversations and do more deal

Place brand books can inform the development and content of marketing collateral including:

  1.         The organisation of new brand management and marketing organisations;
  2.         The design of promotional websites  for the overall offer of a city and for specific areas such as those undergoing regeneration;
  3.         The design of inward investment prospectuses in support of regeneration initiatives;
  4.         The design of marketing collateral for programmes of activities and events in “open source code”;

They can also inform:
  1.          How the place welcomes and treats people;
  2.          What the media thinks and says about the place;

To remain relevant brand books must be updated on a regular basis to capture additions to the offer and experience of the place improvements to the existing range of offers.

They also need to be updated to reflect the messages that the place communicates to its target market audiences as their tastes change and as new audiences emerge.

And, while it is clearly possible to design a classy looking brand book in a traditional print format, the need for them to remain “live” indicates that the most effective way of keeping them so is in a digital format.

Malcolm Allan wishes to thank Jeannette Hanna, Roger Hobkinson, Greg Canty and Michael Donohue for their advice and comments on earlier drafts of this blog post.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Cork Region Brand Proposition - Testing, Refinement and Briefing

This post, the fourth in the series on the development of the brand proposition for the Cork city region in south west Ireland, summarises how the brand development team of Colliers International, Fuzion, Location Connections and Placematters tested and refined the brand strategy and how key stakeholders and their staff were equipped to market and promote its brand proposition. 

This post is an updated version of a similar one which first was published on the Place Brand Observer at

Market Testing with a Brand Descriptor

Having reached agreement with local stakeholders in the region on the content of the brand proposition, summarised in the brand pyramid illustration below,  it was obvious to the client group and the consulting team that the draft brand proposition had a range of offers for a mix of local, regional, national and international market audiences and that the testing process required more than a traditional round of meetings with local stakeholders, sector and community groups.

In addition to a local audience of local people and businesses we tested the proposition more widely in Ireland, particularly on Irish state agencies and major corporates located in Dublin, on representatives of the Irish government in selected embassies in target countries (people who could introduce Cork to foreign audiences) and target sector audiences in certain countries – IDA Ireland offices around the world, Irish Embassies in key target countries of UK, USA, Germany and France, the embassies of UK, USA, Germany and France in Dublin and contacts accessed through the Colliers International Corporate Network and its Research Group, e.g. with the Invest Shanghai Agency .
Despite having created a draft brand proposition which we knew had a lot of buy-in from those who had participated in the process we knew that we needed to test it out on people and organisations that had not participated in its development. It rapidly became obvious to us that we needed to develop a cost-effective way of reaching those audiences around the world. Our solution was to create what we termed a “Brand Descriptor” – a highly visual online summary description of the brand proposition and its principal value propositions accompanied by a short questionnaire that respondents could complete to provide feedback from any location in the world.
This enabled local people who had participated in the initial consultations to assess the current offer and experience of the region and those who had contributed to the formation of the draft brand proposition could either attend a further round of face to face consultations or respond on-line and quite a number did both.
By creating an online brand descriptor we increased the buy-in from local people and business to the brand development process. No one was excluded from consultation to test the brand proposition and individuals could respond more than once if they had additional points to make. 
A page from the Descriptor, designed by Fuzion, is illustrated below.
You can see this innovative tool at

We had a very good response to the Brand Descriptor from people in target audiences locally, nationally and internationally, way in excess of the numbers who responded in face to face meetings and meetings with sector groups. 
in addition to the online consultation the brand development team led and facilitated roundtable workshops with a Generation Y/Millennials group, a creative sector group, various individual key stakeholders (influencers/decision makers), with the Cork Chamber “Thought Leadership Council”, with various Cork Professional Services groups, with Dublin Professional Services, with the Cork SME sector and Cork business sector groups, with landowners in Cork’s South Docks, with elected councillors, and with national stakeholders – state agencies and national business organisations.
A total of around 350 people expressed their views on the draft Cork Region brand descriptor through these meetings and through the online brand descriptor web pages. The roundtable workshop meetings had a total of 104 attendees who completed the questionnaire and provided feedback through group workshop exercises that explored the proposition.
In summary the highlights of the consultation were that a significant majority of respondents:
  • Agreed with the brand essence (The Right Mix for Your Success) and found it compelling (79%).
  • Ranked the economic proposition in the top one or two priority (61%) and even more supported the overall economic value proposition that Cork is an energetic place of entrepreneurial global and local business networks (73%).
  • Agreed that Cork does have the resources for people and business to prosper (93%).
  • Ranked the quality of life value proposition as the number one or two priority (70%).
Although there were no significant negative responses to the “Right Mix for Your Success” and the overall work, there were some reservations, and positive suggestions were made to meet them. Primarily these were concerns over:
  • Arrangements for the actual delivery of the brand proposition.
  • Not enough attention being given to the role to be played by the people of the region – their friendliness and welcoming attitude to visitors and people moving to the area.
  • The importance of quality of life which is seen as a real differentiator.
  • The need to place more emphasis on the character, size and scale of Cork – it’s easy to access and get around, is locally responsive and global in outlook.
  • The language of the proposition – it needed to be more emotionally powerful to really engage audiences.
  • The need to include “Proof Points” for individual value propositions, assertions and messages.

The Team used the results of the brand testing process to refine and finalise the brand proposition. The principal change was to rank the Quality of Life value proposition as second in importance to the Economic Proposition, thereby ranking the Education Proposition as third, with the Visitor Proposition as fourth. Overall the proposition was strengthened with the addition of new ideas on offers and experiences to be included and the deletion of a small number that were not well supported.

Overall, the proposition was strengthened by the addition of new proofs, new ideas on offers and experiences to be included and the deletion of a small number that were not supported.

A Brand Book to Brief Stakeholders

Having refined the brand proposition the Team and the client group decided to create a brand book that would:
  • Explain the brand proposition in detail to local stakeholders.
  • Provide a top-level introduction to the Cork Region, its offer, experience and desired reputation as a place for economic development.

This book, which is available on-line at was designed by Jonathan Leahay Maharaj of Fuzion PR and Design through an iterative consultation process with the key stakeholders on the client group and a number of key stakeholders in the communityIt describes, in images and words, the key value propositions of the overall brand proposition, the four individual propositions and core messages about the four elements of the proposition for target market audiences.
The team briefed the staff responsible for planning, marketing and promotion in the key stakeholder’s organisations on the book through a number of workshops and it has been made available to key officers and executives in the public and semi state sectors, regional and national media.
The book explains what’s in the agreed Cork Brand Proposition, what makes Cork unique and attractive and contains information on a range of individual value propositions and messages about them to enable stakeholders to communicate, promote and share this story with the world. The book can be used to by local stakeholders marketing staff for briefing marketing or design agencies to ensure that their specific marketing messages and promotional activities reflect the overall story Cork wants to tell the world about doing business in Cork, working there, learning there and living there.
It will be particularly useful to organisations wanting to communicate with potential investors in the Cork economy, people wishing to set up in business in Cork, businesses wishing to expand there, and people thinking of coming there to work, to study or train in a new skill.
It will help organisations to consistently portray Cork in words, imagery and print in a creative, imaginative and effective way, enabling them to communicate a set of strong and attractive messages about the region.
Place branding expert Malcolm Allan

The next post will be on the subject of Place Brand Books and will describe in more detail the creation and content of the Cork Brand Book.

Development of the Brand Proposition for the Cork Region

This is the third post on Placematters work with Colliers, Fuzion and Location Connections on the brand strategy for the Cork city region in south west Ireland. An earlier version was published by the Place Brand Observer

Following analysis of comprehensive local stakeholders and community interest group responses to our consultation on the marketing of the current offer and experience of the Cork Region, the consulting team used the results to construct a draft brand proposition for a Cork region brand strategy using our Brand Compass tool.
Since our work aimed at elevating the Cork Region as a successful European Region and location for business success, our key focus was on ensuring that the Cork Region attracts and retains business, enhancing the development of indigenous businesses and the inward investment market, whilst also appealing to talented people through the life opportunities of an attractive living, learning and working environment, a unique commercial and cultural heritage plus the personality of the Cork people that provides a special Irish spirit.
In our view regions increasingly need to consider themselves as a business, as a plc. A key aspect of this is their adopting best practice in terms of the clarity of their brand offer and marketing strategies for communication to target markets and how they are reached. Our phase 1 work on the existing Cork Region Strategic Messages highlighted that there are many Cork messages and little sense of coherence between them.
In this context we believed that the key stakeholders needed to decide on a strong and achievable driving idea that would inform and epitomise the brand in action. This would be one that is:
  1. Grounded in the realities and authenticity of Cork and rigorously “proofed”;
  2. A brand offer that is clearly distinguished from competitor and comparator regions and identifiable as being really different;
  3. Consistent with the desired and planned positioning of the brand as a driver of the regional economy;
  4. Easy for people to “get” and understand.
Having agreed these criteria with the key stakeholders we then assessed with them, in detail, the range and type of existing offers and experiences that the consultation process had identified as well as proposals and ambitions for their improvement and extension through the lens of the agreed economic development and investment focus.
We were asked by the key stakeholders to look at four areas that they considered to be crucial to the economic development of the region to identify existing value propositions which could be combined and potentially embodied in an overall brand proposition, as summarised below.

The Driving Idea for the Brand Proposition

What we found, reflecting Ireland as a whole, was that the Cork Region does have an extensive and attractive offer for investors, for existing businesses, for local residents, workers and learners. A strength and uniqueness of the Cork Region is that the breadth and depth of this offer and experience is contained in a relatively small area.
During our consultations and research many people remarked that in Cork many small things add up to something much bigger and better. We concluded that there was an opportunity for this comprehensive offer to be assembled in different mixes according to the needs of individuals, businesses and organisations; in other words a tailored fusion of what the region offers to enable them to prosper in the region by picking their own mix of resources and support services – the right mix for their personal and business success.
This then was the driving idea that led the development of the brand proposition which became the essence of the brand offer and promise, an idea that encompasses personal, business and organisational growth and prosperity, an idea that would drive the economic development and well-being of the region, an idea that would drive a vision of the place as a successful region in Europe and globally. Ireland wants to be the best small country in the world to do business and, supporting this ambition, Cork wants to be the best small region in the world to do business.
Cork city region brand marketing pillars

Supporting Value Propositions

To support the driving idea we assembled four specific categories of value proposition which were embodied in the brand proposition. In combination they help to drive a degree of focus and uniqueness that supports the elevation of the Cork Region nationally and internationally. They are:
  • The core and central Economic Proposition – summarised as an energetic place of entrepreneurial global and local business networks.
  • A supporting Education Proposition – summarised as a tradition of independent learning, great ideas and contemporary innovation.
  • A supporting Quality of Life Proposition – summarised as a very liveable cosmopolitan and connected place with a great quality of life.
  • A supporting Visitor Proposition – summarised as great city and townscapes, landscapes and seascapes, steeped in shared international and Irish history and culture.
We arrived at these propositions through extensive conversations with groups and communities across the County of Cork and in Cork city who helped us to “proof” our and others ideas about what the current offer of the region was that supported economic, business and personal development.

The Core Economic Proposition

This core proposition of the brand reflects our finding that the Cork Region currently hosts clusters of global companies in growth sectors – exemplified by bio-pharma, technology, agribusiness & food and energy sectors. They are attracted by the value for money, the talented people and successful businesses already operating in the region and that the region has a number of indigenous growth sectors, exemplified by the agribusiness & food sector and the tourism sector, both with a reputation for high quality products.
We identified that many smaller domestic businesses increasingly collaborate with these global companies and the region has a comprehensive range of professional services serving international and domestic clients.
We identified that Cork has an active and effective business support network, a strong Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise Boards and easily accessed national government decision makers and concluded that the region is a is a low risk location for existing and new enterprises, where new start-ups and the biggest corporates feel supported and the region can provide fast speed access to European and global markets. It offers capacity and space to locate, expand and grow. There is a stock of land and buildings available for occupation and land zoned for commercial use offering a choice of locations, a choice of types of accommodation and good value for money.

The Supporting Education Proposition

This proposition supports the core economic value proposition, as domestic and global business look for a talented workforce when moving to a new area or expanding within one. We identified that the Cork Region offers learners and businesses the skills and resources of a number of high quality applied and business orientated Further and Higher Education Institutions.
This includes Cork Institute of Technology, University College Cork and the National Tyndall Institute. These are institutions with a strong international reputation increasingly attracting students and advanced researchers from around the world. Many people commented that Cork City, as a large student city, was safe, convenient, enjoyable and easy to access.
In addition to the higher education institutions the Region has various commercially orientated research and development organisations. These institutions are actively partnering with many of the existing small and big businesses providing them with access to clever thinkers and innovators to develop new ideas and products. The regional economy is characterised by innovative business knowledge sharing networks and there is effective collaboration between higher education, R&D institutions, businesses and government agencies, with initiatives such as IT@Cork and Energy@Cork being good examples of this collaboration.
Cork City Region Branding Case Study - Higher Education

The Quality of Life value Proposition

This proposition supports the core economic proposition as it has an important role to play in attracting and retaining talented people. Cork has a reputation for being welcoming. Its people are characterised as being amiable, approachable, helpful, friendly, quick-witted, open and independent minded. We concluded that it is a place that people can quickly feel part of, make friends and connections and put down roots.
Cork is a place of dramatic natural landscapes, riverscapes, harbours, bays and seascapes, a place of mountains, river valleys and coastlines with an abundance of activities to undertake on land and water – rivers, harbours, bays, the sea, the countryside, city, towns and villages. All of these amenities are close by, quickly and easily accessible, for people to explore and enjoy.
People commented that it’s a place to relax away from the stresses of modern working life and that you don’t have to travel far to find them. Cork has an enjoyable stimulating and healthy lifestyle experience where people are able to explore new places and activities. The region has many attractive places to live that have enticed sizeable communities from across Europe and further afield attracted by the quality, choice and affordability.
People like living in Cork because there is the range of public services, community facilities, programmes and events typically found in cities of a much larger size. Cork is easy to navigate. It’s not too big and not too small. You can do more in Cork.
And Cork city centre offers an excellent, special and unique urban environment that is being continuously improved. Cork is a place that’s culturally rich and vibrant.  It’s a place with a wide range of cultural facilities, events and activities, contributing to the cosmopolitan feel of the region’s city and towns.  There are festivals throughout the region with an international reputation, all of which add to the rich quality of life enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

The Visitor Proposition

The visitor proposition has an important role to play in supporting the core economic development proposition of the region. As a general rule of thumb we have found that places that are attractive to visit attract and retain economic migrants and also have lots of other things going for them that entertain local people.
The region has a very rich, cultural, social and commercial heritage. It has many truly authentic places, buildings, centres and sites of interest to residents and visitors alike.
Reflective of a long and proud maritime heritage it can tell a wealth of stories – military, trading, political, cultural, commercial and social. From centuries of global connections there are many shared international stories, especially with Britain, that have helped to create a unique Cork spirit. The region is a playground for visitors and locals alike with an abundance of activities offers and experiences. It is Ireland’s food capital and for centuries was a provisioning port as the British Empire expanded, sending food around the world that was known and valued for its quality.
This continues today with internationally recognised agricultural producers, artisan businesses, restaurants, markets and leaders in the Irish and international food industry whether business or consumer. The region, Cork in particular, has an extensive independent food, drink offer – and the heritage, provenance and quality of food and beverage in the Cork Region is world-class with the English Market in Cork City being an internationally recognised showcase for the  Regions produce.

Testing the Brand Proposition

The next and final blog in this series will share how the brand development team tested the brand proposition and refined it for sharing and briefing in the Cork city region.