About city branding...

Right before I moved to Manchester, a family friend’s son approached his mum with a confused look on his face and asked which ‘Manchester’ I was moving to: Manchester United or Manchester City?

There were some giggles around the room, but what seemed an innocent question from a 9-year-old got me thinking. The truth was the son had as much knowledge of Manchester as many of my adult friends. You know as much as you are told – or as far as your pocket reaches - and if no one pushes your city brand, people’s perceptions are left to interpretation.

A city is a brand as much as any organization and local authorities, tourist boards and residents are as responsible as CEOs and employees for its brand positioning.

My home city has over 20 years of experience in the field of city branding, having all the odds in its favour. What was once a tiny piece of land in the north-east of Spain is now one of the biggest destination brands worldwide. Guess where I am from? You’ve got – Barcelona and I could not be prouder.

The point I’m trying to get to is: could Manchester adopt the same mindset Barcelona adopted in the early nineties? I am certain about it.

As resident creatives of this wonderful city we have the privilege of working with great organisations and initiatives such as the Manchester Art Gallery, Age Friendly Manchester and Ambition for Ageing, which – along with the collage below - are all examples of the passion that exists within this city to make it great.  And by harnessing this passion we believe Manchester can stand out on a national and international stage.

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