In my first few years at Saatchi’s I worked on ‘Destination Branding’ branding accounts. It’s a fascinating area of branding whereby environments can be branded in exceptionally imaginative ways (rather self-explanatory title isn’t it?!).
Recently, I thought about this area whilst doing fieldwork in Liverpool, our new Capital of Culture. Arriving at Liverpool Lime Street I was hoping the station would give enough impact to match it’s new ‘Culture’ title.
To be fair, they do a good job with a series of large banners advertising art exhbitions, super lamb bananas , bushes trimmed into golfers, glassed etched panels running as a see-through wall between platforms and a gigantic branded facades/hoardings covering buildings. And that’s just when you arrive (sadly all I have to go on is the station and and the 2 minute walk to a neighborouing hotel so was unable to see the rest of the city!)
To be honest, I don’t know how much research is done into this ‘destination branding’ area. I am aware it is an relatively untapped resource in the communication shope/branding world.
Alain de Botton’s premise in his book the ‘Architecture of Happiness’ was that our built environment influences who we are as people and our state of happiness. That is the more you care for your environment, the happier you will feel. May sounds more architural than marketing focused but that’s not the case. Take Chiswick Park as a prime example where Branding and architecture come together in the corporate world.
Amoungst high-tec building and a water features & grass landscape, Wolf & Olins delivered a branded destination through the idea of ‘enjoy work’ for the big businesses to rent office space there. Examples of how their branding works is having a playground with regular ‘sporty’ events, branded deck chairs on the grass and acoustic guitars with lots of other examples (take a look at the website). Naturally, it’s been a huge success.
This is an area that seems to have many exciting opportunities where industries of branding, marketing and strategic thinking come together with that of architheture. I would be interested to hear from anybody who’s involved in the ‘reserach’ side of things out there to tell me more what it’s all about. Personally, I see a good deal of worth in it with a healthy dashing of self-fulfillment.