7 strategies behind

the world’s
most successful
destination brands

Strategic city branding: a ‘must-do’ for any city

In the era of globalisation, cities and destinations of all sizes are competing internationally. Today, a city’s brand has become an invaluable asset to gaining a competitive advantage on other destinations.

Drawing from a collection of case studies, research papers and expert insights from Harvard, we’ve curated a selection of the world’s leading destination brands and identified the seven strategies that position them as iconic places to live, work and visit. Establishing a strong brand is a must for any city, ultimately presenting a sustainable roadmap for its future growth. Download the full report now.

7 strategies behind the world's most successful destination brands

What’s inside the report?

From London to Glasgow, we analyse the world’s most successful destination brands and identify the seven critical strategies they have employed to become the iconic places they are today. Here’s a snapshot of the strategies you will discover in the report:

1. Revolve around your reputation

Over time, destinations develop reputations for particular characteristics that have the power to influence people’s attitudes and behaviours. Brands should leverage this reputation, as it already resonates with their audience and lays the foundation for planning their identity moving forward.

2. Define and emphasise your difference

The fundamental purpose of a destination brand is to embody the distinctive characteristics that make a place unique. Emphasising a point of difference is key to establishing a competitive advantage, allowing consumers to see what makes your particular destination great.

3. Build on belonging

Remember that destinations are not only tourist locations designed to attract visitors, but also homes to local residents and businesses. Rather than being merely a marketing tool, your brand should foster a sense of belonging and pride within the local community – if your people are proud, they will live and breathe the brand to the world.

4. Be authentic & realistic—don’t overpromise

We have all experienced the disappointment of making a purchase and not receiving what we were promised. Brand loyalty is the cornerstone to any successful brand, and can only be built through consistent performance and authenticity over a long period of time. A destination brand is no different – it must be grounded in a place or city’s true identity and communicate an offer that can be delivered on.

5. Talk the talk & walk the walk

A destination brand is only as good as its foundations. To achieve longevity and a lasting impact, it must be built from the inside out. That is, the management of the place must be aligned with all brand activities.

6. Speak with a unified voice

A successful destination brand creates a unified voice that speaks to all facets of a place. When the purpose and goals of all stakeholders are aligned with the brand, it becomes a powerful tool for consistently reinforcing what the destination stands for – and what makes it appealing.

7. Evolve with change

Destinations are dynamic and evolve along with society. A brand must be flexible to respond to these changes, in order to remain relevant to the social milieu of the present day. Having a brand that is built with the flexibility to adapt ensures sustainability and recognises the diversity of its people and ever-evolving culture.

Click the button below to download the full report now.

7 strategies behind the world's most successful destination brands

7 strategies behind the world's most successful destination brands

7 strategies behind the world's most successful destination brands


Need help?

For further insight into how best to prepare your business, book a complimentary 30-minute Strategy Call with myself, Grant Davidson.

As the Managing Director of Davidson Branding for almost 30 years, I hold invaluable experience and expertise in competitive strategy and business leadership. Our Strategy Call will achieve the following outcomes:

  • Analysis of your brand
  • Identify key issues and opportunities
  • Develop an top-level action plan

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