We are living in a time when competition is becoming more and more intense, not only between companies but also between cities, regions and countries. People’s attachment to the territory is growing stronger. In these circumstances, it is essential to design the way regions communicate with the world and with their inhabitants. Territorial marketing has long been part of regional development strategies, and the positive effects of place branding on the attractiveness of a geographical location are now proven.

“The brand summarizes existing attractiveness factors and acts as a cognitive shortcut during the process of choosing a new business location”

Renaud VUIGNIER

Place branding, a tool to strengthen territorial attractiveness

Place branding is the process of designing a brand for a place, such as a city or a region. It provides the territory with a personality that positions it positively in the minds of its target audiences.

Often, the goal of working on the image of a city or region is to contribute to achieving economic, cultural or social growth, to increase tourism or the number of residents, to encourage businesses to locate there or to promote activities and social programs. The target audience for these communications efforts is therefore very diverse: residents, businesses, corporations, tourists and event organizers. Communicators who are involved in territorial marketing initiatives must be able to arouse the interest of all these stakeholders with a powerful, credible and attractive message.

Coherence and diversity

The visual communication system of a territory (in particular regional brands) must represent and promote the local offer as a whole, whether in terms of economic potential, cultural events, know-how, tourism or flagship products. As a result, it must seamlessly integrate very different media and actions. Given the great diversity of messages and the many stakeholders, it must provide specific solutions to specific situations.

Those in charge of the project must keep coherence in mind, because they are creating a brand that must identify structures which play a unifying role since they represent the collective interests of companies and the individual interests of inhabitants. They must also support private initiatives while keeping a territorial perspective.

It is therefore necessary to build a strong visual identity which is flexible enough to adapt to each circumstance.

Place branding.

Terroir Juraregion’s visual strategy

We had the opportunity to work on the image of the Jura territory. Our mission was to help the communication manager to structure the communication of the area regarding local products and agritourism.

We have created a new visual communication system, in order to convey in an effective, striking way the strong elements that distinguish the Jura region. The new visual identity unites the region’s producers and service providers around a strong image.

We have focused on two main categories, which can be applied to any territory: identity values and differentiating elements. In the specific case of the Jura region, the elements selected are living traditions, the authentic character of the inhabitants, the typical preserved natural spaces and the quality of life.

Once the choice of symbolic attributes has been established, it is time for visual communication to transpose them to the tangible register in order to configure the feeling that territorial marketing must generate.

Translating the concept to a visual language

When a brand seeks to position itself in the minds of the target audience, it means that it wants to be the source of specific opinions and emotions to embody a precise image. To do this, it shows itself in roles, attitudes or visual configurations previously designed and structured for this purpose.

For example, if the company’s mission is to inform, it will probably want to embody knowledge and credibility. It will probably wish to inspire a sense of trust. Its communication style will surely have a sober and transparent look. It will certainly use rather discreet, well-structured, balanced visuals. Creating this “sensorial atmosphere” for a brand includes working on the logo, the typography, the colors, the photographic style, and many other elements.

The Terroir Juraregion brand

In order to ensure differentiation from what is done in other regions, the place branding of the Jura region relies on originality, prominent shapes and bright colors.

Patterns bring a playful, fresh feeling, while conveying the friendly, quirky character of the Jura inhabitants. The versatility of the icons in terms of functions (signage, information, decoration), multiplies the possibilities of application. In addition, patterns are a dynamic medium with unlimited development potential: new icons can be created as and when new communication needs arise.

The Terroir Juraregion logotype has allowed to reinforce the cohesion between the fields of local products and agritourism. This visual identity constitutes a basis for the development of a whole line of communication tools. It facilitates the implementation of new supports, whether in digital communication, signage, or packaging.

Learn more about the Terroir Juraregion’s visual strategy through the following posts:

Place branding: develop and promote your regional talent

Place branding approach can enhance the effectiveness of the territorial image, as a well-designed brand will trigger positive associations in the customer/consumer experience. The territorial brand will thus become an excellent ambassador of the know-how of the territory.