Branding a product, service or destination is a lengthy and expensive process, but it is very profitable.
This was heard during the “Branding – Creating a Better Environment for Life and Business”, conference in Belgrade on Tuesday, held as part of a project aimed at supporting rural and regional development in Serbia.
Many companies are emerging today that are offering ad hoc branding or successful communication strategies, all of which is expensive and ineffective, said Vladimir Jovanovic from the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities.
Real branding is always an expensive and lengthy process in order to make something recognizable in a myriad of similar things, he said.
“A brand is something that stands out and has a specific trait, so local self-government authorities must determine their comparative advantages,” he said.
He emphasized that the brand is, for example, when someone sees the sign of a product and immediately recognizes it and knows what it is related to.
“A brand is a certain experience related to a product, service, etc., and something that stands out from a multitude of similar things and emotions you create for a brand,” Jovanovic said.
When it comes to branding destinations, he said that “when one says Leskovac, Pirot, Sjenica, Crna Trava or Arilje, everyone has some association with what they are known for,” while when it comes to some other places, he “cannot immediately remember what they are known and recognizable for.”
Therefore, it is essential to identify the comparative advantages and build a brand on them, but the entire community should behave in accordance with that brand, according to Jovanovic.
The process of branding a location must take place in phases, which are: formulating the goal, identifying target groups, brand analysis, community involvement, positioning and communication, he said.