Marketing January 19, 2012 Last updated January 19th, 2012 3,334 Reads share

5 Brand Promotion Lessons From The City Of Barcelona

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As personal, social and professional lines blur for business and consumer purchasing behavior, brand positioning and promotion is becoming a core web marketing role. One of the world’s best examples of successful brand promotion is from the city of Barcelona. Here’s how to apply lessons from the world’s most cosmopolitan city to your own brand positioning and business marketing strategies.

Brand positioning with a hub and spokes model: Barcelona extends beyond the facebook and twitter accounts with a youtube channel and this slideshare profile

# 2. Provide a range of content formats

The Barcelona City Council have used the full gamut of available formats to showcase the city. There are slideshare presentations, youtube videos, pdf downloads, niche websites, social media hashtags, international showcase events and industry study tours that all work to promote the image and reputation of the Barcelona brand.

Your business brand promotion lesson from Barcelona:

Think outside the blogging box and beyond the landing page to produce high value business marketing content that includes videos, presentation slides, podcasts and app tools to communicate with your audience segments.

# 3. Share your data

The city of Barcelona partners with leading global business schools to produce regular indicator reports, that examine the ranking of the city against performance measures such as ease to establish business, access to telecommunications, office rental space occupancy rates, and liveability for workers.

They also proudly trumpet other data studies such as the annual Cushman and Wakefield European Cities Monitor in which Barcelona regularly ranks in the top 10 on any number of indicators. A study by the Barcelona business school ESADE last year even assessed the Barcelona brand positioning effectiveness, which the city was then able to use to extend its city promotional activities.

Your business brand promotion lesson from Barcelona:

Release some select analytics that demonstrate your effectiveness. Consider using brand positioning strategies that enable you to share your results as an infographic, and a data report and add them to all business proposals and presentation templates. Position your business to offer thought leadership insights into your sector, and share your knowledge and experience with your audiences and collaborators to build trust.

Barcelona’s brand promotion includes annual data surveys ranking the city against a range of lifestyle and business indicators

Barcelona's brand promotion

# 4. Tell stories that match individual market segments

Social media and content marketing author Lee Odden, who writes for the highly valued business marketing site TopRank, and has a soon-to-be-released book on how to optimize your online presence, urges businesses to not only understand their audiences but to tell stories that match each market segments’ expectations and motivations. Last year, Barcelona was trumpeted in a global branding study for doing exactly that:

  • tourists from Asian regions saw the city as an accessible, beach-side and cultured metropolis
  • US travellers perceived the city as a sexy nightowl
  • visitors from other European nations focus on the city’s brand as a gastronomic leaders and cultured display of urban architecture.

Your business brand promotion lesson from Barcelona:

Research your target markets and map stories for how each segment connects, engages and returns to your business when purchasing goods and services. Use your brand promotion strategies to tell the stories that accentuate and clarify what you can offer to each individual and specific business marketing target audience segment.

# 5. Go mobile

While 2011 was the pivotal turning point in consumer behavior in which our global shopping habits fundamentally changed towards a process of research, social networking and gamification, 2012 is set to be the year where we unattach ourselves from our computers as the principal means of connecting to the internet. Already, a third of all web surfing and online engagement with businesses is done on mobile devices.

Barcelona, as Mobile World Capital until 2018, has embraced a wireless future, by fostering a new wave of mobile apps startups, hosting key industry events (including the 60,000+ attending Mobile World Congress), and facilitating city-wide uptake of mobile solutions (Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona, for example, is the most mobile-enhanced sports stadium in the world).

Your business brand promotion lesson from Barcelona:

Make the time and allocate the resources needed to ensure your online content is mobile-friendly. Consider a brand positioning strategy that makes use of augmented reality, apps tools and QR codes to ensure your business marketing content is accessible and easy-to-read from any mobile device.

There is something about Barcelona that evokes excitement and energy around the globe, a key sign of the city’s success in its brand promotion globally. Think of brand positioning activities that have a Barcelona style and flair when you are outlining and implementing your business marketing strategy in 2012 and, like the city you can be sure the awards and accolades will follow.

Mark Boyd

Mark Boyd

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