Marketing update

Taking a stand: Brand Cape Town

To date, Cape Town has been many things to many people, perhaps led by the fact that it offers so much. Our rich offering and diversity are our greatest assets as much as they are also our Achilles’ heel.

A recent report by The Communication Group, titled Cities: The Destination Identity, warns: “Cities of the future that will be stand-out cities deliver something different; they are not defined by their size alone but by their ability to capture the imagination and define themselves as being the best at something.”

How can we define and strengthen our brand positioning in an increasingly competitive and economically strained market, and how will this help us to stand apart? Positive perception, unique identities, authentic experiences and a powerful story are the armoury of a successful city brand. It is time to invest in our most resilient truth and define for the world who we truly believe ourselves to be.

We are not London, Paris or New York. Rather, Cape Town is a challenger brand. We are one of the emerging players, up there with Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona. We are among the cities that represent possibility, inspiration, freedom, freshness, transformation and a vision for the future routed in an interesting and imperfect past.

Cape Town Tourism has been mandated by the City of Cape Town to drive the process of defining a destination brand for Cape Town that can be embraced by all sectors, including tourism, business, academia and citizens. Working with brand strategists Rob Hill of Ogilvy and Mathew Weiss of Coley Porter Bell, Cape Town Tourism has been engaging stakeholders in a number of brand think thanks. The process has yielded excellent insights and the proposed brand positioning of “Be Inspired” was well received by Cape Town Tourism members and industry stakeholders at a membership networking session held in February. Consultation with key industry stakeholders will continue in March and April.

Cape Town Tourism product development workshops

These workshops have been aimed at discussing and formulating ways in which product development can continue to impact positively on the Cape Town tourism industry.

A key element of our future-fit strategy is to empower the tourism industry with the knowledge we have gained through a series of product development workshops. To this end, Cape Town Tourism (in partnership with the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, South Africa Tourism and the Tourism Enterprise Partnership) is holding a series of workshops designed to raise awareness and action around the issues of tourism product development.

The first workshop was held in February and focused on market insights, specifically into how to match the product to the market, highlighting the important role of cultural and heritage tourism in our country, as well as the need for sustainable, responsible tourism: both in practice and as a packaged product. There will be another two workshops, in March and April.

The market insight and trend information will be used to empower the industry to develop market-related packages for each of Cape Town’s distinct eight local areas, meeting the strategic objectives of Cape Town Tourism, which aim to distribute the benefits of tourism widely across the full geographic area of Cape Town.

You can download the workshop presentations online.

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