Place Brand Diagnostic



Places are wonderfully complicated — and so are place brands. The Place Brand Diagnostic is not intended as an exhaustive checklist. Instead, we see each question as an opportunity for anyone creating or managing a place brand to instill it with intention, character, depth, and importantly, help foster community and a sense of belonging.

Each section and question is drawn from 20 years’ experience of creating narratives and identities for places across multiple scales — from a building to a neighborhood to a city. One of the challenges of place branding is the number of stakeholders involved. Stakeholders, each with their own vision and voice, can easily pull a project in different directions, leading to a ‘design by committee’ that dilutes the true potential of the place. Yet, equally we believe that co-creating a narrative and identity with the community it serves can lead to powerfully resonant place brands.

The Place Brand Diagnostic is derived from our own practices in the studio. It’s what we do to methodically evaluate a brand’s vitality across a spectrum of metrics and we’ve created it as a tool to help those charged with the creation and curation of place brands to do the same.

The scores give participants an idea of how they’re doing. Anything below three per section and we think you’re falling short of the opportunities out there. Results ranging between four and five and we think you’re doing well — yet still not unlocking the full potential of your place brand. Anything between six and eight we’d consider excellent.

But the real benefit of the report is the bespoke list of what’s working, and what can be improved that is generated. We hope this is as helpful to you as it is to us.

Good luck!