Brand as an Important Element of Regional Development Strategy at the Example of Łódź
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In a modern world, globality and locality do not exclude each other. However, it is only virtual. In fact, global content needs to be filtered through that, which is local, while local content needs to appear globally. Glocalisation, in a cultural aspect, is mainly addressed by anthropologists and sociologists. R. Robertson (no data) says: Globalization is without meaning unless it takes with the utmost seriousness that this concept involves the complex linking of socially constructed "localities". Moreover, the present concern with the local being overwhelmed by the global is but another way of saying that (reified) localities are becoming too interconnected. […] The local has been globalized; just as the global has been localized. It is hard not to relate this fact to the issue of local development. Creating regional brands and regions as products are hard evidence of ‘localization’ in a world of globalization. It is performed at a local level. Regular market laws apply to this phenomenon. As a result, not only product and brand, but also territorial marketing is developing. States, regions (provinces) and smaller territorial units (communes, towns) are being promoted and ‘sold’. In Central-Eastern Europe it is still a relatively new phenomenon. Unfortunately, most local governments are not aware of the fact, that a promoted product cannot simply consist of a commune and that a website in local language is not the best method of promotion. The aim of this article is an attempted evaluation of building a local brand, at the example of Łódź. The article has been split in two parts. The second part analyses the proposal of Łódź’s brand strategy, elaborated by the company Demo Effective Launching at the request of Łódź’s authorities. Until this day (February 2011) the strategy has not been officially approved by Łódź’s officials. The marketing specialists claim, that everything can be a product. Regions, provinces, communes and cities can surely be considered as products. In territorial marketing, the same mechanisms as in other types of this activity are used. The key issue is to determine what and how to sell and what profits it would bring. In case of territorial marketing, the profits need to include the increase in the standard of living of the local community. It can only be achieved, when new, well-paid jobs are created. This is possible with the inflow of investors. Does the proposed strategy of the Łódź brand give hope for the inflow of investors? It does, but only if they intend to invest in independent culture. It seems, that the creators of the document, worth 600 thousand zlotys, firmly believed in another commercial slogan – “Łódź – European capital of culture”. Unfortunately, this proved to be yet another one of Łódź’s failures.
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