Iva Liu
Iva Liu
Group Marketing Manager
Articles 5 min read
17 Feb 2023

Powerful Ways Place Branding Drives Sustainable Living

Effective place branding can be a powerful process that elevates what makes a place unique.

Branding promotes positive change

It articulates a robust vision of the place and crafts a differentiating proposition to deliver shared value across all stakeholders. Introducing brand building professionals early in the process, therefore, ensures that the brand permeates throughout the planning, design, development, and marketing stages.

At the same time, place branding brings about purposeful interactions, assimilating all stakeholders into your location, aligning existing communities, businesses, investors, and the natural environment to meet urgent 21st Century challenges. A place brand can inspire a proposition embedded with sustainable living elements.

Engaging with diverse voices to share expected experiences of a place will highlight distinctive community values, attributes, and initiatives. It will build the brand from where it is and enliven it to where it wants to go. Building the place brand early will align owners, designers, developers, partners, and change-makers who are ready to drive positive transformation.

Beyond simply a logo or catchy slogan, place branding orchestrates the relevant and meaningful attributes of a place to go above and beyond stakeholder expectations. Upon entering the place, visual cues, embedded environmental and social elements, and multi-sensorial experiences can all become differentiating factors that positively shape perceptions and behaviours. Additionally, they will help deliver on shared sustainability goals set with stakeholders at the outset of the development.

Championing sustainability objectives

Kate Raworth, the self-proclaimed “recovering economist” and creator of Doughnut Economics notes, “The more your development can match the generosity of the living world in which it is embedded, the more it can become resilient and thriving as a place to live.”

If a place’s brand identity reflects its connection to nature, it creates the opportunity to unearth the deep inter-connections between social and ecological aspects. In doing so, this helps shape a communities’ behaviour to encourage sustainable living for a better future.

One example is the Qianhai Kerry Centre development in Qianhai, China, a hallmark in reflecting Kerry Properties’ sustainability commitments, demonstrated through its Qianhai Park and seafront promenade.

Sedgwick Richardson was appointed to create the place brand for this development. We focused on highlighting three key sustainable elements that made the place unique: embracing diversity as an economic free trade zone, nurturing start-ups and adopting inclusivity policies, and incorporating nature into its development.

The brand identity was crafted around embodying these sustainable elements, fostering a vibrant and eco urban life within the Qianhai community.

Similarly, Saigon Sports City shaped sustainable living through place branding. “Stay Ahead” was a slogan used to the reflect the enduring winning spirit of the project. This is a nod towards the United Nations’ definition of sustainability, staying relevant for the future ahead. Its wide range of sporting facilities and future-fit culture were two key elements that Sedgwick Richardson focused on when designing the brand, which was honoured with Gold in the Transform Awards for “Best place or nation brand”.

Bay Green, a place brand developed by RQAM in Singapore in partnership with SR, has strong sustainability elements which we deepened through a digital-led branding solution. This involves a focus on health, wellbeing, and community engagement programmes for healthy and active working professionals. The result is a brand identity and language system in line with the sustainable designs of the place facilities. Our work was awarded Gold in the Transform Awards for “Best strategic or creative development of a new brand”.

Place branding is a driver of sustainability

Place branding goes beyond garnering attention. Instead, it is a strategic and ongoing process that brings about meaningful behaviour change.

Through a successful place brand, Qianhai Kerry Centre, Saigon Sports City, and Bay Green are examples of how place branding can help communicate its brand position to the wider public and inspires a brighter future. It connects the development strategy and brand communication to drive shared value for all stakeholders in unison.

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