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Monday, October 29, 2007

Wythenshawe - can it really be saved by a bit of branding?

How Do recently published an article on the attempts, probably in vain, by Manchester City Council to re-brand Wythenshawe and in so doing attract investment.

Wythenshawe has suffered over the years, which the Council has a little blame in. But the Council has tried to mend the wrongs by investing £130 million in the town centre, not the unfortunate reference to £130 on their tender document.

What was really interesting is the 2 comments left by persons in essence unknown, well I do not know them.

One said, how can I put it politely? You cannot polish muck. The other said if you get the brand right it will attract people to live and work in the place.

I agree with the first comment while acknowledging the need to tell the city and North West that real investment has gone into the area and things might be getting better. Sitting on the fence, no, I think they have valid points. However, this rubbish about getting the brand right strikes me as ridiculous.

Surely, hire a brilliant branding agency and you can do the same with Iraq. Well you can but it will not work. A brand is as strong as the product or service. Making people aware of changes is PR, not branding.

I just do not like this euphemistic use of the word brand. At least they did not comment that Wythenshawe was dynamic and full of bubbly people, then I would have found out who they were and named and shamed them.

The image is of Wythenshawe Hall before the area needed a re-brand.


Blogger Stephen Newton said...

Let's hope you're wrong! Done properly branding is about uncovering, understanding and devloping positive values and providing a place with focus.

'Manchester: original modern' encapsulates a lot of work and shows what can be done.

9:30 AM

Blogger Rob Baker said...


Branding can work without substance backing it up, but it is better when there is something to base the brand claims on.

Not having kept abreast of Wythenshawe's development it is hard to be an sort of authority on this.

However, whatever it takes to undo the reputation of the area will be more than just branding; it will take time and more investment and more marketing to tell the rest of the city about it.

11:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to be joking:

7:07 AM


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