The region brand
The strengthening competition between regions demands the defining and strengthening of distinctive positive features, and also identity formation. One of the tools for positive reputation receiving is creation of the brand. The brand assumes that the consumer will receive in advance some expected set of characteristics, thus, risks at decision-making decrease. First of all, territories brands develop in tourism ("Velikiy Ustyug — dom Deda Moroza") and investment spheres, however increases of the reputation capital of the region can serve, for example, for the human resources attraction.
If we describe briefly the process of the territory brand creation, it looks as follows:
- Researches carrying out (analysis of competing regions, target audience, associative array definition, connected with the region, release of strong and weak aspects);
- Brand strategy development;
- Visual row creation (logo and the corporate style);
- Realization and necessary adjustment.
Formation of the region image comes both when obtaining information from the mass media, and during personal interaction. While creation and promotion of the brand it is required to define the optimum channels of the brand valuable message broadcast and to make the list of public opinion leaders who will participate in the promotion.
For the 1150th anniversary of Smolensk celebrated in 2013 the city, logo and also visual and verbal concepts of its positioning was developed. Taking into account rich history of the region the emphasis was laid on the tourism potential. In addition to the region history, the eventual tourism will serve the factor of appeal, represented by the holiday of Vyazma gingerbread, “Fonari” festival of street arts, “vasabi fest” anime-festival, “Zolotoy Feniks” cinema festival, “Smolenskiy Kovcheg” theater festival, “Gamayun” international festival of musical creativity of children and youths, the all-Russian music festival after M.I. Glinka, all-Russian competition of autocross. For the region promotion the tourist portal which in 2014 got the award "Zvezda Travel.ru" was created. Besides, the electronic guide is prepared, the printed tourist map of Smolensk is published. The VisitSmolensk.ru portal was visited by more than 40 thousand users in a month, electronic materials were downloaded about 1 000 times, and printing cards were published with a circulation of 120 thousand copies a year.
In 2010 Smolensk region was visited by 203,6 thousand tourists, in 2011 — 221 thousand already, in 2012 the tourist stream made about 225 thousand vacationers, however in 2013 it decreased to 210 thousand people.
“Visit Vologda” brand was created for tourist services in Vologda (earlier tourist services united under the “Reznoy palisad” brand). Substitution of the name and the visual component for more modern was directed on the appeal and memorability increase. Various graphic arts was published in the uniform style. In Vologda, unlike Smolensk, the emphasis was put on the national crafts and arts: linen, lace, northern patina, birch bark products, valenki, painting on wood, the Vologda butter. Event tourism is presented as by the events connected with crafts (The international trade fair "Russky Les", the International festival of "Vita lace" lace), and by art (The international theater festival "Golosa Istorii", the International Gavrilinsky musical festival, the International festival of feature VOICES).
The VisitVologda.ru portal collects more than 15 thousand viewings a month, and the tourist map is published in 20 thousand copies. The map of the guest is published according to which it is possible to make sightseeing walking tour around the city, to visit the main museums, to receive a discount in the museums, cafe and restaurants, hotels, gift shops. Also the map includes unlimited passage on public transport.
The Siberian "I'm*Siberian" appeared in 2012 and can be an example of the informal region brand, popular among inhabitants. A wide range of souvenir products under this brand is produced intended for those who leaves abroad, first of all. The project won professional prizes "For the Contribution to Siberia Development" of "Sobol" PR award, the rank of "The best identity of Russia" and "The best packing of Russia" according to Adme. A series of «White Beaches of Siberia" photos was made for winter tourism promotion in Siberia. A cycle of actions directed on association of the region information space and support of the Siberian image is planned. The brand broadcasts the mythologized image of Siberia as the severe wild land; it is popular both among inhabitants of the macroregion, and among the representatives of other regions of Russia visiting Siberia and foreigners.
Besides resources attraction from the outside, the region brand promotes strengthening of regional identity, the population community development. These processes reduce outflow of inhabitants, increase territories integration within one region. Besides, strategy of the brand promotion allows to optimize the budgetary expenses on information illumination of the region life and different events running. Thus, the strong region brand can be transformed into economic and political advantages.