Liverpool City Region- A Brand Narrative
After being warmly welcomed into the home of European football, a stepping stone, on this journey which started over two years ago, and greeted with a range of pastries, sandwiches, teas and coffees, the quest to rebrand the Liverpool City Region ensued. Hearing from a wide variety of business leaders, innovators and visionaries, the pride within the local community was more than apparent. You only had to take a look at the Champions League trophy glimmering next to the speaker’s podium to get a sense of what this city means to so many. In the case of Peter Moore, the Chief Executive of Liverpool Football Club, and self-proclaimed “exiled-scouser, now returned, he explained with a Californian twang how his pride drew him back to his beloved home town, where he now leads arguably the most successful football team in the world, not just on the field, but as a global brand. Similarly, Camilla Mankabady, communications director at the Liverpool City Council proclaimed her excitement at the project, branding it a “hugely significant day” for Liverpool, pledging the full support of the Liverpool City Council in this private sector led initiative. The question was raised about the reputation of a city as a brand. Are cities brands? Every place has a brand image, identity and a reputation to protect, both internally and externally. The stereotypes associated with a place can define it, with one speaker claiming that a reputation can be hard to earn, but much easier to lose. In recent decades, Liverpool’s sense of focus and direction had somewhat been lost, along with the city’s reputation. For foreign investors in Asia and further afield, they know Liverpool as what it is today, a vibrant, thriving and friendly city with a wealth of entertainment, sporting excellence and a bright future ahead. However locally, and in the corridors of power in London and the South East, this is not always the case. This is why they revealed that the city region has come up with a few of Liverpool’s core values, something which we can all identify with and take some inspiration from, being able to use wherever we go:
Dare to Dream
Unveiled to us by Yaw Owusu, ex professional basketballer for the Toxteth Tigers and current music manager, Owusu emphasized creativity as not only a renowned quality possessed by many scousers, but as an essential part of the City Region’s growth. Culture is woven into the identity of the city, and through his own story, Owusu demonstrated how daring to dream made him who he is today, signing off with the slogan “we imagine. We believe. We achieve”.
Take a Stand
Professor Louise Kenny of the University of Liverpool showed us how taking a stand gives purpose and direction. With her influence on the changing abortion laws in Ireland and various scientific awards, she portrayed Liverpool as principled, with a belief in fairness and equity that prevails across the city region.
Alison Kennedy, director of Hartree at STFC presented the city as forward-thinking, and pioneering many ideas historically, just as much as today, with facilities like Knowledge Quarter Liverpool and Sci-tech Daresbury hosting some of the world’s leading research, technological and clinical companies.
Live, Learn and Prosper
With the popularity of the city’s world-renowned universities, Liverpool is known for attracting youthful talent. Entrepreneur Robyn Dooley explained how they will be bridging the gap between academia and the work force, to put the young minds with unlimited potential into a position which can benefit both the students themselves along with the future success of the city.
Proud scouser and managing director of Baltic Creative, Mark Lawler talked of his commitment to support and promote growth within the Liverpool City Region. The city has a well renowned community spirit, and the natural kindness of its people aids them in collaborating with a unique passion, which also goes to show that when people come together, big things can happen.
Overall the event demonstrated a very hopeful and positive outlook for the future of the Liverpool City Region. The city has ‘got its mojo back’ per se, and with the right investment, values, and lots of work, the city region will continue to rise as it has done in recent years and get back to where it belongs, at the forefront of innovation.