Key principles for placemaking brands: Part 6

PlaceMaker – also available as a downloadable guide – explores six key principles for ambitious place brands in 2024. In this article, we delve deeper into the final principle – evolving continuously – with examples of our placemaking work for Liverpool City Council.

Building a flexible placemaking brand 

Places are constantly evolving. 

They adapt and transform in response to ever-changing social, economical, and environmental factors that continuously shape a place’s identity. 

Whether it's a bustling metropolis, a quaint village, or a natural landscape – every place has its own unique story of evolution.

So, telling each story through branding has to be as dynamic and flexible as the place it represents. 

Placemaking brands must align with change, they must think long-term, and they must be designed to evolve over time. 

Example: It’s Liverpool 

Outlining our work to evolve ‘It's Liverpool’ for Liverpool City Council, Scott said: “With public funds limited, Liverpool City Council relies on its key public and private stakeholders to drive its tourism and business messages.

“These stakeholders are powerful and diverse – from the Tate Gallery to Jaguar Land Rover, Liverpool University to Liverpool FC. Each are enthusiastic supporters of Liverpool’s growth.

“However, over time, those stakeholders had failed to understand the meaning of its proposition, ‘It’s Liverpool’ and also the expectations of them.


“It was time to evolve. So, we reviewed the proposition working with those stakeholders to quickly understand the challenges.

“We created a clear value exchange and a refreshed, dynamic look and feel, with bespoke toolkits, used by 64 major partners.

“The brand was rolled out nationally and internationally, contributing to the city’s 7% growth in tourism (to £4B) winning an international City Nation Place Award.”

Your tool kit of essentials 

Below you'll find your tool kit of essentials for creating a flexible placemaking brand, followed by our related work – evolving ‘It's Liverpool’ for Liverpool City Council.

☑ Flexible brand identity and guidelines

Develop a brand identity that’s both versatile and adaptable to the changing needs and characteristics of the place. This includes designing a logo, color palette, typography, and visual elements that can be easily modified and customised to reflect different aspects of the community and its culture.

☑ Modular brand assets

Design brand assets in a modular fashion, allowing different elements to be combined and rearranged to create new variations and expressions of the brand identity. This flexibility enables the brand to adapt to different contexts and applications while maintaining consistency.

Iterative brand development

Continuously monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the brand identity through feedback from the community and stakeholders. Use this feedback to iterate and refine the brand over time, ensuring that it remains relevant and resonates with the changing needs of the place and its residents.

☑ Community collaboration strategy

To stay in-tune with an ever-changing environment, you need to be plugged into its growing community. Invest in community engagement and nurture relationships with key figures within the community so you can listen, respond, and adapt to change effectively. 

To learn more, to book a session to discuss your placemaking brand with our team, or to receive your copy of our downloadable PlaceMaker guide, email our Associate Director, Scott McCubbin via
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