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World’s best city brands

Resonance Consultancy – they do brands and strategies for places and products – has just released a new report called: World’s Best City Brands – A Global Ranking of Place Equity.

With all of these sorts of rankings, it really depends on the research methodology being used and the rigor in which it is being applied. In this case, they evaluated each city based on “six pillars of equity”:

  1. Place: Perceived quality of a city’s natural and built environment
  2. Product: A city’s key institutions, attraction and infrastructure
  3. Programming: The arts, culture and entertainment in a city
  4. People: Immigration and diversity of a city
  5. Prosperity: Employment, GDP per capita entertainment in a city and corporate head offices
  6. Promotion: Quantity of articles, references of a city and recommendations online

What’s perhaps unique about this study is that it combines measurable statistics with “visitor perception metrics” – data that they mined from social media. Here’s an excerpt from the methodology page:

“Our team became interested in the way visitors and citizens themselves influence the identity and perception of cities. Increasingly, they do it through their evaluation of experiences on social media and via the comments, images and reviews they share with family, friends and people around the world. These opinions and attitudes, much more than traditional marketing, influence the way people perceive places today.”

This is a fascinating shift for city brands and is something that we have discussed before on this blog. All of us are now involved in telling the story of the places in which we live and visit.

The entire report is well done and worth a read. It’s also a free download (you’ll need to enter your contact info). But below are the top 10 world’s best city brands. Not really any surprises for me. What about for you?


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