Finding your happy place
A number of Merseyside locations recently made it into the top 20 of the ‘Happy at Home Index’, which ranks places across the UK based on how happy people are with where they live. In particular, Wirral came third in the UK, just after Leamington Spa and Leigh-on-Sea and it was one of just three places outside the South to make it into the top 10 this year. Chester, Southport and Liverpool also made it into the top 15.
This was quite timely for us here at Kaleidoscope, as we’ve been heavily involved with a number of exciting place-based projects across the Liverpool City Region in recent months. And for us, while ‘happiness’ clearly doesn’t make a place alone, it is clear that the region is doing something right in building a brand that people are connecting with. But more importantly how does it build from here and what does it need to do to ensure it retains its relevance and currency for the future?
As a city, Liverpool is currently undergoing a transformation to the tune of £13bn. This is being delivered through more than 20 programmes in the city that could change the face of business, employment, housing and wellbeing; and ultimately the prosperity of the city for many years to come. To get an overview of the changes taking place take a look at Regenerating Liverpool’s website, which we designed and built for them: www.regeneratingliverpool.com.
With so much positive change in hand, it will be crucial to craft a clear narrative that tells a seamless story of Liverpool that not only reflects the incredible heritage of the city but also grasps the opportunities of the future. This will be a tough balance to achieve.
For nearly 10 years, Liverpool has positioned itself as a ‘surprise’ city to visitors and investors alike, as it has abolished its negative stereotypes from the 1970’s and 80’s through rapid redevelopment of the city centre and a cultural programme that is envied globally. However, it must now move on from this and take on a more confident position that reflects a city that is as proud of its future as it is of its past. It’s time for the city’s brand to move on and take a step up and rub shoulders with the best there is across the globe.
We’re also privileged to be working with one of the hidden gems in Merseyside, Port Sunlight, to build a place brand that will attract visitors and investment alike to a unique heritage site. The village, also home to over 2,000 residents, has an incredible history but knows that it must translate this into an authentic future vision in order to engage and excite its future residents, visitors and investors.
However, it can’t simply throw the old out for the new, after all, the history is what makes the village what it is today. Instead, it must look deep into the fabric of the village and identify what makes it truly unique and a compelling proposition for audiences at a regional, national and international level. We’re excited to take the next steps with the village in creating an inspirational brand for the future.
By its very nature, ‘happiness’ with a place is a complex state and incorporates factors such as friendly neighbours, safety and local bars and restaurants, as well as whether people feel they earn enough to live comfortably and have good life chances. And so in turn, creating an effective place-brand is similarly challenging; but if you’d value our thinking on how you could overcome your branding challenge then drop us a line.