Discover How Others Are Branding Your Region?

As marketers,  economic development professionals are mainly focus on how their should brand their region especially when it comes to tourism and migration attraction strategies.  Tons of resources are dedicated to how the agency would like to see the region; however, are there  any efforts to investigate how citizens or tourists are branding the region.   Yes, your agency can spend thousands of dollars on a study but did you know that you can use Google to conduct an informal focus group by entering two keywords, “Why is” and the name of your city or region.

By using Google Suggest, you can get a sense of what individuals are searching about your city and what is being said about it.  As a result, you can  discover how and if your city is being branded by others.  Let’s take a look at a few examples using the three largest cities in Canada: Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.


Figure 1 illustrates the results provided by Google as the query, “why is montreal” is entered in the search box.

Figure 1: Results For "Why Is Montreal... "

We are pretty sure that our friends at Tourism Montreal are not too happy with having  the words, “rioting” and “protesting” associated with the city of Montreal, however; they should be extremely pleased that Montreal is known to be “so cool”.   Such intelligence might prompt the agency to develop a promotional campaign to brand the city as THE coolest place in the country.


As seen in Figure 2, the two most popular nicknames for Toronto (i.e.,” tdot” and “The Big Smoke”) seems to stick in people’s minds to the point that Google has ranked the queries at the very top of the  list.

Figure 2: Results For "Why Is Toronto..."

Such queries certainly says something about the brand recall of the  nicknames in regards to the city of Toronto.


Figure 3 is the results for the query, “Why is Vancouver”

Figure 3: Results For "Why is Vancouver... "

From a branding perspective in terms of a migration strategy, the first two queries are interesting.  The bad news is that people that who are conducting research about Vancouver will be get an idea that city is “so expensive”.  The good news is  that there is content on the web that replies to the question, “Why is Vancouver the best place to live”.

Such an exercise is not only relevant for branding intelligence for cities but it can extremely useful for search engine optimization for landing pages.

Using the queries statements that positions the three cities favourably, it was found that none of the hits led to a landing page of a city’s tourism or relocation assistance agency website.  Figure 4 illustrates the results given for “Why is Montreal so cool” as for August 21st, 2012.

Figure 4: Results Given For "Why is Montreal so cool"

Go ahead and see what Google has for your city or region when you enter, “Why is”.  What do you get and does your agency’s landing page appear on the first page of results?

Looking to improve your agency’s digital marketing strategy?  Contact Isabelle Poirier to discuss your needs.


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About The Author:

Ian is a content strategist and the competitive intelligence researcher at Intelegia. With his knowledge of social media tools and an understanding of branding on the web, Ian formulates content marketing strategies for clients’ needs. As co-author of the Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© and chief blogger at Intelegia, Ian documents and assesses global best practices of organizations’ approaches to social media marketing in terms of integrating their branding and communications strategies to obtain their marketing objectives. Follow Ian on Twitter @citweetz. __________________________________________________________________

About Intelegia

Intelegia is a social marketing firm in Montreal, Canada. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.

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