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British cities outshine continental rivals

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August 20 2008

Regional British cities are more successful at marketing themselves than several of their European rivals according to a survey published today by Saffron Brand Consultants.

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool were classed amongst the top 30 of Europe’s 72 largest cities as places to visit and do business, yet they were weaker in terms of assets and attractions than rivals perceived as less important, such as Sofia and Hamburg.

The consultants warn that despite British success at international branding underexposed European cities could quickly bridge the gap.  Manchester, Bristol and Newcastle were singled out as at danger of overstating their attractions.

Jeremy Hildreth, head of place branding said: “A number of Britain's regional cities have talked a lot of their efforts to regenerate in the last decade.  However, achieving a better brand requires more than building a new shopping mall, which is the approach some cities seem to have taken."

The results of the study were obtained from a poll of 2,000 consumers to guage perceived “glamour” or brand against actual physical assets.  The greatest discrepancy was found to be Berlin which ranked 3rd in terms of brand but lagged behind at 16th position for assets and attractions.

At the other end of the scale cities such as Cardiff, Sheffield and a clutch of central and eastern European cities were shown to significantly underplay their hands.  Offering scope for pronounced future improvement.

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