Evolution of place branding under the microscope at free event

The use of famous residents such as Charles Darwin to build the reputation of places will be the subject of a free lecture at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS).

Professor Gary Warnaby will discuss ‘The Evolution of Place Branding: A Darwinian Perspective’ at Guildhall, UCS’s learning and research base in Frankwell Quay, on Monday February 12.

Gary is Professor of Retailing and Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, based in the Institute of Place Management.

The event is part of the first-of-its-kind DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival, and starts at 7pm.

Prof Warnaby said: “For many towns and cities, place marketing and branding is becoming an essential part of their management as they seek to compete in an increasingly competitive environment, whether for tourist visitors, inward investment, or residents. 

“In order to compete, places have to take advantage of whatever assets they have to set them apart from other places, whether these assets relate to location, physical or human attributes, or indeed, heritage and culture.

“This lecture looks at the evolution of this practice, and considers how places such as Shrewsbury can use associations, such as that with Charles Darwin, to best effect.”

Prof Warnaby has extensive experience in Higher Education, including positions at the Universities of Salford, Liverpool and Manchester as well as experience in the retail sector, working in stores management with BHS plc in a variety of locations across the UK.

His research interests focus on retailing and the marketing of places, with a particular emphasis on the urban context.

Results from his research have been published in various academic journals in both the management and geography disciplines. He is also co-author of Relationship Marketing: A Consumer Experience Approach (Sage, 2010), Co-Editor of Rethinking Place Branding: Comprehensive Brand Development for Cities and Regions (Springer, 2015), and most recently Co-Editor of Designing With Smell: Practices, Techniques and Challenges (Routledge, 2017).

Admission to the event is free, but booking is essential. To reserve a place go to https://evolutionofplacebranding.eventbrite.co.uk or www.ucshrewsbury.ac.uk/public-events.

Alternatively, people can visit the reception at Guildhall (SY3 8HQ) which is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 4pm on Fridays, or call 01743 297185.

The talk is part of a series of events at UCS covering a range of subjects. Many of the events are free, and they are open to everyone. For further details go to www.ucshrewsbury.ac.uk/public-events.

The DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival runs from February 8 to 25 and cements Shrewsbury’s rightful position as not only the birthplace of Charles Darwin but the inspiration behind his independent thinking which went on to the change the story of evolution around the world. For more information go to www.originalshrewsbury.co.uk/darwin-shrewsbury-festival.

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