Nick Sampson

Strategy Director, Principals

Nick is Strategy Director for Australasia’s leading independent branding agency, Principals (NZ).

He’s worked across brand consultation, research, strategy, design, communications and advertising for 20 years. Nick offers in in-depth place branding experience with expertise facilitating large-scale community consultation to develop consensus around brand positioning/story definition and its creative execution – a process that often requires skilful stakeholder navigation.

Projects Nick has led include regional brands for Taranaki, The Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Southland. The highly successful Taranaki brand has been described by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise as holding the gold standard for place branding in New Zealand.

Title: Inspiring a community to take ownership of a place brand

Authenticity is the key challenge for place branding projects. There’s often tension between heritage factors that have made a place famous and its ambitions for the future – the way a place wants to be seen vs how it’s seen today. This tension is accentuated when a place is in a period of economic or social transformation and actively seeking to reposition for the future. As such, the branding process itself can easily disconnect with local people.

To that end, place brands, more than other types of brand, rely on many players to ‘get on board’. To contribute their insights to the process, use the resulting brand identity in their own marketing, and its principles in their service delivery. And perhaps most importantly, sustain political support for the brand initiative at a local level. The place brand needs to be something that people want to be a part of because it adds value and inspires pride.

In this session Nick will take us through a range of examples, provide practical advice, community engagement strategies, implementation recommendations and tools to navigate this central challenge of place branding.