Branding and researching Cape Town

Posted On Wednesday, 23 May 2001 03:01 Published by
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TEAM Cape Town a forum for organisations involved in marketing the city is close to completing a

TEAM Cape Town a forum for organisations involved in marketing the city is close to completing a
far-reaching research project comparing Cape Town's attributes as a tourism and investment
destination with those of other major cities in SA and around the world.
The intention is to establish a "brand positioning" for the city and give marketers the facts and
figures they need to attract new investment. The data-collection phase is expected to be completed
by the end of this month, with a comparative report available by mid-June.
The forum was put together by the Cape Town Partnership, a nonprofit public-private sector company
that seeks to develop the city's commercial, cultural, leisure and tourist potential.
Partnership CEO Michael Farr says while the city consistently rates as the top tourism destination
in the country, and second in attracting investment, "no Cape Town-specific marketing, with a
specific brand product, exists".
"The tourism assets of Cape Town are fairly well known, and are backed by a large amount of visitor
research that has been conducted by various tourism organisations."
"However, investment brand assets are more difficult to define, and cannot simply be based on
qualitative research. The particular strengths of Cape Town as a major attractor of investment have
to be researched properly, and they have to be set against what the best in the world have to offer,
comparing like with like.
"Once the information is available it will allow Cape Town to complete its brand positioning using
research data that is reliable and factual a critical component of investment marketing," Farr says.
The quantitative side of the study has been contracted out to the Unilever Institute of Strategic
Marketing, which operates under the auspices of the University of Cape Town's department of
management studies.
The institute is gathering data on the city, as well as on Durban, Johannesburg, Lagos and Cairo.
This will be compared with the outcome of an annual survey conducted worldwide by Andersen, which
rates "second tier, world-class" cities such as San Francisco, Vancouver, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur
and Buenos Aires in terms of their attractiveness to investors, but has historically excluded
The four broad categories of information being gathered include those relating to the skills level
of the workforce, the business environment, quality of life and recruitment, and the cost of doing
Prof John Simpson, who heads the Unilever Institute, says in addition to contributing to the
economic development of Cape Town, the organisation's primary aim is to develop SA-specific
marketing theory.
"A lot of the theory taught in SA is US and Eurocentric. We want to develop more SA-specific theory
that bridges the gap between marketing academics and marketing practitioners."
Qualitative data on the five African cities is being collected by means of a questionnaire sent to
the CEs of 100 leading companies operating in SA, including a number of foreign investors.
Executives have been asked to rate the five African cities according to their perceptions of
factors such as how welcoming they are to professionals from other countries and cultures, the
extent of entrepreneurial activities, regulation by the various tiers of government, taxation,
tertiary institutions, telecommunications infrastructure, affordability of housing and efficiency
of commuter transport systems.
Farr says identifying Cape Town's strengths and weaknesses is only the first part of the process
market segmentation must follow to turn the information into a tool to attract investment and
create employment.
"These competitive advantages need to be aggressively marketed nationally, continentally and
He says Cape Town will seek opportunities in industries that best suit its competitive advantages.

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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