Searching brand identity…. Moscow!

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Even in territorial branding the strongest are the Americans, on the other hand they are the inventors of the branding. New York is definitely the best metropolis with regard to the ability to create and use their own brand, but around the world can be seen a lot of good evidence. In Italy, the graphics re-branding of the city of Rome was a great example and Milan is the one which is working more to expose himself internationally as a destination to visit by hosting many events, from Expo to Mtv Ema and Champions League Final. The territorial branding is not only one linked to the city, but also that one linked to specifics areas of interest, cultural or naturals, are in many working on branding to increase visibility, investment, tourism and overall value.
But in Europe there is an unknown larger than any other that pricks our interest and it is definitely the capital of great Russia: Moscow.
We can not say that Moscow it is a brand today, although in contrast to other cities in the world that have already succeeded in becoming one, the Russian capital has much more possibilities and more attractions than others cities, but perhaps because it is located in a historical period of transition, currently has not entirely achieved a clear image that can be conveyed.
The case of Moscow is a typical case of when you do not have a clear identity and this can happen not only within the territorial branding, but it is a rule that always exists in the doctrine of the branding, since we could say it’s one of its rules constituents.
The identity must be clear to be conveyed and then we first need to know who we are.
That is, know who you are is the first part from which to start any operation branding. It often happens that someone thinks to know who it is, but the reality of the facts, the exterior view, the overview, say another thing.
Moscow officially is the capital of the Russian Federation, but the main problem is that outside of it also about this Russian federation we understand very little. We do not understand whether it is a democracy in effect, we do not understand whether it is capitalist or communist, we do not understand whether this designation of federation represents also a nation, as there is no real difference between the Russian Federation and just Russia, but above all we do not understand even if the their inhabitants have everything this very clear. This confusion that come outside from the Russian world applies equally well to its capital, Moscow.
We do not understand whether it is a welcoming capital, touristic, if residents are friendly or not, whether it is a capital of the world capitalist or communist (if you can still say so), we can not foresee how it could be our stay there.
If we think at a trip to Paris or Los Angeles, as well as in London rather than Milan, in any case we can have a clear idea of the soul of the city and what kind of vacation is waiting for me.
Paris? Surely art and glamor. Los Angeles? West coast style and we have said it all.
London is the quintessential cosmopolitan cities in Europe, different at every corner where even the English style is only a part of the multiethnic soul, Milan is the elegant and financial soul of Italian style. From here I get an idea and I know more or less what I want from this or that trip depending on your destination.
But in Moscow? What can happen in Moscow? It is only the economic and parliamentary capital or is also the the cultural one? That is, in Moscow I see the real Russia of the great, that Russia that with its way of understanding life, between pain and stateliness, was able to generate genes as Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy? Or you have to choose other destinations, primarily St. Petersburg?
Moscow is older or more modern?
But above all, because a country as rich as Russia does so little promotion of its attractions, in the first place precisely its capital?
In fact, if we do a little research we discover wonderful things about Moscow and as I said, first and foremost being a city which is also very, very, very rich.
Data from Forbes 2013, Moscow is the capital with the highest number of residents millionaires in the world and was ranked ninth by Mercer among the most expensive capitals of the world.
Another fact that makes us think is that despite this confused idea of Moscow which comes to us in terms of brand, the desire to visit it and to understand it is very high, in fact, according to the MasterCard Global Destination turns out to be one of the fastest growing tourist destinations .
The attractions are not lacking for sure, if only for the simple fact of being the northernmost megacity and cool of the Earth, the most populous in Europe and the seventh in the world, is the home of the Ostankino Tower, which is the structure more highest in Europe and of the Mercury City Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Europe. Yet everyone knows just the Red Square in Moscow.
On TV and on the other media, we are continually informed by specialist programs about mega architectures around the world, from the construction of the Burj Al Arab to the Burj Khalifa, from the Shanghai Tower to The Shard, but this Mercury City Tower is known very little, indeed , you would not know anything if you do not go looking for.
So why not make more territorial branding with so many possibilities? The answer is very simple. The territorial branding helps convey the values and identity of a place so that like-minded people or are interested in having contact with this type of values can know us and decide to visit us by increasing both the level of the real economy and both the value of the brand of the territory.
So, often, if you do not require money derived from tourism or there isn’t concern of distribute income wildfire, encouraging all the small businesses that can live on tourism, the territorial branding is not done. In short, if there is no necessity, you don’t do virtue.
Yet, if on the one hand a kind of reluctance to tell by Russia and Moscow is perceived by the simple fact that if you do not go to look for something, the news (not political, clearly) doesn’t come to you, but on the other hand we can’t don’t show a willingness to open up to the world motivated by different things. One of the most important is the new district dedicated to business.
It is a business district as those born in many other world cities, slightly off center-style La Defense in Paris and is called Centre for International Affairs of Moscow. International is the key word, it is a sign of openness to want to communicate with others, underlined by the fact that some of the big buildings are designed, built or are owned by non-Russians, but in fact, some of the greatest interpreters of the realization of this neighborhood are even Americans.
Surely this new quarter will bring a lot of new people in Moscow, first for work and then perhaps for tourism by encouraging even more the economic status quo that already belongs to Moscow, but the part that still has to come out of this city, which we always talk, at least Outside Russia, only for bad alcoholemic behavior of its residents, it is the part on the daily lives of ordinary people of which we do not know almost nothing.
What is the DNA of this city, which was also called the Third Rome (after Rome and Byzantium / Constantinople / Istanbul), which was already the capital of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, of the Russian Empire and of the USSR?
People around the world have shown a willingness to know Moscow, as shown by the large influx of tourists that is receiving. For Moscow is definitely the right time to make the final leap and tell the world what is its identity today, as he wants to show its mix of ancient imperial past, communist modernism and capitalist contemporaneity, so that not only the rich oligarchs may export the name of Moscow, but also the city itself, maybe showing the strength of its diversity, between Russian tradition deeply rooted in the territory and the push to live the nomadic lifestyle of the contemporary global, facilitated by the imposing structure of typically Russian which may be used : four international airports, nine railway stations, a monorail, trams and one of the largest and deepest underground in the world, the most frequented in Europe and fourth in the world, including some of its stations are already a architectural sign that worth a visit.
Surely the new Moscow will leverage to showcase its new brand, also on the renewed desire of art of Moscow and not just on those who can afford to buy it, thanking among others to Dasha Zhukova, Roman Abramovich’s wife and the architect Rem Koolhaas for having given the GARAGE to the city, new contemporary art museum, which has been responsible not only to be an important investment in the art sector that for the territorial branding is always a major plus, but also because it was one of the events most reported internationally coming from the Russian capital, which has rekindled interest in scrutinizing what is happening in Moscow.
We know that even for the capitals is now to play a part of their wealth through their brands and Moscow, although still not too prone to its communication will be a key player on the scenario of the capitals of the world in the near future, also playing the tourist card, to be reckoned, that is to have 40% of its territory covered by plants, making it one of the greenest capitals in Europe and the world, making us think of a trip to Moscow in the sign of parks and relaxation, how we don’t would expect .

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