What is the aim of the “Cape Town brand”? Cape Town Tourism CEO explains #cttagm2011 #brandcapetown

Earlier this year, we were honoured to receive a blog comment from Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, explaining the difference between our icons e.g. Table Mountain, our logos and straplines and the overarching brand positioning for Cape Town going forward. The process in developing this brand over most of 2011 has seen robust and passionate debate, during several brand sessions (public and other), which aimed to unlock the essence of the Cape Town Brand. The Cape Town brand is however not static, and through the real stories of Capetonians from across our City, the many layers, good and bad, will be shared, with the potential of reaching a new global audience. In becoming a great place to live, visit, study, work and invest, all Capetonians have a role to play.

” A brand is not a logo and a clever strapline – it starts with a powerful
position that reflects our identity, values, strengths and aspirations. It
is reflected in people’s behaviour and should tell a story of where we came
from, where we are now and most importantly where we want to go.

Up till now we have been over-reliant (in tourism branding) on our natural
beauty and Table Mountain. To some extent it has become a marketing cliche.

It does not mean, as some suggest, that we must now fall off on the other
side and leave what is our best known and strongest selling points
behind…it is, rather, about getting the balance right.

Beauty on its own is not enough to establish Cape Town as one of the top
cities to visit, live, work, study and invest…we must marry it with our
gritty urbanism, creativity, innovation, root it in our story of freedom and
allow the people of Cape Town to be the story tellers. Ours is not a perfect
pretty story. The story has become the unique selling point. In a world
where people are tired of smooth, generic, plastic perfect places, people
want edgy, real experiences in not so perfect places. Love what Rhoda
Kadalie said about Cape Town: “I love that Cape Town is not just another
African City, it is far more complex and interesting than that…”

In other words, Table Mountain must stand for much more than natural beauty, it must become associated with a City that challenges the conventional, celebrates creativity and individuality and has a real, but inspirational story to tell. Table Mountain must once again become the symbol of freedom.”
– Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, 5 April 2011