Geographical Investigations: Rebranding

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  • Created by: naomi
  • Created on: 18-04-13 20:52

What is Rebranding?

Rebranding: Developing a place to reposition its image and change people's idea of it, helping to 'sell' the place to a target audience. It is not just about improving the infrastructure, services and opportunities but also about improving what people (internal and external users) think of that place.

Regenerating: Positively transforming the economy of a place that has displayed symptoms of decline - physically changing the look

Re-imaging: Positively changing the standing and reputation of a place through specific improvements e.g. increasing cultural identity (Liverpool) or sporting excellence (London)

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Rebranding in: Urban areas

What has happened?

  • decline in the manufacturing industry and in primary activities e.g. coal industry (de-industrialisation)
  • move into the tertiary industry
  • loss of retailing activity in their central areas
  • loss of offices and commercial functions to peripheral areas
  • Obsolescene of their housing market - reduction
  • costs of developments and upkeep of CBDs are high 
  • companies find peripheral locations cheaper
  • congestion - accessability to many CBDs is reduced
  • rise in car ownership leads to increased personal mobility and the rise of 'leisure' shopping
  • city centres are perceived as dirty and unsafe

Why the need to rebrand?

  • env: emprty premises, redundant factory sites creating brownfield sites, coalfied communities
  • soc: slums and areas of substandard housing, unemployment (soc+eco)
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Rebranding in: Rural area

What has happened?

  • Demise of agriculture as an employer and in primary activities e.g. coal industry
  • lack of alternative employemtn - most businesses want to be in urban areas
  • depopulation 0 especially economically active - brain drain
  • poor access to modern services
  • 'rural deprivation' - access, opportunities
  • unused areas e.g. fields
  • lack of transport infrastructure
  • pockets of local depopulation
  • disappearance of rural services
  • post-production transition

Why the need to rebrand?

  • env: neglected of under-used field (+eco), empty dwellings and farm buildings (+eco), coalfield communities (+eco+soc)
  • eco: attempts to diversify farms, closed services e.g. shops and chools (+soc)
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Rebranding in: Coastal areas

What has happened?

  • loss of tourism to overseas locations - cheap flights, package holiday etc
  • contraction of fishing industry 
  • erosion and sea levels rising
  • closeure of port industries e.g. oil refining, iron and steel e.g. Southampton
  • some similar reasons to urban areas (e.g. Bournemouth) and rural areas (e.g. Newquay)
  • low wages, low education/attainment
  • poor health, poor housing
  • high crime rates
  • peripherality
  • economic activity (lack of)

Why the need to rebrand?

  • env: abandoned cliff edge premises (+eco)
  • eco: rundown former coastal resorts (+soc) abandoned quays, jetties and industrial premises, unemployment (seasonal)
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Types of rebranding

Sports - engineering change around a major sporting venue or event. It is hoped thi would attract investment and regenerate poor of degraded areas and that the investment would trickle down to the rest of the community

Cultural facilities - the development of art galleries, museums and cultural events as well as a focus on traditions and heritage can help to regenerate areas and attract people to that palce

Technological/science - creating a 'hub' of specific activity in an area can act as a catalyst and encourage other high-tech businesses to relocate to that area. These can be linked with leisure activities e.g. Cite de l'Ecape in Toulouse

Retail development - by moving supermarkets and other retail outlets back into the centre stimulates invesment, employment and growth in the area e.g. Cabot Circus, Briston

Education - the development of university departments and campuses can encourage regeneration in areas. Academic institutions can attract new industries built on mutual dependency e.g. bars, clubs, shops as well as hi-tech businesses e.g. Silicon Valley, California and its relationship with Stanford University 

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Types of rebranding

Leisure and entertainment - new large developments can attract huge amounts of investment into an area and attract visitors to the area e.g. Super Casino in Manchester

Tourism - this is an important economic tool and  up to 20% of all tourism occurs in rural areas. By emphasising the cultural, historical and geographical aspects of an area can encourage more people to visit these areas.

Local enterprise schemes - establish new, innovative and SUSTAINABLE activities by local communities often in rural areas. By creating a new sustainable businesses secures income, allows people to learn new skills, attract new services and improve rural areas in decline

Farm diversification - this is when farms broaden their enterprise beyong that of its core function. It provides supplementary income. Growing specialist crops, encouraging tourism and leisure e.g. paintablling or selling other goods and services e.g. farm shops, craft shop, cake decorating, horse livery 

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Historic regeneration


  • deindustrialisation - manufacturing declines + jobs in the tertiary industry increases e.g. TNCs move abroad because it is cheaper
  • all the factories and associated infrastructure left behind
  • tertiary = footloose + can locate anywhere
  • huge soc/eco/env problems left behind due to low quality environment, increased unemployment and deprivation in these areas
  • urban regeneration looked to address these problems (interlocking) to reverse the processes of decline + social exclusion


  • flagship projects  - USA started trend for flagship regeneration projects e.g. one huge project that improved an area - West Quay in Southampton
  • BUT - 21st century in Europe shift from individual flagship projects to more holistic wide scale, integrated rebranding
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Flagship projects


  • enhance the image of te city
  • catalyst for further economic growth 
  • new + exciting spaces
  • attract new residents, businesses + tourists
  • benefits to locals


  • lack of trickle down (hope wealth will trickle down to the poor from the rich and wealthy) - didn't benefit everyone 
  • social - benefits of flagship are not enjoyed by all residents
  • spatial - concentration on specific spaces (based largely on proft potential) increases differences between parts of a city
  • only focused on urban areas, never rural areas
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How do we know where to rebrand?

PLACE PROFILE: a profile of an area is a comprehensive description mainly of place's present characteristcs but possibly including some detail of a historical nature. Simply it is collecting data to investigate what a place is like. The more date collected the more accurate the profile of the place will be. It will look at a variety of areas:

  • the physical state of the palce e.g. what does it look like? housing, green space, cleanliness etc
  • the services provided for the local community e.g. what facilities does it have?
  • the 'image' or 'identity' of the place e.g. what do people think of it? what perceptions do people have?
  • the social-economic makeup of the area e.g. the type of people who live here, the different classes, households etc. 
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Place profiles

In order to create a profile of a place different types of date needs to be collected:

Primary data - collect yourself in order to find out about something

Secondary data - collected by someone else + that you are using to help you find out about something e.g. newspaper articles

Qualitative data - subjective data - based on opinion NOT fact - has no numerical value

Quantitative data - objective data - measurable and/or numerical 

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Data collection techniques


  • Primary - questionnaires, land use maps/surveys, bipolar analysis, photographs/video footage, in depth interviews, shopping survey
  • Seconadry: Publications, internet blogs/forums, in depth interviews, online place check forms, web pages of organisations


  • Primary - tax data analysis, shopping survey, environmental quality surveys
  • Secondary - GIS, census data, crime statistics, online place check forms 


  • Geographical Information System - a new electronic system that captures, stores, analyses and then presents data on a digital map
  • it allows people to add + remove layers on a map to show specific information about a place.
  • we all use GIS regularly e.g. SatNav and Google Maps
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Data collection techniques


  • strengths: get to find out opinions of different groups of people, quick to do and collect a lot of responses, responses can be open and closed
  • limitations: depends on who you ask and when you ask them, responses won't reflect everyone's point of view, subjective so maybe biased

In depth interviews:

  • strengths: different opinions from different people
  • limitations: very opinionated and only gives a specific section of views from society

land use map/survey:

  • strengths: up to date date, detailed
  • limitations: time consuming, could be incorrect if not concentrating - unreliable, could be opinionated
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Data collection techniques

Census data :

  • strengths - quantitative/objective - reliable, can be detailed, facts - reliable - objective
  • limitations - contains no opinions, some people may not do it properly/don't fill it in e.g. illegal immigrants

Environmental quality survey:

  • strengths - quantitative/objective so not biased or unreliable, can be done quickly
  • limitations - primary data - could be unreliable

Internet blogs:

  • strenghts - many people can voice an opinion, quick and easy to get information
  • limitations - only reflects views of those who use it - certain groups of people, biased, reflects extremist views - small proportion of population
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Data collection techniques - SAMPLING

1.) Systematic

Sampling at regular intervals e.g. every 5th person for example

2.) Stratefied 

you might want to compare the views of young people with those of old people. The numbers of young and old in your sample should be proportional to their total numbers e.g. population of 300, 100=old, 200=young... Interview: 10 old, 20 young

3.) Random

Selecting random people to interview - can be done using a table of random numbers of by just talking to anyone you want to 

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Presenting data

Pie chart

+ easy to draw

+ can be put onto maps to add value to the data/make it more valuable 

- can only be used with a fulls set of data e.g. no unknown quantities

- can't be used with more subjective data - has to be statistical/numerical

Annotated photograph:

+ easy to look at/clearly see visually what a place is like

+ add annotations to photographs

- biased and selective/subjective

- sensitive to changes 

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Presenting data

Tally chart:

+ quick

+ qualitative, quantitative data

- hard with large numbers

Newspaper article:

+ multimodal; pictures, diagrams, texts

+ informative

- depending on how you present it, only certain groups will look at it - limited audiences

- text heavy, people may skip/skim read

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Averages - mean, mode, median ( to show averages)

Standard deviation - how varied is your data? spread of results - fairly representing all data collected (to show extremes)

Correlation (Spearman's) - how closely related are two sets of data e.g. numbers of people visiting a place vs distance from a city (to measure correlation) 

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