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the brief

The county of Lancashire located in the North West of England covers a large economic area of geography with a diverse set of assets ranging from the rolling landscapes of the Bowland area of outstanding beauty to the coastal attractions of Blackpool’s resort. Lancashire has been ‘punching below it’s weight’ for a long time and has traditionally had a poor reputation of flat caps and coronation street towns.
Within Lancashire are a large number of diverse towns and combination of 12 local authorities and 2 unitary authorities working alongside the County Council and Lancashire LEP. However, not all the places within Lancashire wish to be associated with Lancashire and creating a shared narrative and approach was fundamental to achieving overall success and promotion of the place on a national and international basis.
The Lancashire LEP commissioned the strategic marketing proposition work to develop a compelling economic narrative for Lancashire which would underpin future place marketing and positioning by the LEP and secure support if key partners such as Marketing Lancashire and Lancashire County Council, in addition hoping that the local authorities who would find it sufficiently engaging to deploy in their own activities. However, key to the effectiveness of this work would be the endorsement and support of the private sector

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what was delivered

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  • a narrative for Lancashire which sets out a clear position for Lancashire in a regional, national and international context highlighting key attributes and assets with a strong identity and sense of place.
  • developed a brand story which gives Lancashire confidence to embrace its proximity and relationship with Manchester and Liverpool and help understand and achieve its role within the Northern Powerhouse.
  • developed a framework for what the LEP and CA would say for the place to provide a joined up position and professional approach to communicating a clear identity and purpose
  • clarified the emerging role of Marketing Lancashire in becoming the place marketing organisation for Lancashire
  • engaged the business sector with the development of Lancashire’s future encouraging the development of buy in from key stakeholders who are keen to promote the brand key messages
  • developing a marketing plan as determined by the narrative plus development of delivery mechanisms to achieve this being worked in house at Marketing Lancashire
  • the narrative which underpins the work on the county’s media and communications plan used to direct PR agencies and communications within each key organisation
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What they say

“I first worked alongside John Till in Hull when I was chair of the Urban Regeneration Company and he was Chief Executive of Cityimage the organisation charged with transforming the investment environment of the city region. He led the development of the highly innovative Hull place brand programme which ultimately resulted in the city being awarded City of Culture 2017.

As Vice Chair of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership I was delighted that thinkingplace led by John was employed to develop a new economically orientated brand and narrative for Lancashire which brought a fragmented offer and place together behind a powerful and compelling story. This has been well received in the investment world at MIPIM and within the Northern Powerhouse and has elevated the county’s standing.

Leading from this I was keen that thinkingplace were given the job of developing a new place influenced brand story for the University of Central Lancashire where I am Chair of the Board. The resultant narrative has been endorsed by all aspects of the University, links it clearly with the city of Preston and Lancashire and will give us a very clear competitive position.”

David Taylor, Vice Chair of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership & Chair of the University of Central Lancashire Board

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