Бренд–идентификация территорий. Территориальный брендинг: новая прагматичная идентичность
The article presents the results of complex cultural geographical research of Yasenevo area in Moscow . The research was aimed at revealing an interconnected system of unique spatial representations of this typical distant urban residential area. The methods and approaches of urban planning analysis, statistical method of ‘regional syndrome’, historical and fiction texts’ analysis and semi-structured in-depth interviews were combined together for data collection within the framework of the project, with one of the mental mapping methods (image-geographical maps) used to present the results of the study. As a result Yasenevo is represented as a ‘green’ area due to Bitsevsky park surrounding it and various small gardens and groves in the yards. It is important to mention, Yasenevo is a compact and clearly isolated area, separated by the green areas from the surroundings. It has a specific urban planning and architectural structure dating back to Soviet modernism with peculiar semicircular buildings and streets, spacious avenues and green areas inside the separated cozy quarters (‘states’). Yasenevo is imagined as a ‘young’ area. However this vision co-exists with the historical heritage of preserved and ruined former noble estates and Soviet modernism blocks. Those unique features of Yasenevo are regarded as the basics of currently only partial local identity formation, on the one hand, and as the identifiers of potential organic (identity-based) place branding, on the other hand.
The problem of susceptibility of target audiences to place brand identity is quite acute, as it opens up a whole range of semantic, cultural, socio-political, and other problems that corporate and consumer branding does not face, working for the same audiences. This problem is reflected in the communicative destructiveness, i.e. the conditions when communication does not reach the goal: the message causes misunderstanding or rejection — the original construction of the message is destructive, and the response is deviant. Communicative destructiveness and communicative deviance are the causes of numerous media scandals that form a negative perception of the place brand in public opinion in integrated communications. Analysis (with the use of qualitative and quantitative methods) of the conditions of the message rejection and disloyalty to the brand from the audience at different levels of communicative complexity inherent to place branding is relevant to place branding and communications projects.
The article is a critical analysis of the conceptual apparatus in the field of branding and marketing areas. The author discusses the various definitions of «brand» and «brand territory», their diversity and its causes. The aim of this work is clearing the theoretical and practical definition of the territorial brand through the redefinition and extension of the conceptual apparatus. This approach can remove the resulting misunderstanding of the subject activities and «contradictions» in its definition, as well as to expand its theoretical base. Verifying the conceptual and terminological apparatus is not only «theoretical» and «academic» in nature, but has practical importance, which contributes to a more precise determination of the activity of the developer and the customer in the framework of specific project activities and qualitative development of branding in Russia. The article introduces the concept of «brand-identification» to minimize the confusion among the different parts of the same structure - the brand and to address methodological and terminological confusion among developers and customers of regional branding through differencing essentially single and at the same time different parts of the communicative system: the brand and its visual identity (brand identification). The author uses the concept of representation of the territory, image of territory, existing in the minds of consumers and target audience. The image of territory is formed as the scope of project activities through advertising, design, marketing, branding, PR, and is implemented, and reproduced in the information-communicative space of the modern information society. The image of the area and its representation (and the idea of it) is the struggle and unity of the real and the ideal (desired) image of reality. A critical analysis of the attraction’s semiotics by D. Maccannell is the theoretical basis of representation of the territory. It defines a tourist attraction as a sign through the relationship among sight, marker and tourist. The article defines the problem of analyzing the identity (and identification) of the territory with respect to the image areas and not to the real territory, the representation «assigns» identification function, the image becomes inseparable in the popular consciousness from reality. The author draws the conclusion about the necessity of differentiation of concepts «brand» and «brand-identification». The brand of the territory is defined as the representation of areas by means of information and communication tools. Brand-identification of the territory is one of the structural elements, and «attributes» of the brand territory. Representation of territory is a more general concept which can be understanding at the level of conceptualization of place branding, brand identity is more applied, and corresponds to the appropriate level of operationalization.
The work is devoted to the study of the main compositional, constructive and plastic techniques used in modern typeface brand identification of territories. The article deals with typology of font identity and its structural analysis in the context of the problem of empirical measurability of a work of art.
The majority of cities all over the World have their symbolic capital concentrated in the central areas. Distant residential areas lack tourist attractiveness, original / authentic urban environments and any material / immaterial basics of local identities. People are not rooted in the urban districts they live in and feel Alien in them. There is no uniqueness in those residential areas (as seen by the residents), and there is no research or practical methodology to single out those unique features of a place and promote them as potential local brands.
In this paper I use the notion of place and a model of ‘place as palimpsest’ as emerging in cultural geography in order to discuss the possibilities of symbolic construction of new places and stimulation of local identities within currently ‘placeless’ distant residential areas of Moscow, Russia under the conditions of ‘post-urbanity’.
I thus aim to elaborate a methodology of picking up the unique features of distant urban residential areas regarded as place branding identifiers on the basis of the potential of the theory of regional geography and cultural geography combined together.
The development of cultural geography from the classical theories of the beginning of the XXth century (Sauer, 1925) to the second half of the XXth century was contradictory, yet important. The cultural turn has become a main trend of that change while the representatives of the new cultural geography criticized the Sauerian Berkeley school for focusing “their studies on the material artifacts, exhibiting a curious and thoroughly antiquarian ‘object fetishism’ over such items as houses, barns, fences and gasoline stations” (Price, Lewis, 1993, p. 3). Instead, they regard the cultural landscape through its human interpretation, symbolization and signification (Rowntree, Conkey, 1980). They stated that “the total cultural landscape is information stored in symbolic form” that “in part functions as a narrative” (Ibid., p. 461), and “the symbolic qualities of landscape, those which produce and sustain social meaning, have become a focus of research” as this “allows us to disclose the meanings that human groups attach to areas and places and to relate those meanings to other aspects and conditions of human existence” (Cosgrove, Jackson, 1987, p. 96).
That was the point when ‘place’ as a word turned into a scientific term: the place as being constructed by people through the process of signification. It was developed due to the cultural turn within new cultural / humanistic geography. “Space is transformed into place as it acquires definition and meaning”, Yi-Fu Tuan (1977 , p. 136) states. Dennis Jeans found the exact words for that constructing perspective: “To make a place is to surround a locality with human meanings” (Jeans, 1979, p. 209).
That is how the place becomes a kind of a palimpsest: a “fuzzy set” of diverse interpretations of one and the same landscape, not only historically different elements, but also emerging from various ethnic, cultural, social groups in the process of mythological and semiotic communications (Mitin, 2010). Each layer of that palimpsest is in fact a vision of a place, a story told, a myth, a geographical description, that is, a narrative.
In order to study this process of symbolic construction of those layers / narratives I use the theory of regional geography. Different modes of regional geographical descriptions have been described throughout the XXth century (Darby, 1962, Davis, 1915, Hart, 1982, Paterson, 1974). Being opposed by the positivist view of storing the entire data on any place in a form of encyclopedic classification, the idea of a good description as a geographer’s art of constructing a place is as follows: “Good regional geography should begin with, and probably should be organized around, the dominant theme of each region, which of course will vary from region to region. <…> Features that are overwhelmingly important in one region may be completely missing in another, and the regional geographer should give pride of place in each region to its most important or significant features” (Hart, 1982, p. 23).
Combining (a) the idea of the cultural landscape as being constructed through symbolic values, and (b) the theory of regional geographical descriptions altogether form a model of place as palimpsest as being created and re-created. However, it is to a much extent settled within a representational paradigm of geography, disputed by critical urban / cultural geographers through the calls for rematerializing the discipline (Lees, 2002). In Lefebvrian terms, cultural geography in the XXth century has executed a shift from the material / perceived space towards the conceptual space of representations, but the forthcoming critical paradigm is concerned about the third realm, that is the “representational spaces: the space directly lived through its associate images and symbols, and hence the space of ‘inhabitants’ and ‘users’” (Lefebvre, 1991, p. 39), ‘thirdspace’, ‘real-and-imagined’ space (Soja, 1996). Lefebvre moves forward describing what kind of space it is. It is the product of the urban revolution, the totally urbanized space “constituted by a renewed space-time, a topology that is distinct from agrarian (cyclic and juxtaposing local particularities) and industrial (tending towards homogeneity, toward a rational and planned unity of constraints) space-time. Urban space-time <…> appears as a differential <…>. The urban space is complete contradiction” (Lefebvre, 1991, pp. 37-39). It is stressed to be complex, heterogeneous, multifaceted, interrelated. This vision of the new space constitution revives the idea of a palimpsest, as the latest embraces that very endless multiplicity co-existing in one and the same place.
What is needed, is to shift the focus from those layers being constructed to the places being lived and experienced. That is exactly the point and the method I develop in my project on complex cultural geographical research of Yasenevo area in the outskirts of Moscow, Russia. I use a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews in order to try to single out what that standardized Soviet residential district is really unique and peculiar for local residents and plan to promote and use those ‘local specialties’ in a few cultural events in late 2019.
The project develops a multidisciplinary theoretical framework and is also practice-oriented. It is aimed at finding the unique features of a place, making it different from all the others, and promoting those features as the basis of local identities, connecting people into sustainable local community and thus symbolically constructing a meaningful place.
*The publication was prepared within the framework of the Academic Fund Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2019 (grant №19-04-052) and by the Russian Academic Excellence Project “5-100”.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
One of the most important indicators of company's success is the increase of its value. The article investigates traditional methods of company's value assessment and the evidence that the application of these methods is incorrect in the new stage of economy. So it is necessary to create a new method of valuation based on the new main sources of company's success that is its intellectual capital.