“Know yourself and your potential. This is the universal secret for a gratifying life”. Natasha Grand and Sergei Kleshchev, from INSTID - Institute for Identity, believe that this proverb works for places too (cities, regions or even nations). Here is their secret for a solid and fruitful collective identity.
“Traveling and international trade are making the world increasingly smaller. Nowadays, people have the means to explore every corner of the planet and the possibility to choose where they want to live and work. This creates a series of new opportunities and it especially gives places the possibility to attract visitors, students, professionals and investors. Saying ‘come visit us, we have the best people, climate, history, food etc’ is not enough anymore. Everybody says it.” This is what Natasha Grand recently told us in an interview. The designer co-founded INSTID, a London-based agency with a Russian DNA, with her husband Alexander.
Identity design is slowly prevailing over brand design. In the competitive global market, even cities and small peripheral nations want to be protagonists. INSTID not only designs tag-lines, logos, branding and territorial marketing strategies to make these destinations touristically more appealing but also digs deeply into our collective consciousness to extract the real ‘spirit of a place’.
Natasha and Sergei continue by claiming that: “Truly interesting places are those with a particular lifestyle and specific traditions offering a unique experience. We work on places’ ability to generate authentic and modern life experiences. In this way, our work on identity contributes to people’s overall knowledge of the world’s diversity, beauty, cultures and different lifestyles.”
Finally, crafting the identity of a location (differently from territorial marketing) not only impacts the public but also the local communities. From a political and entrepreneurial point of view, this has incredible benefits: it helps the government understand its electors better and the market know its consumers better, giving them the chance to approach their audiences and to communicate more effectively with them.