Maximum City to get branded

International advertising agencies are making their pitch for a contract to make Mumbai a global brand. Two London-based firms—Achanchi and Start Limited—recently made a presentation on branding Mumbai before a meeting of the Mumbai Transformation Support Unit (MTSU) of the All-India Institute of Local Self Government.The head of the MTSU, UPS Madan, said, “The agencies have been asked to chart out an action plan for the city. After that we will discuss it. If found suitable, we will approach the government to fund the plan.’’ Madan said the strategy will highlight the city’s strengths and diversity to give it a stronger international presence.Chairman of Bombay First, Narinder Nayar, who attended the meeting along with secretary, urban development, Manu Srivastava, and Agni coordinator, Gerson Da Cunha, said that a number of cities worldwide have gone in for branding exercises, including New York, London, Dubai and Johannesburg.“It is essential to get involved in branding the city if you are to make a mark on the global scene,’’ said Nayar. Another big name in international marketing, Wally Olins, who runs the Saffron Brand Consultancy in London, also held talks with government officials a few months ago. In their presentation, Fiona Gilmore, chairman of Achanchi, along with Darren Whittingham and Rob Yates of Start Limited made it clear that branding and building a brand strategy is not about trademarks. “Cities become brands, they are marketed like products in order to attract investment,’’ she said. Madan said a strategy to brand Mumbai will have to be worked out after some research and meeting of various government departments.

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