Melitopol has designed and approved the marketing strategy and the city brand with the support of international technical assistance project Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance (PLEDDG Project). The project consultants assisted representatives of the city authorities and the community throughout all stages of strategy development, working jointly to find the most effective solutions for promoting Melitopol.
The marketing strategy directs the efforts and resources of Melitopol residents toward supporting business by promoting opportunities available in the city, demonstrating openness to innovations and partnerships, and a vibrant cultural life. All activities are aimed at turning Melitopol into a tourist and business center famous both in Ukraine and abroad.
The principles of simplicity, natural values, and clarity are at the core of the Melitopol brand – local traditions, relations between the authorities and the business community, and the city space as a whole. The city positions itself as a center of health and youth, simple and convenient transportation. Hospitable and business-oriented are the words that describe the two aspects of Melitopol through which the city opens itself to its residents, guests, entrepreneurs, and investors with the help of specially selected communication channels and instruments.
The city brand was designed alongside its strategy. After numerous discussions, six final logo prototypes were selected from among several dozen versions of the community’s logo. Melitopol residents chose their current city logo through open online voting on the City Hall website as well as through an offline survey in the city center. The vibrant and dynamic design of the chosen logo speaks to Melitopol’s focus on continuing development. Meanwhile, the concise slogan: ‘Right here…’ is open to new interpretations depending on the context in which it is used.
The marketing strategy implementation action plan calls for various projects designed to imprint the city’s brand on the community’s consciousness, on the city space and infrastructure, as well as the city’s cultural life. One of them is a project titled ‘Melitopol – a Reliable Partner and a Hospitable Host’ implemented in collaboration with the PLEDDG Project.
Essentially, the School of Ambassadors offers awareness raising courses for those Melitopol residents who would like to learn important and current information about their city and are prepared to popularize the city’s brand through various communication channels. Those who successfully complete the School and intend to engage in promotional activities are conferred the informal title of an Ambassador of Melitopol. The mission of every such ambassador is to promote values of the brand of Melitopol among residents, investors, city guests, and tourists. To qualify to become an ambassador, a person has to know the history and specifics of Melitopol, be a patriot of the city, and peculiarities in public events on behalf of the community. This year’s official ambassadors of the city are management and marketing consultant Andriy Rublevskyi, Ukrainian Mass Wrestling Federation chief Valeriy Gazaev, world and Europe karate and boxing champions Artem Durmadzhy and Ihor Panayotov.
In addition to ambassadors, Melitopol residents promote their city’s brand using various tools. With the support of the PLEDDG Project, the city commissioned the production of a publication titled ‘Melitopol – a Reliable Partner and a Hospitable Host’ and an eponymous video, a trilingual ‘Investment Manifest of the City’, and the ‘Melitopol for Tourists’ booklet. The famous festival ‘Chereshnevo’ did not escape attention either. A separate promotional video was created for it and broadcast on the UA:Social television channel. The video is also screened during city-wide and away activities. Last year Melitopol participated in extensive investment exhibitions – InCoForum and Eco Forum, which took place in Zaporizhia. Meanwhile, in 2019 Melitopol residents presented their city in Kyiv at the international conference ‘Ukraine’s Place in the World: Municipal Marketing and Branding’, organized by the PLEDDG Project. Melitopol’s practical implementation of marketing strategy activities has been recognized as one of the best among the PLEDDG Project partners, particularly its integrated nature and the ever more efficient implementation of jointly developed initiatives.
The concept of a territory’s brand has gained colossal importance in the modern world. Competition among cities, regions, and countries for resources turns them from ordinary geographic units into full-fledged products that have their value, properties, and price. The PLEDDG Project helps partner cities implement a strategically balanced and consistent marketing policy where each initiative complements another effectively. Melitopol’s experience shows that it is easier to implement city marketing projects when the brand reflects the identity of the local population as well as combines the values and goals of the local community.
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