Embracing the city-centric approach

Written by on 10th December 2012
Category: City guides

According to management consultancy McKinsey, cities generate 80% of the world’s wealth, a number that is likely to increase as emerging economies such as China and India, and their sprawling urban centres, become major economic powers. A recent article in Marketing Weekly explores the opportunities offered by this growth and states that “brands are not building global businesses country by country, but city by city”. As a result, companies are adopting city-centric marketing strategies, which involve analysing and understanding the urban cultural life of new markets.

In the article, David Gates, Global Category Director for Diageo’s Whiskies, suggests that the city-centric strategy is being merged into firms’ international marketing, allowing them to ensure their product distribution and marketing investment are focused in a geographical area with a high concentration of target consumers. As more companies decide to grow city by city, they will need to invest in deep analysis of their target cities firstly to deem whether they are a good fit for business objectives and the product in question, and then to adapt their business strategy. At SilverDoor we have understood the importance of this city-centric strategy for years.

To develop valuable insights we send our staff to globally important cities from Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing to New York, Paris and Sydney, because it’s the only way we learn about each urban area’s traits. For example, we make sure we know all the districts in which we represent serviced apartments in Hong Kong, and can provide local information on everything from whether to stay in Hong Kong Island or Kowloon to local business etiquette. Meanwhile, we know that all the Singapore serviced apartments we represent have good transport links nearby, and how to get to and from the airport. We are continually monitoring up-and-coming cities and when enquiries to a certain destination start to increase, we travel to visit the city or country, as we know that we cannot talk about something we have never experienced, especially in emerging markets.

Image: HerryLawford (Creative Commons License)