ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY CREATIVEBRIEF : Following Creativebrief's recent feature City Brand Leaders – Liverpool we decided to do a Q&A with select group of Liverpool’s leading agency CEOs to help focus on the Liverpool brand and consider their own vision for the city.
Here, Tom Holmes, creativebrief Founder & Chairman speaks to
Phil Blything, Director of Glow New Media.

TH: Phil, what does the Liverpool brand stand for?
PB: Liverpool is one of very few UK cities which is well known outside the EU. Whether that’s because it’s the port that supplied the Empire, where the Football team come from or where the Beatles got their funny accents matters less than that it is fundamentally international.
Those glory days of empire are gone now – Liverpool took some very hard knocks in the 80’s and unfortunate characters like Yosser Hughes and Derek Hatton added a dark tang to perceptions of Liverpool – but like a good stilton, Liverpool’s flavour is far from boring.
Add recent renaissance successes – Culture year, cruise liners, Shanghai World Expo, Global Entrepreneurship Congress and you’ve got a new confidence and capability on top of the edgy creativity Liverpool is world famous for.

TH: How can a mayor influence the way the city markets itself?
PB: Liverpool’s renaissance is not news to anyone who lives here. We’ve seen and enjoyed the last 10 years success. The problem is more of finding someone who can unite the disparate tribes and represent them credibly as “Liverpool” outside the city. The mayor needs bring those tribes together and represent them coherently to the outside world.

TH: If you were responsible for marketing Liverpool globally, what would you focus on?
PB: Liverpool’s got personality and character in spades. The #itsliverpool campaign is currently giving voice to that… There are a great many positive stories to tell now too but if I had to pick on one theme, it would be how so many people are so surprised when they love Liverpool. “I had no idea this was here!” they say.

TH: How does being based in Liverpool influence your creative output?
PB: Liverpool has a very big creative scene – it’s famous for it. It’s hard not to be influenced by that. The cultural assets are important too – Tate Liverpool, FACT, Biennial – They’re all within a few blocks of where we work – It’s nice to absorb that especially when the biennial is on – so many random creative things going on, We watched La machine from our office!

TH: Why should clients consider sourcing work from Liverpool agencies?
PB: Liverpool has amazing agencies – the work speaks for itself. But the city is under populated. 450,000 now as opposed to 900,000 in 1930. That means it costs a lot less to live here, than the capital for instance. What does that do to dayrate?

TH: What makes your agency offer different?
PB: We’ve all got about 15 years digital experience so we know what we’re doing in digital and we stick strictly to it. We’re picky about the briefs we work on. Our clients get to work with a director and they love having that experience on tap.

TH: What local brands do you most admire and why?
PB: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, because of the amazing work they do, that makes an impact globally.

TH: Which local marketers have inspired you?
PB: Few locals have tenure like Jack Stopforth, with a long agency history and now heading up Liverpool Chamber.
Sean Marley and his team at Lime Pictures have dominated the world with TOWIE.
Kerrin MacPhie and the team at ACC Liverpool have put Liverpool firmly on the conference destination map
But top marks to Terry Leahy. Can a marketer be *too* successful?!

TH: What business would you most like to win?
PB: Any of the above?

TH: Thanks Phil!

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