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The branding consultant’s recommendation for the re-branding of Oldham town: Weighing in on the conceptual fit

By Ernest M Kadembo, Howard Jackson, Denis Feather and Nadio Granata


The rebranding of Oldham is a positional shift in the perception and strategic image of the town. The commissioning of a consultant to handle this critical aspect of the renewal of the town was meant to usher in a new era for the town and the borough at large. Oldham’s history presents a mixed picture of world dominance, subsequent dilapidation and chaos. The heydays of king cotton vanished over time culminating in economic meltdown and then ultimately 2001 race confrontations. The study reflects on the way the stories relating to the history of Oldham have impacted on the shaping of the brand. Boje (2008) argues that every workplace, school, government office or local religious group if not any organisational setup is a storytelling organisation and that wherever people are involved they are known by their story. The study reviews the approach to branding.\ud \ud \ud This paper argues that the crisis helped put Oldham back on the national and international map. The consultant employed a simplistic model to capture the ethos of the new Oldham. It is inconclusive if the recommended image really makes a difference in the shaping of the new image of Oldham. The logo represents oneness and seems to answer to political whispers and not well grounded marketing. Ultimately the paper takes a position that the consultant did not comprehensively tackle the key issues that underpin place branding by not addressing some sensitive issues that could help consolidate the development and the image of the town

Topics: HC, HF, HT
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