Page last updated at 21:23 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

London 'needs to be a superbrand'

Tourists on a London sight-seeing bus near Trafalgar Square
Ten global cities contributed to the report

London needs to reinvent itself as a superbrand to attract talent, tourism and trade to help the economic recovery, a report suggests.

The report, by The Communications Group plc, says it needs to reinvent itself like the Coca-Cola and Google brands.

Three thousand business leaders from 10 cities were surveyed for the report.

More than 50% said poor transport and poor quality of life were forcing them to look beyond London at other emerging cities to invest, work and live.

But nearly 80% said they believe the "supercity" is vital in delivering economic renewal and prosperity for the rest of the UK.

The report argues that London should become a superbrand by learning lessons from companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft, and Apple.

It should associate itself with powerful emotions and stories that have global resonance and attraction, the report says.

It says it needs to harness its intangible assets - such as the West End, the 2012 Olympics and other world-class events - and capitalise on its image, status and "soft" assets such as arts and culture.

London needs to fashion its intangible and tangible assets into a compelling proposition of hope for the nation's progress and prosperity
Michael Hayman, The Communication Group's CEO

Ten global cities contributed to the report - Cities: The Destination Identity - which is published in partnership with UK Trade and Investment and Westminster City Council.

Councillor Colin Barrow, from Westminster City Council, said: "An astonishing 50% of all visitors to England visit Westminster.

"Here is where the opportunities are. Are the streets paved with gold? No. But if you want to work hard and find yourself you can come here and do, or be, more or less anything you want."

The report also suggests London and other global cities are being challenged by other cities that are succeeding at winning people and investment.

Michael Hayman, The Communication Group's chief executive, said: "Just as New York in the 1930s capitalised on physical assets such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building as symbols of optimism, London needs to fashion its intangible and tangible assets into a compelling proposition of hope for the nation's progress and prosperity."

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