A creative conversation between Dick Stroud, MD, 20plus30 consultants, and Alan 'Brand' Williamson, Destination Brand Developer
DICK: Did you read that Norwich, in England's Norfolk County, boasts the highest eBay per capita membership in the whole of the UK?
ALAN: Not only that, but Norwich's near neighbour, Cambridge, occupies the No 2 spot, while fellow neighbours, Ipswich and Peterborough, are both within the Top 20 of the UK eBay league table.
DICK: I guess this spells an opportunity to develop a new cluster destination brand.
ALAN: All four places are located within the olde English sub-region of East Anglia, now part of the East of England region, whose big brand idea is - The Ideas Region.
DICK: I've never quite managed to grasp the difference between East and West Anglia?
ALAN: It seems that West Anglia never made it as a serious sub-regional brand which means East Anglia has a unique opportunity to develop into a future-focused destination brand in its own right.
DICK: But first it has to lose its compass name.
ALAN: Welcome to New Anglia: Britain's eBay Capital.
DICK: 'Britain's eBay Capital' opens up significant economic and cultural opportunities particularly in market segments I'm very passionate about - The silver surfers community.
ALAN: I know you've been predicting the growing importance of the over 50's market for a number of years now.
DICK: They are already an important group of consumers, representing 40% of the UK’s adult population. The trouble is that most marketers have yet to appreciate the fact.
ALAN: Do you think New Anglia's eBay cluster in general and Norwich's in particular has anything to do with its population profile?
DICK: There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that older people use eBay as a way of supplementing their retirement income. But I don’t think this explains Norwich’s high take-up of the service since the town’s average age is almost the same as for the rest of the UK (38.6 years).
ALAN: Is there anything else about Norwich’s demographics that might explain why its residents are so attached to eBay?
DICK: For some strange reason people in Norwich don’t marry as much as the rest of Eastern England and consequently many more live in single person households. Maybe they use eBay as a way of passing away the long winter evenings?
ALAN: Sounds plausible enough.
DICK: It might also have something to do with the fact that Norwich has the highest uptake of broadband outside London but of course that might be due to so many of its residents wanting to use eBay.
ALAN: Calling all place pioneers - here's your chance to voice your opinions as to why you think New Anglia is Britain's eBay Capital. Also look out for eBay clusters in your own region or country.
'Brand' the Marketect says:
"Cluster branding has a big, big future for the destination industry. Why? Because 'birds of a feather flock together' - either by common interests, skills, talents, values, cultures, or ideologies."