DES: Last week's Commonwealth Games in the city of Melbourne, Australia, has clearly demonstrated the power of focusing on a narrow market segment.
TINA: Whilst most cities around the world are engaged in 'we-have-something-for-everyone' strategies, Melbourne has powerfully positioned itself as 'Australia's Sports Capital'.
DES: Despite losing the 2000 Summer Olympics to its fellow Aussie city - Sydney - Melbourne has not wavered from its primary focus: bringing great sporting spectaculars to this sports-mad nation.
TINA: From Grand Slam Open tennis to Formula 1 Grand Prix racing to the Melbourne Cup horse race, this city of under 4 million people punches well above its weight thanks to its grand sporting brand plan.
DES: Now compare and contrast the branding efforts of Turin - the city that hosted last month's Winter Olympics.
TINA: Apart from a few TV seconds of a prancing Formula 1 Ferrari, this northern Italian city sadly failed to build on its big brand idea - Italy's Motor Capital - home to the giant FIAT car corporation.
DES: Instead, Turin promoted a meaningless all-encompassing advertising slogan 'Passion Lives Here' rather than narrowing its focus to perhaps a 'Passion for Speed' - witnessed not only on its high altitude ski slopes but also on its low altitude autostradas and in its Museo dell' Automobile.
TINA: And it's worth pointing out that Melbourne so nearly followed in Turin's tracks into unfocused territory when it was dubbed 'Australia's Cultural Capital' by the Aussie media and travel guides. But thankfully, the city maintained its narrow focus on sport - the cultural spirit and soul of the sportz-whizz-kidz-of-Oz.
DES: And since hosting the 1956 Olympic Games, Melbourne has moved onwards and upwards, with a future-focus, and built its sporting brand by elevating the Olympic stadium, better known as the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), to the cult status of a sporting shrine, welcoming sports fans from around the world on regular pilgrimages.
TINA: And afterwards, encouraging the pilgrims to go on and worship at other local sporting temples: The Australian Gallery of Sport, the Olympic Museum, Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, and exhibitions on Aussie Rules Footy (aka Australian football).
DES: For Don Bradman, Rod Laver, Herb Elliott, Dawn Fraser, Ian Thorpe, Cathy Freeman, Shane Warne and a galaxy of world-class sports stars and their fans - all roads lead to Melbourne.
TINA: And if that wasn't enough, Melbourne also attracts non-sporting enterprises and visitors, and has developed a secondary strength as a commercial cluster boasting Australia's three largest corporations: Telstra, BHP Billiton and National Australia Bank.
DES: A super-successful destination brand strategy deserves the obligatory nickname. Any suggestions Tina?
TINA: I'd go for 'The Burn' to not only reflect Melbourne's sporting credentials and hot weather but also a hint on how best to pronounce its brand name.
DES: So what's the future for sporting Melbourne in say the next ten years or so? I hear there's talk of widening its scope to become 'Australia's Events Capital'.
TINA: Well, that would be a major strategic mistake as it would open the door for the competition to move in and occupy the vacated space. Far better for Melbourne to stay focused on sport but go global - 'World's Sports Capital'. That would accelerate not only the flow of inward investments and next-generation elite athletes from around the world, but also the exports of sports managers, coaches, trainers, psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, sponsorship agencies, architects, designers and so on, as well as sports equipment, clothing and other sports-oriented concepts and products.
DES: But what about the global competition?
TINA: The good news for Melbourne is that most of its potential city competitors are unfocused and are currently pre-occupied with trying to be 'all-things-to-all-people'. But there's some bad news on the horizon - the competitive arena is about to change very soon!
'Brand' the Marketect says:
"First attract with a single branded proposition, then distract with multiple products and experiences. When you focus on a narrow segment you paradoxically end up reaching a wider audience. Your prime target is not your ultimate market".