Territorial Marketing: Drawing People in Through Its Distinctive Identity

At our Real-Estate Forum held on February 6, our panelists considered ways of developing a true territorial attraction strategy. Discover the highlights of that session.

Place Iona Monahan

Territorial marketing – what does it consist of?

Territorial marketing is first and foremost a collective approach that aims to favorably influence the reputation of a territory by highlighting its distinctive assets. That territory may be a country, a town or a district, and the aim is to highlight its differentiating and attractive features. This type of initiative inevitably requires a commitment from all stakeholders, with companies, residents, businesses, organizations and governments all playing an active role. Its four main pillars are history, place, space and time.

The foundations of a promising identity and approach

Several elements need to be considered when implementing an effective territorial marketing strategy. Every place has its unique personality and attractive qualities that must be showcased as part of a collective, unified vision:

  • Establish from the outset an open and sincere dialogue with all the territory’s stakeholders, be they real-estate owners, companies and businesses, residents, economic and community organizations, or different levels of government.
  • Relying on the history of the area is fundamental to giving meaning to our approach. The landmarks that come to us from its history will establish themselves in the collective imagination, so we need to draw inspiration from them without necessarily restricting ourselves to them.
  • Foster interconnection between indoor spaces, where people work, and outdoor spaces, where the squares, shops and events that express the vitality of a place are located. It’s important that all these parties communicate and collaborate around locally grown values and specific features. This is the way to build a common identity that comes with a sense of pride. When you love something, you want to take care of it.
  • Develop a strong visual signature and create original outdoor spaces that allow for encounters, discussions, and interconnection.
Raquel Penalosa (Communautique), FLUKE (A'Shop), Hélène Veilleux (SDC District Central), Martine Peyton (ÉLÉMENTS Planification Urbaine)
Raquel Penalosa (Communautique), FLUKE (A'Shop), Hélène Veilleux (SDC District Central, Martine Peyton (ÉLÉMENTS Planification Urbaine)

The example of District Central

Long associated with the fashion industry and manufacturing activities, District Central has been transformed over the years. Today it plays host to a great diversity of firms operating in the clothing, technology, light manufacturing, entertainment, and arts sectors. And creativity is one of the driving forces.

Its approach is built around the following key elements:

  • Since 2017, the SDC has been encouraging open and direct communication with the district’s driving forces. Today an exceptional quality of commitment can be felt there. The sincerity of the approach is as important, if not more so, than the result you're trying to achieve.
  • The territory stands out through its rich history, its manufacturing tradition, and its central location on the island of Montreal. Renters are drawn by its accessibility, its affordability and its proximity to major transport routes.
  • The development of a signature intervention plan for the development and animation of public spaces has given new impetus to the sector, as has the introduction of signage that reflects its personality and the creation of pathways that link its five geographical sectors.
  • Its massive buildings with their imposing architecture have a certain mystery about them. We’re curious about what goes on inside each of them. That’s part of its myth, and this is an avenue that can be exploited in storytelling.
  • The presence of a Fab Lab stimulates cooperation and interconnection there, with an accent on local solutions and the circular economy. It also offers a direct link to a worldwide network, which fuels its reputation.
  • The presence of many studios and artistically oriented organizations contributes to its appeal and to the vitality that can be seen daily.
  • A strong, mobilized community: the diversity of the businesses and people who work and live in the district is a remarkable asset, inseparable from its identity. It is the source of District Central's strength and resilience.

Work has yet to be done if District Central is to become truly familiar to the general public. It remains a well-guarded secret, whose unveiling is taking place gradually, but steadily.

Louvain-champ-Solène-Broisin-WEB (1)

An undeniable economic benefit

Today, employees have a huge influence on where companies choose to set up shop. The attractiveness of the territory, and everything that makes the location unique, has a direct impact on commercial leasing, necessarily driving up real estate property values. That's why it's so important to work with property owners to develop the area in such a way as to preserve the neighborhood's resilience and collectively agree to modulate the gentrification that often comes with such an approach. Let's not forget the reasons why businesses and their workers have settled in District Central.


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