Where we choose to live is one of the most meaningful and emotional decisions we make.

It’s where we raise our children, where we work, invest, build.

defines who we ARE.

  • Yet traditional place branding carries neither meaning
    nor emotion.

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  • Whether it’s for a development, a city, a state, or a nation, typical agencies sell cynical engagement sessions, a stylish logo, a generic slogan, and pretty pictures.

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Clients end up with clichés, jargon words, and universal synonyms of civic goodness: innovation, opportunity, resilience, diversity.

Everywhere is world class.

Thousands of places claim to be the best place to live, work, and play.

  • It’s expensive and empty. Your home and the people who share it with you cannot be packaged and sold like toothpaste.

At Places are People, we’re as sceptical as you are about the word brand.

Since 2011, we have learned there is a better way. It’s an economical, powerful, and human way to build and activate the story of a place.

We uncover and harness the meaning and emotion that is already the core of your place — at its best. We work with your citizens to develop a master narrative. Then we help you bring it to life, together.

New York, London, and Hong Kong don’t need us.

Provence and Sonoma Valley are doing fine. Bombastic property developers with political ambitions don’t tend to share our philosophy. If you’re already spending thousands to get on top-ten lists, and it makes you happy, please continue.

We work with people who love misunderstood and underappreciated places and struggle to say why.

The overlooked cities.

The states and regions in transition.

The developments and commercial zones that seek to be more than glass and infrastructure.


We don’t sell you an off-the-shelf slogan and a media campaign. While that process makes agencies a lot of money, it doesn’t work.


Our method makes an economic, social, and cultural strength of what makes you different. We discover what is already there, under the surface, and we help you make it the foundation of everything you say and do, of every decision you make.


We partner with local agencies wherever we work, around the world. We’re building a network of like-minded professionals who have experienced the power of the Places are People method.

Take the Step

Maybe you’re working on a Request for Proposals. Maybe you need a keynote address or a workshop on narrative-based place-branding. Maybe you’d simply like to talk about where we have worked and how we might help.

Book a discussion.