There are plenty to rebrand and few to rename. Renaming is as phoney as a Prince Charles housing development. I’d force Poundbury to drop its fake heritage and rename. Embrace what you really are without shame: Milton Keynes should embrace its ’new towniness’ with pride. There are many candidates that should rebrand to reassert their identities over those that overwhelm them: Dagenham (Ford), Luton (Vauxhall, Easy Jet), Slough (The Office) and Brentford (Nylons).
Rebecca Price, Managing director, Lloyd Northover
The obvious alternative to Staines would be St Aines – either that or its original Anglo-Saxon name, Stan. More generally, I’ve noticed our best place names are wasted on obscure locations, while major cities have relatively dull names. I’d favour a reshuffle, whereby our capital would become Giggleswick and London would be a village in Yorkshire. Birmingham would swap with Killiecrankie, Leeds would be known as Nempnett Thrubwell, and the entire district of Hoxton would be rebranded as Bell End.
Nick Asbury, writer, Asbury & Asbury
I’ve always thought fondly of Cupertino, a city synonymous with Apple and cutting-edge design that also sounds like a point of view on Britain’s favourite hot beverage – cool and quirky at the same time. With this in mind, I think it’s time we ringfenced the creative East Central boroughs of London and rebadged them under a city name, Cupertiyes.
Nigel Davies, Managing director, 300million
Having just come back from Mumbai, I don’t think renaming a place is necessarily the solution. In Mumbai’s case, the renaming was a return to its original nomenclature after centuries of ’colonial’ Bombay. Yet many of the people I met, across a spectrum of ages, still refer to the city as Bombay. However, there is a case for a multi-dimensional branding exercise to help the city transcend the clichés you normally associate with it and reflect its new dynamism and progressiveness.
Mick Nash, Managing director, Sedley Place
With great town names like Titty Ho and Nether Wallop, where do you start? Staines. ’Evolving’ its name to Staines-on-Thames is only one step. If it ever raises the money to help change perceptions, plus all its signs and materials, its rebranding could be a great project. Why? Because it would be so much fun. Rather than drop Ali G, he would be the centre piece in my viral campaign to help raise awareness of the qualities and values of the repositioning and rebranding. Then I’d get Rab C Nesbitt in for Glasgow and bring back Basil for Torquay. ’For real, innit.’
Simon Hutton, Managing director, To The Point