I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur.
This is home.
Kuala Lumpur is a city where I can communicate in three languages (Manglish) in a single sentence and still be understood.
It is a city where I can have nasi lemak
for breakfast, roti canai
for lunch, muffins for tea and hokkien mee for dinner. MUST READ: Astro AWANI's Orang KL series
However, I cannot say that we have been doing a great job when it comes to defining our fair city to the rest of the world.
If you were asked to name one reason why a foreign friend should choose to visit KL, instead of Singapore, Bangkok or Jakarta, what would it be? MUST READ: Kuala Lumpur makes no promises
Nothing really stands out in particular, so my go-to answer is and has always been… the food.
Maybe it’s just me, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Kuala Lumpur is perceived as a ‘by the way’ city (a quick pit stop) in comparison to the other exotic and equally magnificent cities in Southeast Asia.
Aside from the often-quoted friendliness and warmth of Malaysians in general, what is KL’s unique selling point? (closest thing to a valid answer here
This is a question I’ve been pondering since the unveiling of Kuala Lumpur's new “exciting, surprising, enticing
” brand identity unveiled by the Mayor recently.
The questionable logo and tagline was promptly ripped apart by armchair critics online
Maybe deservedly so.
But does any of that really matter when it comes to shaping what foreigners think of our city?
When you think about Paris, London or New York, do you really recall the city tourism board’s latest campaign?
City branding goes beyond a logo or tagline, and when done well, can reap huge financial rewards. MUST READ: Nobody knows you when you're down and out
I believe it comes down to defining a holistic experience which we can offer to both internal and external stakeholders.
But you won’t be able to craft this from your armchair alone.
Are you, citizen of Kuala Lumpur, actively involved in championing sustainable, eco-friendly urban planning and development, and protecting our cultural and architectural heritage?
When all of us city-dwellers can answer in the affirmative to this, only then will we be headed in the right direction.
It is only when every stakeholder truly gets involved will we be on the right track towards building a global brand for our beloved city which we can be rightfully proud of.