In the present-day world any city, country or region compete with other areas in their efforts to attract labor resources, investors, tourists, etc. In the age of globalization, aggravation of competition and equalization of commercial opportunities for different areas, territory marketing, its image and brand come to the fore as compared with other geographical zones with equal commercial opportunities and living conditions. Therefore, more and more countries are intentionally engaged in marketing of their territories as well as in building up own brands which makes these areas attractive for investment and tourism. As any other process of new technologies introduction in regional marketing, branding has some difficulties.
Lack of state support and adjustment to measures of regional brands building up and promotion. Brand creation after a western pattern on the basis of western approaches and technologies which are not adjusted to the Russian reality and set forth in simplified
information and descriptive manner. They are not aimed at the managed areas competitiveness. Non-systemic regional brand management and as a consequence lack of the territory’s brandbook recipients.
On the basis of the analysis of Russian regions’ reputation development process, three main territories can be singled out. They are: the Moscow Region, the Leningrad Region and Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug-Ugra.
Nowadays, the Okrug is a territory with developed economy, approved and profitable manufacturing industry, positive growth trends in innovation, social and other spheres. That became the reason for the Okrug’s brand creation.
Therefore, at this stage of the Okrug image formation, the Government and mass media of Ugra are obliged not only to preserve the present-day results but also to intensify the activity on the Okrug brand further development. Several principal items on the Okrug image formation and development can be given to the experts in advertising and public relations:
Positioning of the Ugra territory as a powerful cluster with favourable investment climate that can guarantee successful development of new natural resources on the basis of the latest technologies of hydrocarbon resources exploitation. The Okrug territory can undoubtedly be viewed as a unique health resort area which can give start to a complex sports and tourist zone. There are at least two peculiarities that can define this zone. They are: availability of a well-developed center for Olympic training and All-Russian and international sports contests; development and popularization of the original culture of indigenous small-in-number peoples of the North which can serve as a basis for a well-developed tourist infrastructure. The Ugra new brand tying in to national and long-term projects (“Ural Industrial – Ural Polar”) with the aim to attract new labour resourses and promising economic companions. The Ugra’s brand recipients identification and the branding process systematization are required to make not only financial and economic but also social and cultural profit. A special administrative committee (department) ought to be set up to develop and promote the Okrug’s brand. It is necessary to maintain working relationships with other countries through the territory brand and its reputation on the world markets. There have already been such joint projects in Ugra (e. g. the Canadian project “Your North is my North and our North”; “The best exporter of Ugra -2009”; banks of Ugra and the Czech Republic cooperation; Russia-EU Summit, etc.)
Nowadays regions in Russia have to compete for everything: investments; information, transport and tourist flows; ecological, social and cultural projects; creative and exclusive ideas; specialist capable of managing the above mentioned. Under the conditions of intense competition, the role of the region’s successful positioning cannot be overestimated as it allows to attract and increase resources for the region development. Non-materials assets as well as image characteristics are of great importance in modern competitive environment. The positive image provides our region with competitive advantages, increase its investment and tourist attractiveness, intensifying, therefore, its social, economic and cultural development and contributing to raising the well-being of the people. That is why the formation and promotion of the Ugra image is one of the most important administrative tasks.