Despite the quite significant promotion budgets neither Moscow nor St. Petersburg have their own city brands. The issue was clearly underestimated and as a result both Russian capitals, administrative and cultural, do not have any recognizable visual image. Some Russian cities and region however start implementing branding tools in effective way.
"Destination branding" was introduced in 2002 by Simon Anholt, one of the world's leading experts in the field of branding. Recently, more and more cities are thinking about their own identity, which would attract more visitors and would bring a set of values and identity for the locals. Currently, among the most recognizable European city brands are Paris, London, Barcelona or Amsterdam.
Gradually Russian cities and regions become more and more interested in implementing branding as a tool of efficient destination promotion. Among the first destinations embracing the concept are Perm, Kaluga Region, Nenets autonomous district, and Smolensk.