Place branding Hofbogen and Station Hofplein

How do you convey the story of a famous old train station and a new urban area?

The challenge

In its heyday, Station Hofplein welcomed affluent ladies and gentlemen travelling from The Hague to enjoy a night out in Rotterdam, but over the years had fallen into disrepair. A long-awaited makeover transformed the former railway viaduct into a vibrant hub, attracting visitors to sample exciting new offerings. The listed building houses over ten dynamic businesses in the food, fashion and fitness & design sectors.

The challenge was to attract more people to the area, creating an attractive urban neighbourhood with thriving businesses and healthy property management. BRAND helped Hofbogen BV, a partnership formed by Vestia and Havensteder, to achieve this ambition.

Our approach

We structured our approach around discovering how people felt about the area and what it represented, speaking with visitors, business owners and, especially, people who didn’t frequent the area. Together with the entrepreneurs and visitors, we developed the area’s new profile. The first step was to ‘reinstate’ the original name: Station Hofplein, which elegantly blends the grandeur of a bygone era with the fresh, new energy of numerous dynamic entrepreneurs, events and – from time to time – paid media. This was captured in a new name, a distinctive visual identity, and the story we told through free publicity, social media and events.

The outcome

Our approach was cross-media; we seamlessly integrated free publicity, social media campaigns and events. This enhanced the Station Hofplein brand, and connected an ever-growing community with the area. We chose to focus our campaign on the entrepreneurs and visitors.