Tilburg – Capital of Social Innovation

How do you capture a city’s unique DNA?

The challenge

Great things are happening in Tilburg! In 2015, the municipality of Tilburg competed for the title of European Capital of Innovation for a second time. To be selected as a nominee for the award, the story of Tilburg’s unique approach to innovation needed to be presented as clearly and attractively as possible. The municipality of Tilburg asked us how they could best present their story.

Our approach

We began by identifying Tilburg’s unique DNA. The city excels at social innovation. Tilburg is a place where people enjoy working together and, as a result, the city does things a little bit differently. This is precisely the feeling we wanted to convey. But because the bid’s application format offered limited scope for that, we developed a temporary website with a fun, informational video and infographics about the three sample projects. The website instantly hit the right note.

The result

Tilburg is now famous as a city of social innovation! Despite not being selected as one of the nine finalists, the jury distinguished Tilburg with a special commendation. The jurors were impressed by Tilburg’s vision. The video that had been developed was intensively used by the city and stakeholders as part of their city branding. We were then asked to make another two videos unlocking the unique Tilburg approach to social innovation as a theme, each time from a slightly different angle, aimed at a different target group.

The partnership was a success from the very first minute because BRAND The Urban Agency immediately had a feeling for what we wanted, and an image and sense of what Social Innovation’s all about. We shared a ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ mentality. So, we got to work, worked fast, and adapted quickly. The motto “Tilburg, our DNA has the future” was spot on. It’s not something we’d ever have come up with ourselves, but it’s bang on target: it expresses our pride. Silvia Pauly, strategist, municipality of Tilburg