How do you ensure that a building, neighbourhood, city or area is attractive, and retains its appeal? We’re living in a world where areas and cities compete to attract young talent, potential residents, tourists, businesses and investors. Place marketing and city marketing are therefore influential tools. Tools that BRAND The Urban Agency has uniquely shaped into the integrated place branding principle. Drawing on years of experience and research, the model we developed defines places, regions, communities, areas and cities as strong brands. Brands you feel comfortable with, that you cherish, want to identify with and help to grow. We do all this by tapping into the qualities and strengths that are native to the area. In partnership with locals, visitors and businesses, inspired by the area’s DNA.
What does place branding do?
Like a magnet, an attractive place attracts all kinds of people. Successful place branding can:
- firmly put an area on the map
- enhance energy and zest
- better express the unique character of a building
- attract more tenants
- strengthen the sense of belonging and pride among residents and entrepreneurs in an area
- connect local parties
- encourage collaboration
- pinpoint the direction for further development
What’s our strategy?
We develop a brand identity: a unique combination of values that together tell the story of that place. We do this in collaboration with our client, with stakeholders and with everyone who uses the area—local residents, visitors and businesses. By taking this integrated approach, we create a brand identity that is attractive, but also viable and widely supported.
We bring our entire brand strategy together in a single sheet of A3 paper: the Urban Canvas. This one-pager—that you can hang on the wall or use (literally) as a placemat—visualises the strategy and sets out the course clearly. It is a great tool: everything is here on one page, easy to understand—and very different from the hefty files of plans that often end up banished to the filing cabinet.
We work in close collaboration with all stakeholders in the area throughout every place branding process. What this means is that together, we don’t just create a brand—we build a community. An enthusiastic team of ambassadors who can support and propagate the brand.
From campaigns to placemaking
After developing the brand identity, we create a cross-media campaign that many stakeholders will support and engage with. Our campaign will be designed around the tools best suited to activating the brand. We take a very broad approach, including everything from social media to a PR campaign, to events and placemaking. From a pop-up urban park to a free publicity campaign and from a smart app to an urban festival. All these things help to create a vibrant, lively city where people love to be. And help to transform your place into a magnet.
- Read more about placebranding here:
- Hofbogen and Station Hofplein: how do you tell the story of a historic, famous station?
- Spoorzone ’s Hertogenbosch: how do you give a new, very diverse urban area a recognisable profile?
- Place branding Hulst: how to develop a future-proof place brand in collaboration with the city?