The core objective of Brabant Branding's strategy is: strengthening a positive image of Brabant. The Governance Agreement of the province of North Brabant prioritizes this ambition. The branding instrument aims to enhance the desired image of Brabant. The Brabant Branding Team, part of the province of North Brabant, is tasked with developing and executing the branding strategy. The team collaborates with a large number of partners.
Branding is about building a brand, in this case, the 'Brabant' brand. Brabant Branding focuses on actions that lead to greater regional recognition and a positive reputation. The three brand values of Brabant (Courageously Unconventional, Purposefully Collaborative, and Remarkably Immersive, read more about them on this page) serve as the starting point.
Branding is not the same as marketing. Branding aims to evoke positive feelings in target audiences, aligned with the desired image. Marketing prompts target audiences to take action, to invest, settle, or visit. For instance, the Brabant Development Agency and Visit Brabant do this. Thus, Brabant Branding supports and facilitates the (marketing) objectives of others.
Branding raises awareness of the Brabant region as a European top region in knowledge and innovation. This supports the economic and international goals of the region in terms of investments, trade, innovation, and cooperation with other regions. In short, branding indirectly concerns employment and added value.
Team Brabant Branding collaborates with a wide array of partners for Brabant's profiling. To name a few: Brainport Eindhoven, BOM, VisitBrabant, BrabantC, AgriFood Capital, various Campuses, and the universities in Tilburg and Eindhoven. They and many more play a significant role in regional branding.
Team Brabant Branding aims to ensure a consistent message/appearance from all these parties when they are instrumental in or communicate about Brabant. This is called 'place brand management,' and it's necessary because branding is only effective when all parties tell the same story: the captivating and impactful story of Brabant. Central to this story are the three brand values that make the region exceptional.
Until recently, Brabant adhered to the values of high tech/high touch. Successful in entrepreneurship, knowledge, and innovation (high tech), but also Burgundian, hospitable, and congenial (high touch). These values were recently reviewed and deemed suitable but too general. Consequently, in collaboration with partners, the values were refined. The following three brand values, which make Brabant unique, were chosen. They embody the essence of Brabant's identity.
Strategies, projects, events, and campaigns that align with the three brand values are termed 'on-brand.' Activities that do not align with these values are 'off-brand.'
Team Brabant Branding's focus is for partners to organize their impactful activities as much as possible in an on-brand manner, in both content and form. Besides offering advice, the team has three tools for this purpose: the Brand Filter, the library on the InBrabant.nl platform, and the wordmark.
The brand filter was developed as a tool for organizations and authorities to make choices that align with being on-brand. To ensure a unified outward-facing narrative and appearance, we've developed the brand filter together with our partners. The brand filter serves as a tool to make choices and to act on-brand. Collectively, the brand values form the basis for shaping content and form for propositions, activities, events, campaigns, and other projects. The filter can also be used to make a strategy on-brand, or as a framework for decision-makers or partners. An activity is on-brand if it meets the three brand values, both in the nature of the activity and in the communication about it.
The strategy's goal is for all parties communicating about the region to convey a consistent story. That's why the library on this platform was developed. This online toolbox is intended for partners, the press, and other parties communicating about Brabant. It provides photos, videos, texts, and inspirational (on-brand) examples, all free of rights and logos. InBrabant.nl makes it possible and easy to tell the Brabant story, aligned with the three brand values.
Content takes center stage in the branding strategy. Therefore, no new logo was developed. After all, audiences should recognize the region based on relevant content, not a logo. However, a so-called wordmark is available. If there's a need for a formatted 'denominator' or name for a stand, an event, or as a title above a project plan, for example, the wordmark can be freely used. However, it's not obligatory (unlike a logo often is).
Monitoring is an integral part of implementing the branding strategy. Regular monitoring informs us whether we're on course and allows us to adjust as needed. For this, we utilize existing measuring tools, both our own and third-party tools, and develop our monitoring tools. Altogether, this yields valuable market intelligence. We monitor for the following purposes:
Branding the Brabant region is a complex process involving many parties. Collaboration is crucial in this endeavor. This aligns with Brabant's brand values: seeking each other out, giving space to others, and creating success together. Only together we can make a difference!