woensdag 8 april 2015

City marketing

How my hometown Breda struggles with city marketing since 2009
Living in the Netherlands, I belong to one of the happiest people in the world. Our kids are even the happiest of the whole wide world. Amazing figures. And yes, we Dutchies in general feel very happy to live in a free country, in Western Europe, in between Germany, Belgium/France (Paris is only 2,5 hours away!) and UK.

I am proud to be Dutch. I wish I could say I am proud to be a Bredanaar too.

I live in the city of Breda, Noord-Brabant, or as we call it: Brabant. Brabant is a province, a small, state like region of the Netherlands. Brabant, in the South of the Netherlands, welcomes you. Antwerp (Belgium) is only 45 minutes by car.
Breda is also the home town of DJ Tiƫsto and Hardwell, really! Famous Bredanaars, but I guess you didn't know that?
DJ Hardwell & Tiesto: Ambassadors of Breda?

This wonderful, fabulous Dutch city in Brabant, is not getting the world wide attention it deserves. Due to lack of proper city marketing, we are not known to many tourists. Amsterdam is overcrowded by tourists, Breda is only a 55 minute train ride away from our capital Amsterdam.
Traditional Dutch culture (like the ancestors of the present king lived here, Breda is a 'Nassau' city) combined with modern life. Check out the old city centre and new architecture, theatre, music and a lot of pubs and heaps of cafe terraces. All in walking distance. You can take a boat tour or hire a bike and cycle through the city via our wonderful bike paths. We have beautiful nature like the Markdal and Mastbos, and much more.

So with all the above and so much more, why isn't Breda 'on the map'??

Until 2010 we had a city marketing project called Expeditie Breda. In Breda we like to use the term expeditie (expedition) e.g. Expeditie Belcrum en de Linie. Breda has many more cultural platforms like Culture Shop Breda. This website is for cultural education mostly. There's an annual Culture Night and Redhead Days, next to the many music events like Jazz Breda or Breda Live. Breda wants to be a city of events.
Well, we got that one covered quite well. Breda has 175.000 inhabitants, the Netherlands 16,8 million. People from Brabant and beyond are visiting all our festivals, like Breda Barst, our free pop festival, and the more commercial ones 538 and Breda Live. (both sold out) We are the city of (dance) music!?

City marketing in the making
Breda wants to be the city of events. Breda wants to be the city of image culture. What else?

Breda Next made an adviesrapport about city marketing in 2014. Sorry, in Dutch only I went through all the themes. From the biggest annoyance (the vacancy of many business and shop properties) to the (lack of or wrong) ambition.
The answer to draw more attention the Breda was, and still is, in my eyes, simple: better social media marketing. Breda is not using all of its potentential. Like Why is Amsterdam mentioned in an Australian news item about our redhead days? 
City of Imagineers is wants to be a union of visual and culturtal artists and other platforms. CultuurBreda (Breda Culture) tries to connect quartermasters with the Bredanaars:

Why do we need an extra platform (CultuurBreda), with City of Imagineers being able to do all of the above? City of imagineers has such great potential. Sir Ken Robinson at TedX Oklahoma, State of Creativity: 
'Did you just say Imagineers?....That's awesome!' 

And another great talk of this man: 'How schools kills creativity.'

Kunstkameraden, 2014 - kids made their own art coached by local artists
"Imagination is the art within you. If you let your imagination take off, you will feel free."

City making
BredaNext picked 3 terms to describe our city center, Historisch (Historic), Bourgondisch (Burgundian) and Creatief (Creative). Boring!... Let's think about this like a true marketeer and then I came up with this:
Breda is Culture, Food & Imagination .
Culture (instead of History), Culture can be both old and new Breda,
Food, 'Dutch Food' or perhaps 'Organic (or true?) Brabant Food' (instead of Burgundic)
Imagination (instead of Creative) involving all art, including music!

According to the Breda profile
'we need to start up a tourism & citymarketing organisation again'

YES, please do so. Let's make Breda a tourist hotspot with Culture, Food & Imagination!

City of Imagineers in Oklahoma, USA - TedX

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