Creating the city's new brand

In February 2013, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau interviewed more than 50 of Glasgow’s leaders from the private, public and academic sectors – drawing on their expertise and experience to help inform the development of the new brand.

During April and May 2013, GCMB engaged the people of Glasgow in a conversation aimed at further shaping the new brand; encouraging residents, visitors and fans of the city across the globe to have their say online.

Postcards and collection-boxes were also situated in more than 60 locations across every Glasgow City Council ward, including libraries, museums, leisure centres, benefit offices, community halls, shopping centres and hotels to ensure as many people as possible could share their views.

GCMB implemented a PR campaign throughout the conversation, targeting media across the UK and globally through GCMB’s network of on-territory PR agencies in France, Germany, Canada, Australia and the US aimed at maximising awareness and coverage.

More than 1,500 people from 42 countries shared their views, with the website receiving 7,000 visits from across Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, India and China. Far flung responses were also received from Egypt, Brazil, Kenya, Singapore and Kazakhstan.

Overwhelmingly, the greatest response from contributors was that it’s the people of Glasgow that make the city great, which, ultimately, led to the development of PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW and ensured the city’s new brand is founded in truth.

Social media activity around the conversation and subsequent launch of the new brand reached a global audience of 1.25 million Facebook and Twitter users – with PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW trending on Twitter in the UK on launch day.

Glasgow City Marketing Bureau employed Tangent to deliver the creative execution. PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW has a strong, geometric typeface, which has been custom-designed and draws on the city’s shipbuilding heritage and the unmistakeable style and colour palettes employed by Glasgow’sworld-renowned cultural icon, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The brand’s keynote pink colour (which is actually Rubine Red from the Pantone colour chart) is passionate and delivers demonstrable standout while the photography reflects the city’s unique personality.

One of the real strengths of the brand is its flexibility. It can be adapted for different audiences and sectors to highlight Glasgow’s key strengths and will provide a platform through which to attract investment. It also reinforces the fact that the city’s increasingly diverse economy is underpinned by a dynamic, growing, and highly-skilled workforce.

In August 2013, Glasgow’s winning bid to host the World Down’s Syndrome Congress in 2018 was the first to carry the city’s new brand. It was led by local residents Andrew Macintyre (26), Stuart Campbell (27) and Sam Ross (25), each of whom has Down’s syndrome, under the banner PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW INCLUSIVE. The success of the bid, which beat of strong competition from four international cities, demonstrates that the new brand is a real point of difference and will play an intrinsic role in winning business for the city. Hosting this conference will bring more than 1,200 delegates from all over the world to Glasgow, boosting the city’s economy by nearly £2 million.

In April 2014, PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW was recognised at Europe’s premier branding awards. The city won an unprecedented four titles – gold and three silvers – at the European Transform Awards, which reward best practice across corporate and product rebranding and brand development, with a focus on strategy, content and execution.

The coveted awards were judged by some of the world’s leading branding experts from companies including FIFA, Barclaycard, Bauer Media, Aviva, Hilton Hotels, Legal and General and BAE Systems. Glasgow was acknowledged in four different categories; collecting gold for best external stakeholder relations and three silver awards for best brand architecture solution; best implementation of a rebrand and best visual identity from the public sector. The city faced global competition from some of the world’s biggest blue chip companies, including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank; Lloyds Bank; WorldPay Zinc; ITV (ITN); Tata Power – India’s largest integrated power company – and Canadian security and risk management company GardaWorld as well as Evelina London Children’s Hospital and the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick.

Contact GCMB’s brand manager to use PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW brand 

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