Τhe ambitious city marketing initiative by the Brussels Capital Region was launched during the Brussels Urban Summit at SQUARE.
In 2021, the Brussels-Capital Region launched a project to position Brussels internationally in an attractive and coherent way. That project’s outcome was announced. Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region responsible for the Promotion of the Image of Brussels and Tourism: “Today, more than ever, European and global cities are competing to attract talent, investment and visitors. We know that there is an undeniable positive correlation between a city’s image and the attraction of international talent. That’s why, with the new, international BRUSSELS brand, we want to enhance the image of the Brussels-Capital Region internationally, in the eyes of both citizens and European and global economic decision-makers. We want to do this by highlighting the Brussels-Capital Region’s many assets, be they cultural, heritage, tourist, economic, culinary or environmental.”
We Dare You to Be Yourself
After an 18-month process involving extensive research and countless public and private stakeholders, the new brand strategy has become a reality. It was given the title “In Brussels, We Dare You to Be Yourself”. The guiding principle is that Brussels is the ideal breeding ground to be yourself and grow.
Brussels’ appeal lies in its authenticity. In an age when no filter makes it to picture perfect, it’s the authentic, accessible, perfectly imperfect environment. It’s a city with personality, where residents embrace its beauty and diversity. The people of Brussels don’t take themselves too seriously and pride themselves on their hospitality. They don’t expect
anything of you, instead welcoming you as you are. They just challenge you to be yourself.
Pascal Smet, Brussels Secretary of State for Urbanism and Heritage, European and International Relations and Foreign Trade: “For the first time, we are really going to position Brussels in the world. Because the whole world knows Brussels, but not many people know what we really stand for. That is exactly why we are launching Brussels as an international brand with storytelling. A story based on in-depth research in which we compared Brussels with competing cities. We used this research to sketch a strong story with the public and private players that represent Brussels abroad. A “brand” that shows Brussels as it is, “perfectly imperfect”. This brand and everything we developed around it is now available to anyone promoting our city abroad.”
One voice for Brussels
Our region’s brand recognition on the international scene is healthy. However, its image abroad is still often fragmented. The aim of this new brand strategy is to project a coherent image of Brussels to foreign audiences.
A comprehensive brand toolkit has been prepared for the roll-out of the brand strategy. It should help Brussels residents and stakeholders tell the Brussels’ story with one voice. It includes many tools and guidelines for anyone wishing to promote our capital abroad. Both public and private organisations can use them. Moreover, Brussels residents themselves can
apply to be ambassadors of the region and join a network of dynamic Brussels enthusiasts.
Sven Gatz, Brussels Minister for Finance, Budget, Civil Service, the Promotion of Multiluingalism and the Image of Brussels: “With our new brand, we want to improve the image that our international audience of tourists, investors, businesses, associations, students and so on has of Brussels and, by the same token, support the economic growth of our region. This is also why we are making our new shared brand available to everyone, be they private or public actors.”
After a call for tenders, the contract to develop and implement a strategy around city marketing was awarded to the Resonance agency, an internationally renowned team of experts in place marketing. The company is known for its annual Best Cities ranking. In the latest European ranking, Brussels ranked 12th.
The whole project is guided by a steering committee. In it, both public and private players are represented. They include Brussels International, Brussels Synergie, commissioner.brussels, hub.brussels, visit.brussels, the City of Brussels, BECI and the ULB and VUB universities. The steering committee will be coordinated by visit.brussels and overseen by Resonance until the end of 2024.
Brussels Urban Summit
The press conference took place alongside the Brussels Urban Summit. This is an initiative of the Brussels-Capital Region, Eurocities, Metropolis and the OECD’s Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative. The conference will look at how cities can provide the innovation needed for a greener and more inclusive future.
Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.
She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.