Copenhagen – A city that defines its place brand

How my arrival experience at Copenhagen Airport informed my understanding of city and brand. Do first impressions count?

Place branding can be subjective. Comprising of so many stakeholders and components it’s unlike a product or service. There’s often no executive usp or sales proposition – that’s what makes it so difficult. However on a recent visit (my first visit) to Copenhagen I experienced brand and place working together in its true sense.

Stepping off the plane in most airports you’re often greeted by ‘bland’, nothingness. And quite often you could be in any city, anywhere. And for the first few steps I felt the same, but then I started to look around. Actually maybe I’m wrong here. From the clever use of materials including the obligatory ply and the fresh open spaces and white light I was sensing something unique.

Before you knew it the simple way-finding had brought me to a train platform which would take me to the heart of Copenhagen (about 20mins).

Again, sitting down on this comfortable, clean and spacious train made me stop and look. Okay, it’s a train but if u start to look closely at the details, you realised the design and user experience is key to how the Danish thought and how they regard their citizens. Music player socket overhead was a simple and nice touch but the tray table really got me excited. No seriously! Push down from the seat in front and out slid a walnut verneered thick ply table with brushed steel, recessed cup holder. Right then I knew and understood how this place lived by its values. No sexy strapline, logo or campaign. This is place branding at its best and at its purest.

Why Amsterdam may be the new creative capital of Europe

As Black & Ginger grows into Europe we look at what makes Amsterdam a great place for the creative industries

So what are the crucial ingredients that are making this dutch city simmer with excitement and explode as a leading digital hub?

Inherently born from wealth from its trade port roots, you don’t have to look far to understand where the city’s rich culture has trickled through the veins of its canals into the DNA of its people.

Yes we all know Amsterdam as being free thinking, but what Amsterdam does well is the idea of ‘citizens’. This place is designed for people and where people come first, and this creates a unique environment for ideas and radical thinking.

From Rembrandt to Van Gogh this is a city who’s creative past informs its future.

“The dutch are so used to constraints of building up and along narrow roads, creativity is a way to break these restraints and express their true selves.”

From the huge tech giants to the latest tech start ups, Amsterdam provides not only an infrastructure but also a way of life that promotes creativity and freedom of thought, unbound by an agenda. No matter where you’re from there is a unified understanding that citizens come first. Give people the power to live their best lives and history will write itself.

Keep your eyes peeled as B&G goes Dutch.

Laughin’ Exhibition

And exhibition destined to make you smile

We believe creativity can put a smile on everyones face, which is why we curated an exhibition that celebrates both humour and creativity whilst making a positive impact, collaborating with local mental health charity The Open Door Centre.

We invited local, national and international artists, designers and photographers to flex their creative muscles, with the simple brief to produce artwork that tickles the mind and leaves us Laughin. This gathered an overwhelming response of people wanting to contribute their time and creativity and help support the cause. 

We wanted to help spread positivity throughout our community

To distribute the work on a global platform we compiled the artwork into an exhibition brochure which shipped around the world with proceeds going to The Open Door Centre. Further collaborating with our artists allowing them to host their own Laughin exhibition within their city helping to spread positivity to a wider audience.

“Collaborating with the team at Black & Ginger has been a real pleasure and we can’t wait to unveil the Laughin’ exhibition to the public. The premise behind the exhibition is simple; to make people smile. Every piece of artwork featured is truly uplifting and we are looking forward to raising as many smiles and laughs

If you share our passion for big ideas, we’d love to hear from you.
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