Any of us who have lived or worked in Nottingham for any length of time couldn’t help but notice that it isn’t terribly close to the seaside – and for me, this is the only part of living here that I have ever missed, having grown up in sunny, sandy Margate.
But now we have a brilliant solution. The seaside has come to us with the launch of the Nottingham Riviera yesterday.
And it looks brilliant, despite some dark clouds threatening the perfect seaside break inland.
Nottingham has worked hard over the years to dispel the ridiculous myths about its problems. All of which are based more around a tiny political boundary that distorts the figures than any real issues that any other growing city doesn’t face.
Perhaps if Nottingham gets the march on Torbay, who are apparently rebranding to become the English Riviera, the City could own this creative space before Torbay moves into it.
But it seems that the Nottingham ‘Brand’s is becoming about innovation, which we have recommended for years as being the way for any brand or even any place to continue to be loved by its audience.
Yesterday also saw the arrival of Sven to the city to take over as Director of Football at Notts County – The oldest Football league club in the world. Again, great news (albeit a bit surreal) and another huge jaw dropping positive piece in the news about the city.
Today sees the first meeting of the Sheriff’s Commission – a panel put together specifically to show how Robin Hood can be more embedded into the fabric of the city. When we did the City brand some years ago, we were hammered for saying we did not have a strong enough offer for our green hero and choosing to focus on some of the other positives in the meantime. Thankfully this may now be coming to an end.
Melbourne have just undertaken their own rebrand through Landor and seem to be getting the usual bollocks about what it cost and how little effect it will have, but if this is what it takes for a city to start acting differently it’s money well spent.
Considering we’re meant to be in a recession, Nottingham genuinely feels like it is really fighting back. It’s become proud and innovative again and is building its brand by continuing to act differently and by actually being innovative.
Branding is about the sustained differentiation of a product, service or place. In this regard Nottingham is practicing some of the best branding you will see from any city anywhere.
Long may it continue.