Research Office praises the role of city marketing by Eindhoven365
Eindhoven gained its spot on the world map – literally.
The city has become a world brand, partly due to the unremitting energy of former Mayor Rob van Gijzel, large-scale organizations such as ASML and the strategy of city marketing organisation Eindhoven365. That is what research office Berenschot concludes based on an evaluation of the first three years of this city organisation.
“Eindhoven365 has played an excellent role in loading and activating the brand. The strategy used has not missed its effect. Residents are proud of the brand values of Eindhoven. International media research shows that Eindhoven’s power has increased. The achievements of Eindhoven365 are recognized by colleagues.”
The organisation, that has won the national city marketing trophy three times in the past four years, was very consciously set apart from the municipality. Berenschot: “Partly because of this way of organising, the foundation is in the middle of the society. A lot of parties are intensively working together and the pragmatic, hands-on approach of Eindhoven365 is appreciated.”
The average range of Eindhoven in international media exposure has doubled in 5 years. Also internationally, Eindhoven is increasingly mentioned in media. In addition, there are more and more tourists coming to the city. The hotel stays have risen sharply (+220,000). The number of events, visitors and their economic spin-off are increasing. This trend accelerated after the end of the evaluation period (until 2015). The number of hotel stays was almost 800,000 last year, a growth of 9% in one year time. The additional income from tourist tax have therefore come to about €3 million since 2011.
All this also has consequences for the image of the city, although Eindhoven365 isn’t the only one responsible for that: “Eindhoven is an economically blossoming region and internationally renowned organisations such as the Design Academy, ASML and the High Tech Campus contribute to a metropolitan, dynamic climate. The attraction towards international talents is big.”
The main conclusions of Berenschot in a row:
* The motto “who chooses will be chosen” has worked. There is a clear focus on high tech and design. Eindhoven365 is in the middle of society and smartly connects many activities to the chosen substantive focus.
* Eindhoven365 is asked by other parties to offer help in own marketing and campaigns: the pragmatic and constructive approach is appreciated by important stakeholders in the region.
* Eindhoven365 fulfills a connecting role by expressing the unambiguous figurative brand of Eindhoven.
* Eindhoven has become a brand in the world.
* Eindhoven365 has a limitedly flexible budget.
Berenschot also has some advice for the coming years. The most important one: continue on the path you have chosen. Some things can always get better though, for example by actually investing, as a municipality, in the physical visibility of design and technology in the city. “At the same time, we consider it reasonable that the municipality of Eindhoven provides the foundation with clear, measurable KPIs and that the allocated budgets are in line with this. In addition, we call for more free financial space, since a large part of the budget is being spent on long-term projects.”
The report is already dating from December last year but on July 13 the first official response from the City Board came out. With some slight nuances, the college agrees with Berenschot’s findings. Money remains a problem though. The college: “The research recommends that more resources should be released for the city marketing from the incomes from the tourist tax. Given the financial situation within the municipality, that is now out of place.” According to the city council, Eindhoven247, affiliated with Eindhoven365, is able to generate more revenue from commercial activities.
The proposal to make the mayor responsible for city marketing instead of an alderman, isn’t directly taken over. “That is something for a next City Board.”