City marketing tools
The city applies various tools to position Ghent as a strong ‘brand’.
Among these tools are communication and marketing, products and activities and, last but not least, the city's networks.
Communication and marketing tools
Ghent promotes itself through a wide variety of communication initiatives and products. A few examples: a campaign of a city department that is entirely in line with the city’s pillars or values, the development of gadgets in the ‘Ghent - so much city’ house style, and promotional videos, images or brochures. The City of Ghent also uses billboards to announce events and regularly posts news items on its Facebook page.
Products and activities
Ghent is also promoted during countless activities and projects, such as the Light Festival, the Ghent Festivities, urban renovation projects and participation in international conferences. Moreover, Ghent regularly joins forces with third parties that are keen to promote the city. A few examples: the yearly competition to find the ‘coolest inhabitant of Ghent’ (‘Strafste Gentenaar’), many TV stations and production houses come to the city for shoots and countless (ad-hoc) initiatives are organised in collaboration with third parties.
Promoting Ghent as a strong brand calls for a joint effort, and that’s where many stakeholders jump in – from cultural associations to creative spirits, large companies, budding entrepreneurs, the university and university colleges, research centres, sportspeople, Ghent-born celebrities etc.
Many of these Ghent-based stakeholders have joined ‘De Community Gent’, a non-profit organisation offering a platform for collaboration, exchanges and consultation between the City of Ghent and its social, socio-economic, scientific, cultural, sports and other stakeholders.
The City of Ghent, the Province of East Flanders and local knowledge institutions have also joined ‘Gent BC’, which brings together entrepreneurs, researchers and governments to encourage technological entrepreneurship and innovation in the Ghent knowledge region.
Ghent is also a member of international networks, which allow for contacts worldwide in various urban policy fields that are of interest for the city. As far as city marketing is concerned, Ghent is an active member of the following networks:
- EUROCITIES, a network of (medium to) large European cities which promotes the exchange of knowledge and has a strong voice in the European political institutions. For city marketing, Ghent has joined the EUROCITIES working group ‘City branding and attractiveness’.
- EUniverCities, a European network that brings together university cities to encourage the sharing of knowledge and experiences on how cities and their universities can collaborate at local level. City marketing is one of the topics tackled by EUniverCities.