City of London

Reinvention and renewal for 2,000 years; helping London compete with a destination brand for the City

Brand Strategy | Brand Identity | Tone of Voice | Print Design | Digital Design

As a core part of the City’s resilience programme, Chris Hayward, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, articulated a vision to position the Square Mile as a destination for leisure and culture. It was designed to help London compete on the world stage, attracting investment, jobs, and global talent. A new destination brand would present the other side of the City, showcasing its cultural context and its endless discoveries outside the office. But what actually is the City of London, where is it, how is it different from London and isn’t it an expensive place just for bankers? Or is it an organisation none of us know much about?

The City of London had a problem with both awareness and perception. Research showed that even Londoners were confused about what it is. International audiences come to tick off icons like the Tower of London or St. Paul’s and leave again to eat and drink elsewhere. We realised that our job was to show how the City’s story was London’s story; no visit to London is complete without coming to where it all began; with Roman ruins below your feet and skyscrapers above your head. The birthplace of London, filled with meaning and significance - and with so much more to explore.

A global hub that invented capitalism, the City has touched almost every person in the world in some way. Founded by the Romans, it’s where the early coffee houses turned into today’s financial powerhouses and liveries honed their craft. It boasts a list of famous characters as long as your arm and it’s packed with some of the world’s most recognisable landmarks and cultural assets.

Visit the website.

In short, it’s been a crucible of human ingenuity since London began. We saw culture and commerce as two sides of the same coin. They are happy bedfellows, after all. Both require the spirit of invention and imagination that the City has in bucketloads.

And so we developed a brand around this unique point of view. The Romans, Shakespeare, Marconi, green tech, finance - nowhere else can draw a thread between past, present, and future in the same way. It’s where people have come together for 2,000 years to collaborate on ideas that spread across the world. An alluring prospect for our curious target audience, hungry for new and meaningful experiences together.

We identified high value audience targets, matched insights with the city’s strengths and unique assets before sprinting to positioning and identity concepts. We ran testing with audience segments using System1’s testing platform to refine these ideas and develop the website. We did extensive messaging work, building detailed personas for targeting and developed strategic pillars that were used to align placemaking work.

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