The city of Luleå in Sweden, along with Yours Communications Agency, was presented with the Placebrander of the Year award for its concept – Original Luleå Story. The prize was awarded by Placebrander AB.
Luleå won the contest with the motivation:
For the consistent and professional manner of strengthening the image of a place, internally as well as externally. With sure instinct and finesse development and marketing go hand in hand. International collaborations, world known establishments and unique reasons for traveling are framed and disseminated inside and out in a realistic way. The winner is a role model for place branding in Sweden.
“We are both proud and pleased with the prize because it is the result of many years of work where many people have contributed. It is primarily the residents of Luleå who are the winners because it is their images of Luleå that we have spread further,” says Anna Degerman, Growth manager for Luleå.
The award-winning competition entry contains how Luleå has worked with the concept of Original Story Luleå during recent years. The entry includes the first joint venture with Austin City of Songs, Luleå Pride and the campaign Valentine’s City.
“Place branding is long-term work. You have to work strategically, have patience and a lot of courage. Luleå has been true to the concept and it has yielded good results. Now we are also awarded a prize, which is another sign of the concept’s strength and it is of course great fun,” says Karin Klockare Järlström, Project manager and co-owner of Yours Communication Agency.
Since 2011, Luleå has worked with the concept Luleå Original Story. It is about letting the residents of Luleå be the ambassadors for the city and use their stories as the essence of place branding. The concept was created after realizing that people are increasingly looking for a city’s unique soul when choosing a place for academic studies, establishing a company or finding a new home. The goal is for Luleå to grow with more people and businesses.
“Luleå is in an exciting phase of growth, and last week we received the award Growth municipality of the year 2015. It is the result of good cooperation between the municipality, industry, the university and civil society. Part of the collaboration is that together we have developed a brand strategy for Luleå, which is the basis for the concept of Original Luleå Story,” says Mayor Yvonne Stålnacke.
The jury consisted of: Olle Wästberg, former Head of the Swedish Institute, Charlotta Mellander, Professor at Jönköping University and Julian Stubbs who runs the consulting company UP There, Everywhere.
The prize, Placebrander of the Year, honors impressive achievements in place branding in Sweden. Place branding are the efforts in any form intended to enhance a site’s brand and generate more residents, visitors, events, investments or business establishments. The prize is awarded by Placebrander AB, a company that spreads inspiration and knowledge about place branding.