It’s 2012 and Australia’s National Capital has an identity problem. The ACT Government appointed Coordinate to change the face of Canberra.

CBR – Brand Canberra

Branding a city is no small task. It’s not about designing a logo. It’s about uniting leaders, key influencers and stakeholders across government, business, tourism, sport, culture, arts, education and the community to speak the same language—to exhibit a desired set of behaviours—and to passionately advocate for the city as a great place to live, work, visit and do business.

A city brand is established through a combination of techniques that enable a place to build on its strengths, make sense out of its current identity and build a future identity—the balance between representing the current position and reflecting the city’s future pathway is fine.

CBR is an abbreviated representation of our city, reflecting it in a modern way with a self-assured mindset. As an abbreviation, it has made strong ground in modern social applications like Twitter and Facebook and has been used for airline travel in booking websites and boarding passes.

The concept is not foreign. As a device, it gives the identity vibrancy, flexibility and scope—allowing the brand to frame key messages and content or be used as a window into the city.

Services Branding, Campaign, Digital, Photography, Video

Confident, Bold and Ready.

Coordinate developed the creative expression and brand narrative to form a communications framework. Confident, bold and ready was chosen as a narrative to align with the abbreviation and to make sense out of the city’s current identity while building a future one. It set the tone for a city to embark on the future with confidence and in a bold way, ready to lead with actions, not just words. Ready to be unequivocally known as Australia’s National Capital and proud of its political influence and position. Ready to celebrate its successes in business, research, science, education and policy.

Ready to take ownership of its messaging and take control of an identity. Ready to tell a story as a great place to live, work, invest and study. And, Ready to be proactive and attacking instead of reactive and defensive.

Building pride and belief.

The biggest challenge in changing the face of Canberra was to create a shared sense of pride and belief internally. Through a series of workshops, events and road shows, the brand definition, values, culture and behaviour were developed. This was expressed through a new identity, language system and communication materials and then consistently applied in traditional and digital media, via brand advocates, through the channels owned by national institutions and sporting teams, education facilities and government owned assets.

It was celebrated at prominent events and taken to the world through events, forums and public diplomacy programs.

Shifting Perceptions.

Canberra’s perception shifted. The city was making headlines for the right reasons. Locals embraced the city with a new—found sense of optimism and pride and Australia took notice.

CBR – Brand Canberra