The contract to develop the brand for Scotland's capital city was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union and attracted interest from more than 70 companies. 26 tenders were received and six companies were invited for interview after a rigorous selection process.
The selection panel comprised the brand project manager and senior representatives from Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian, Edinburgh and Lothians Tourist Board and the City of Edinburgh Council.
Geoff Ball, joint chair of the brand steering group and chair of CALA Group Ltd, said: 'We are delighted that Interbrand are now on board. Their expertise in brand development for international locations and companies will be vital to the success of the project. They will be engaging in the widest possible discussion with city stakeholders to ensure that the brand works on behalf of all sectors that have an interest in a successful and prosperous Edinburgh.'
The City of Edinburgh Council Leader and joint chair of the brand steering group, Donald Anderson, said: 'Edinburgh has an enviable reputation as a vibrant, world class city, but we cannot rest on our laurels. Appointing Interbrand is a significant move toward developing a brand that represents every aspect of this diverse city and builds upon Edinburgh's success. Cities like Barcelona, Hong Kong and Sydney are already reaping the benefits of successful marketing initiatives and that is what we must compete against.'
Rita Clifton, chairman of Interbrand, said: 'We are delighted to be working with the Edinburgh team to help promote Edinburgh effectively as a world class city. There are so many positive things going for the city, and we will be consulting extensively with the different audiences to make sure that we reflect the key strengths in the right way.'
The brand consultants have been employed to develop and deliver a programme of research amongst a wide range of city region stakeholders over the next three to four months.
* carry out and analyse market research
* develop a set of brand values
* recommend guidelines for implementing the branding strategy
* develop a monitoring and evaluation framework
The project results will be ready by spring 2005. A family of brands, providing a consistent marketing image for the city will be developed. It will be aimed at boosting employment, investment and increasing tourism revenue.
Building on the city's reputation for education, heritage, culture and business, the new brand will ensure Edinburgh is well placed to compete with other successful cities such as Prague, Barcelona and Copenhagen.
The brand will promote Edinburgh as:
* an ideal location for companies to grow and prosper
* a place which attracts a talented and skilled workforce to meet the needs of its key sectors
* an area with a high quality of life for its residents
* a vibrant, high quality tourist destination
* a confident and contemporary city with a remarkable history and architectural heritage
As part of its£24.7m allocation from the Scottish Executive's Cities Growth Fund, Edinburgh was awarded£800,000 to develop and implement a city brand.
The Edinburgh City Region Brand Project is a public/private partnership. The group consists of senior representatives of the major sectors of the Edinburgh economy, including local business, finance, higher education, local government, festivals, tourism, voluntary, bio-technology, information technology, retail, creative industries, local enterprise and other professional sectors. The public sector partners are the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh and Lothians Tourist Board and Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian.
The city brand is a key component of the strategy and action plans of both the Local Economic Forum for Edinburgh and the Lothians and the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group.