Newcastle Gateshead

Building a compelling brand narrative for NewcastleGateshead

European Ambition
Creating a place brand that brought two places together and engaged hundreds of stakeholders was no simple challenge. NewcastleGateshead knew they had to do this if they were to build a destination brand to match those of other European cities. They also knew this could not just focus on the visitor economy but must build a brand that could attract inward investment, talent and business tourists as well as visitors.

Total Engagement and Alignment
We interviewed hundreds of stakeholders within NewcastleGateshead, ran development workshops, created different potential brand visions and tested them extensively both internally and with external investors and businesses. The final agreed brand narrative was then used to develop an alignment plan with specific strategies for inward investment, visitor economy and the conference market.

An aligned approach and improved results
Each team used the brand as the starting point for aligning the way they did business. The conference team created an approach for conference organisers that sold the ‘place’ rather than just the conference facilities. They now show organisers what their delegates can experience. While other places show their venues and menus, NewcastleGateshead take organisers on cocktail making courses or roof walking on Sage Gateshead. Those organisers know that their delegates will not only have great conference facilities but will also enjoy a total experience that will attract them to return.

The inward investment process has been re-engineered to reflect the brand position and values. The pipeline for new businesses relocating to NewcastleGateshead continues to grow. New investors are immediately engaged in the NewcastleGateshead network of businesses, contacts are facilitated and collaborative working happens naturally.

Visitor Numbers up to 17.6 million annually

Conference business wins for 2014-15 worth £11.6 million

43 new investments secured bringing over 1,000 jobs up to June 2015


“Trying to build a brand for two distinct places working as one is quite a challenge. Brand Vista used their insight and expertise to  develop a clear and distinct proposition built through solid methodology combined with inspiration and unwavering enthusiasm.”