Adelaide. Designed For Life.
Learn about The City of Adelaide's Place Brand of the Year
Entered by The City of Adelaide
Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is continuously voted one of the most liveable cities in the world. Those who have experienced it are pleasantly surprised by what the city offers. Yet compared to other Australian cities there is low awareness of Adelaide as a place of opportunity, accessibility and with a high quality of life that supports the community’s overall wellbeing. For the people who are already here, those who have chosen Adelaide as a place to live or conduct business, there is immense pride in the city. Yet the narrative shared does not always reflect the positive sentiment that can create a stronger position of Adelaide on the global stage. Adelaide needed a more cohesive shared narrative to articulate its unique and differentiating truth. This platform would elevate Adelaide’s global position and build awareness in order to compete for people, ideas and investment, truly realising the city’s potential. In doing so, it would provide momentum in achieving economic, socio-cultural and environmentally sustainable outcomes, and continue to build Adelaide as one of the most liveable cities in the world.
The City of Adelaide, through the Capital City Committee, started developing a place brand with a clear vision of what the brand needed to be and its function. Not just a logo, slogan or short-term campaign, but an enduring, overarching philosophy and platform with a unifying and inclusive proposition. One that is unique and differentiating, inspiring and galvanising, with the flexibility to be embraced by all.
The strategy recognises that influencers and changemakers in government, private and non-government sectors share the same place (Adelaide), have a common goal to see Adelaide flourish and together, can garner greater traction in impacting the city’s development, increasing awareness on the global stage. The place brand would be the unifier, amplifying collaboration towards an inclusive and progressive future for the city.
Acknowledging the strength of Adelaide’s local pride in reinforcing the community’s sense of self and place, the place brand would provide a cohesive narrative. It would harness this pride for greater alignment of language and message resulting in consistency and increased saliency. Research was undertaken to unpack the story of Adelaide. The thinking - the city already has a rich story and there must be a basis for local pride. It was important to uncover and clearly articulate what was already there for authenticity and resonance.
Supporting the long-term view that a place brand can only have longevity if it is based on truth and aligned with what Adelaide is and what it can become. The story uncovered a city with a proud past, where Colonel William Light’s vision was steeped in genius of place and plan. The only free settled state in Australia, with people’s well-being at the core of the city’s thoughtful and purposeful design.
The city, surrounded by park lands, created the world’s first city in a park. A master plan internationally recognised as one of the most important influences in the Garden City Planning movement. This supported the resolve to extend South Australia’s reputation to be a ‘State of Wellbeing’. It was a city with a pioneering and innovative spirit. Championing social reforms such as the right for women - including Aboriginal women, to vote and stand for parliament. Reforms that created a city where people shaped society and the lives they want to lead. The story also revealed that Adelaide is a unique place. This strengthened the approach to honour Adelaide’s cultural heritage and advocate for an inclusive future through a place brand.
Adelaide is the geographic heart of Kaurna Country, ideally positioned between the hills and sea and parted north and south by the Karrawirra Pari / the Torrens River. It was a meeting place, a place of interaction with other Aboriginal Language Groups and First Nations. The narrative, with alignment of language and message about Adelaide as a place, are key elements of the brand. Its essence is captured in “Adelaide. Designed for Life.” which is a summation of Adelaide’s proud past, a reflection of the local pride and a bold statement of intent for the future.
Bringing the place brand to life involved a multi-faceted approach - from the start of the story development through to the execution of the launch event and subsequent campaign. Throughout the development, “Adelaide. Designed for Life.” was tested to ensure it resonated with meaning across multiple stakeholder groups. Key government agencies, businesses, residents, international students and the wider community were engaged to share their sentiments for the city verifying the development of the story. Stakeholders told the team that Adelaide was a city where “you feel connected” and that it “is developing in a really natural way”. They said that they understood and felt good about “Adelaide. Designed for Life.” - it was authentic, inclusive and inspiring. They liked that it highlighted the connection to Colonel Light’s vision and succinctly articulated the story of Adelaide as a place that puts people first and promotes living your best life.
In June 2019, the place brand was launched. The aim was to share the story more widely and advocate for one singular place brand to be embraced by all. The launch event was positively received. It welcomed over 350 influencers and changemakers of Adelaide, including the Governor of South Australia, representatives from key government agencies and industry associations. The approach was an immersive and engaging experience through storytelling supported by video, a personal journal and a new website. During the same period a consumer-facing campaign was in market to support the reasons to believe that Adelaide is one of the most liveable cities in the world. The “Adelaide. Designed for Life.” video highlighted the perceptions and aspirations of Adelaide to inspire stakeholders and reinforce the common and shared direction for a city that is designed for life. The journal was a gift for stakeholders that featured the story of the city, an invitation to collaborate and writing pages to record ideas and thoughts. A symbolic call to action, it was moulded after Colonel Light’s journal, in which he documented his vision for Adelaide. The customer experience on the new website was designed with the brand philosophy in mind. With over one million users annually, the website is the most important customer interface and platform to share the place brand, case studies and stories about the city and the community. A way to bring to life the reasons why Adelaide is one of the most liveable cities in the world.
“Adelaide. Designed for Life.” was endorsed by the Capital City Committee and the Premier of South Australia and embraced by StudyAdelaide to market Adelaide to international students. It was also advocated by Gabrielle Kelly, a global speaker about the practical application of well-being at scale, and other stakeholders, including the Australian Institute of Architects and Committee for Adelaide. Adelaide Sustainable Building Network used the place brand as a platform to frame a panel discussion and influence collaboration to build a city that embodies the philosophy of a city designed for life. The place brand has also been lauded by education professionals as an important and useful vehicle to help communicate the way the Arts and Culture sector communicate ‘destination tourism’. The team is currently working with more stakeholders to position Adelaide on the global stage. Building a place brand and changing perceptions is ongoing. Embedding “Adelaide. Designed for Life.” as the enduring philosophy and unifying platform remains the City of Adelaide’s priority. With view to a more cohesive narrative elevating Adelaide’s global position and awareness. It also serves as a platform to influence conversations and encourage collaboration to compete for people, ideas and investment, and realise the city’s full potential.