Vauxhall London

entered by Anatomy Brands

Vauxhall is the central part of Europe’s largest regeneration area, Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea (VNEB). Population growth over the next 15 years is likely to be 25%. Already a Zone 1 transport hub connecting London and the South East, passenger numbers will rocket to at least 45.5 million per annum, providing we return to pre-COVID numbers.

The future vision for Vauxhall is as a dynamic place to live with tower living, a work and hotel hub and a varied, characterful vibe at ground level. But now it’s seen as a busy polluted interchange and not much else. It’s clear that development work is underway, even if the sheer scale of development is not obvious just yet. But it’s about to get noisier, busier and dirtier. In short, it will get worse before it gets better.

Capturing the spirit of Vauxhall

The short term objectives for the strategy were to rally stakeholders around a place brand and communications and events strategy, engaging the local community and new audiences with everything Vauxhall has to offer.

The long term objectives are to change perceptions of Vauxhall, supporting the development work by encouraging more people to live, work and visit.

The brief from the BID team was to be exciting, unexpected and capture Vauxhall’s unique spirit. They had already been through a branding process previously and had rejected the work as. being bland and not true to Vauxhall.

Vauxhall needs to appeal to young professionals working in London, be the international or from the UK. Likely to rent or buy the many apartments being built, they will also make up most of the workforce in the area’s many office buildings and will actively help change Vauxhall, simply because of how they want to interact with a local area. The positioning and brand expression needed to appeal primarily to them. However, the challenge is to not alienate the existing community and without buy-in from the local community, success is unlikely.

Creating the brand

Vauxhall is a large, diverse and disparate neighbourhood and has multiple landowners. The strategic direction for the place brand was ‘the destination for different’ – playing to the variety and imperfection, positioning the area against the solo-developer vision of ‘perfect’ Battersea Power Station and King’s Cross, the mainly residential neighbouring Nine Elms with its limited cultural offer and the more tourist-focused South Bank.

Vauxhall’s fascinating history provided a rich vein to develop a very different but complementary positioning, drawing on the illustrious but less-than-salubrious reputation of the Pleasure Gardens to grab attention and get people to think again about the area. Inclusive, it uses history to celebrate the contemporary themes of variety and difference whilst tackling negative perceptions head-on with a knowing smile.

This drove the brand thinking, the creative and the implementation. The brand framework is broad, giving license to be varied and entertaining across all touchpoints and events.

The identity smashes together different styles to form a unique cohesive identity. Bold type, bright colours and original illustrations of performers from the heyday of the Pleasure Gardens combine to create something distinctive and genuinely different.

Find out more about how to enter the City Nation Place Awards.

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