Creatives branding creatively

I recently sat through a couple of hours of talks by 'the great and the good' at Birmingham's Chamber of Commerce on the subject of how the city was planning to promote its creative output. The evening's discussions were prompted by work already undertaken by the city (via Urban Communications), looking at how the sector could market itself more effectively. Stefan Lewandowski of 3Form's post about it sums the evening up nicely.

I'm not sure if/how it is related but
Channel 4's ideas factory magazine Ten4 has a feature on Branding Creative Birmingham to which Stefan and his 3Form colleagues contributed. As someone working within creative industry in Birmingham it's great to see the discussion started in the sector and by the people that it directly affects rather than committees of the usual suspects.

I just wonder who this whole branding exercise is being aimed at. The creative industry within the City is close knit, and will become more so as the developments in the East Side and Jewellery Quarter take root. Even within the City itself there is a certain amount of awareness of (through exposure to) the creative output of the City and certainly a degree of pride in what is coming out of Birmingham.

We are in danger of talking to ourselves and changing nothing. Any campaign we were to adopt should take into account the fact that it is an mainly audience outside the City that needs to be confronted with something that is appealing but that challenges their perceptions in a way that obviously ties into the City itself.

I can't make it to tonight's meeting of the discussion group but I have posted comments on a number of blogs and forums with my views and offered to (through
529) coordinate a blog network for the city's creatives to share their views. Watch this space.

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