The Hamburg Brand Jörg Modrow

Hamburg’s image: our brand strategy

Hamburg and the Hamburg Metropolitan Region can be viewed as a brand: around the globe, people have certain positive perceptions about Hamburg and its surroundings – even if they have never been there in the first place.

These positive perceptions were identified as part of a comprehensive initial market survey in 2004 as well as a subsequent survey in 2009. Another follow-up measurement was conducted in 2015, which provides the basis for Hamburg’s current brand and communication strategy. The 2015 survey included a total of 4,800 private individuals as well as 1,200 businesses from Hamburg, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and Germany – in addition to respondents from selected international target markets.

The findings of these studies were used as a basis for developing the success modules of the Hamburg brand. These modules form the strategic foundations for all Hamburg-related marketing activities.

Strategic marketing plan

In its effort to attract entrepreneurs, professionals and tourists and to secure investment for Hamburg as a location, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region competes with more than 300 urban regions worldwide. In response to this demanding competitive environment, Hamburg has adopted its strategic marketing plan 2013–2018, which aims to market Hamburg cross-institutionally. The marketing plan provides the cornerstones for increasing national and international awareness for and visibility of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.

The twelve success modules
City on the waterfront

The element of water greatly shapes Hamburg’s image and is currently considered the second most important success module by private individuals. The port of Hamburg and the HafenCity, the Speicherstadt and St Pauli Fischmarkt continue to be Hamburg’s most striking assets here.
Hamburg Metropolitan Region

In the view of many private individuals, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region also contributes to Hamburg’s attractiveness as a city. Cross-cutting features are of particular importance here: a high quality of life (combining urban life, nature, and water), the region’s Hanseatic legacy, the North and Baltic Seas, as well as the Elbe marshes.
Public festivals and events

The city's public festivals and events add further to Hamburg’s appeal. According to private individuals, the Hamburg DOM funfair has the strongest driving force, followed by the Alstervergnügen festival and the Hamburg Port Anniversary festival.
Shopping hub

For respondents from the Scandinavian countries – and Denmark in particular – Hamburg is also a highly attractive shopping destination. Guests to the city especially appreciate the broad range of shopping opportunities (catering for every budget and taste), all within easy reach.
City of sport

According to private individuals, Hamburg not only stands out for its range of top-class sports events, but, more importantly, the city’s attractive opportunities for locals to actively engage in outdoor exercise themselves – be it running, cycling, or water sports.
Attractive cultural landscape

Hamburg’s vibrant cultural scene is valued by residents of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region in particular. The success of “culture made in Hamburg” is largely attributable to great live performances, with musicals being the most important event format here.

Especially for tourists, the Reeperbahn entertainment district contributes to Hamburg's attractiveness. Private individuals appreciate the quality of entertainment as well as St Pauli’s exciting music and live clubs, theatres and musicals. The latter are popular and appreciated among businesses too.
Liveable city

Private individuals from Germany perceive Hamburg as a highly liveable city with a metropolitan flair despite a fairly compact area, and businesses value Hamburg as a location with a high quality of life. Alongside residential quality and economic power, this includes factors such as the cityscape, air quality, green spaces, as well as the city’s leisure facilities and restaurant scene.
Vibrant nightlife

Hamburg's off-scene is gaining ever more relevance. Bars, pubs, music clubs and quirky neighbourhoods such as Schanzenviertel, Karolinenviertel, St Pauli and St Georg greatly contribute to Hamburg’s strong appeal within Germany.
Attractive business environment

Hamburg’s attractive business environment is shaped by e.g. structural and politico-economic framework conditions, local companies, the supply of labour and local service providers, as well as the city’s research landscape.
International trading hub

Above all, this includes Hamburg’s port and its geographical location, one of the world’s most advanced container terminals, as well as Hamburg’s pivotal role when it comes to trade with the Baltic Sea region and China.
Growth and sustainability

Businesses value Hamburg as a dynamic location with strong creative industries and a strong media sector as well as favourable conditions for entrepreneurs and economic growth combined with a focus on sustainability and the environment.