the client

Local Authority of primary importance in Lombardy.

the need

Define a distinctive strategic positioning to enable the city to reposition itself in the competitive world and compete with major international capitals. A long-term vision, but also a plan of action to draw the Milan of the future by leveraging the DNA of the city, which has always played a role of prime mover, not only in Italy, and enhance its image to compete fully in the knowledge economy and to attract new business and human resources, capital and talent.


Marketing5: At a time of global crisis, territories have a powerful lever to consolidate its position and adopt successful strategies to compete well in the competitive world: the Brand. The cities and areas with good design skills then feel increasingly the need to define a forward-looking future, to better target and aggregate energies, critical success factors and planning and communication processes. Milan, in this sense, pioneered and VVA has helped in defining the City strategies and Branding policies.

It is an integrated project. It started with the preparation of the First Strategic Positioning and the Marketing Plan of the City of Milan and developed a plan of action and goals to reposition the City brand in the world competitive scenario. An ambitious project to update the statistical analysis of the region and its needs, to study the main competitor cities, identify "best practices" and build an index system to support and guide a targeted promotional and operational plan of the city in Italy and abroad.
A concrete plan of activities and marketing objectives. Tools that have helped to indicate a unique route consistent with the scenario that sees the world's great metropolitan areas compete in the Knowledge Economy.

So Milan decided to compete in an even more challenging field, where innovation and knowledge meet the critical success factor to strengthen the excellence of each territory: the Human Being. So the field of competition and the choice of positioning becomes Economy of Creativity.
In almost five years of work the city and the Administration has developed, from scratch, innovative tools for Governance and activities and projects consistent with the identified, objectives. A new visual identity that would allow the city to invest, finally, in a strong brand but not yet capitalized. A promotional plan but also traditional viral campaigns and experimental projects on semantic automatic Web reputation.
Tourist experiential routes and big events. Reading tools, measurement and use of the territory. The merchandising project, which has helped local companies to build business on the image of the city, returning to the city image and royalties.

Five years later, the path has been mapped, many important things were made and results achieved. Milan was in fact recognized as one of the first destinations of European cultural tourism together in Rome and Paris. It proved fifth in the New York Times among the 41 must-tour of 2011. In 2010 alone, leisure tourism grew by 10%, in contrast with the trends of other destinations. A foreign company over three would open an office in Milan, as well as 35% of the Italian ones, so amazing in times of crisis. 40% of visitors, workers and tourists believes that Milan offer is above expectations. More sensitive data about talent: 57% of young respondents would willingly move to study in Milan. All attracted by the excellence of the university offer,  by the number of research centers and numerous job opportunities. Thanks to the Summer School project in less than three years Milan has become among the most popular destinations for tourists and summer studies. It is among the first cities (certainly government administrations) to use the Web as a powerful marketing tool. It has consolidated its positions in fashion and design, but also in medicine and biotechnology. It turns out to be among the first cities in the congress sector. A successful brand, and now even stronger asset value for the Administration, who has believed and invested in it.