Developing positioning for the Dutch Sustainable Urban Delta
Places + Destinations | Market Analysis | Netherlands
After Brexit and the transfer of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from London to Amsterdam, the Netherlands is now a major contender as a center of life sciences, medical technology and healthcare development in Europe. How could the Netherlands gain leverage from this?
Place Branding + Life Science
Brand Positioning & Communications
The Invest in Holland Network is a collaborative team encompassing the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), regional economic development agencies, several large cities and Holland International Distribution Council. The group engaged UP THERE, EVERYWHERE to rebrand the Netherlands as the most important place in Europe for Life Science and Health. The brief was to develop a business proposition and positioning —not just a slogan.
Experts from both UP FOR LIFE (UP’s Life Science and Medical Device specialty practice) and UP FOR REAL (UP’s Place Branding and Destination Marketing specialty practice) worked together to develop the initiative. The first step was to gather together the many stakeholders of The Dutch Top Sector initiative in Life Sciences and Health. Using a participatory approach, UP developed a positioning and a core message that differentiated the Netherlands from other powerful contenders on a global level: Silicon Valley/San Diego, Boston, and the UK.
The starting premise was: the Netherlands is the most important place in Europe for Life Science & Health.
Because of the unique density and closeness of everything in the Netherlands, and the strong spirit of collaboration, we recommended a core idea: Connected. The concept was further developed by imagining the country as a metropolis. This concept was well-received, especially since any region (Rotterdam, Amsterdam or Eindhoven) could use the positioning and adapt it for its own purposes.
The positioning created for the Netherlands was:
We developed a Positioning Argumentation Book and a Hero Tube Map Graphic, showing the key Life Science and Health organizations across the country.
Hilde van der Meer, Chair of Invest in Holland
UP went on to work with Rotterdam Partners to extrapolate the strategic positioning work done at a national level for the Dutch government to then interpret and bring to life this vision at a local city level.
The work received the United Nations Investment Promotion Award 2021 for Excellence in Promoting Investment in Health. The Netherlands was selected from 188 participating Investment Promotion agencies to receive this award for its achievements in promoting the Life Sciences & Health (LSH) sector.