When I say the word "Nike" what comes to mind? I have an instant image of the swoosh, Michael Jordan, clean lines, the feeling of athleticism, power and competition. Most people would agree. Easy, right? But what if I say New York City or Barcelona? These might not be companies but they still have brands, lest not forget Milton Glaser's famous "I <3 NY".
In the early 21st century, Amsterdam started to fall behind in European tourism. So, as a result, in fall of 2004, the I amsterdam brand was born. Past slogans such has "Amsterdam Has It" and "Capital of Sports" were either too vague or too specific and were certainly not recognizable. Taking colors from the city's flag, which I'll write about later this week, the logo is product-friendly and timeless. Perhaps the most successful aspect of the brand are the three sets of 7 foot tall "I amsterdam" letters. One set is permanently outside the Rijksmuseum and is photographed thousands of times a day. The second set, which I caught sight of out of an Uber's window, is in front of the Amsterdam Airport. The third set travels around the city and makes appearances at important events.
So was the rebrand successful? To put it simply, Amsterdam is back in Europe's top five cities, but more importantly is that when I said "I amsterdam", most of you probably had images of the sign and gorgeous canals but also youth, innovation, creativity and history.