'Weltstadt' Hamburg

Document Sample
'Weltstadt' Hamburg Powered By Docstoc
					‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg
A case of tactical marketing?

Markus Walz, research assistant to Prof. Dr. Per-Olof Berg,
School of Business, Stockholm University


Research report no. 2011-01, “City of Hamburg”, as part of the research program “Branding
Metropolitan Place in Global Space”, as funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Table of Content
Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................. 2
Abstract ................................................................................................................................................... 2
Executive summary ................................................................................................................................. 3
Background and methodology ................................................................................................................ 6
           Purpose of the study ................................................................................................................... 6
           Data gathering ............................................................................................................................. 7
           Analyzing the data ..................................................................................................................... 10
An overview of the branding process.................................................................................................... 12
           Background information............................................................................................................ 12
           The branding process ................................................................................................................ 16
           An genealogical overview .......................................................................................................... 32
Elements of the Hamburg brand ........................................................................................................... 34
           Brandmeyer analysis – Identifying ‘positive preconceptions’................................................... 34
           ‘Erfolgsmuster’ – the building blocks of the brand ................................................................... 36
           Exkurs: St. Pauli ......................................................................................................................... 37
           ‘Kommunikationsmuster’ – giving the city one face ................................................................. 39
           Brand activities .......................................................................................................................... 40
Observation ........................................................................................................................................... 42
           Context free ............................................................................................................................... 42
           Government without governance ............................................................................................. 43
           Multiple scopes and national focus........................................................................................... 43
           Tactical marketing rather than strategic branding .................................................................... 44
           Isomorphism .............................................................................................................................. 45
Appendix A: Physical Material ............................................................................................................... 47
Appendix B: Digital Material.................................................................................................................. 51
Appendix C: List of Interviewees ........................................................................................................... 53
Appendix D: List of Figures .................................................................................................................... 54
Appendix E: List of Abbreviations .......................................................................................................... 55
Appendix F: Other References .............................................................................................................. 56

Markus Walz                                                   ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                                           2010-11-30

First of all I want to thank Professor Per-Olof Berg who gave me the opportunity to work at this
project, helped me to structure this report and was of great help in interpreting observations and
interviews during the whole process. Second I want to thank Professor Christian Ringle and his team
for providing me with the infrastructure and support at Hamburg University. A special thank you goes
to Professor Thorsten Teichert and his team, especially Nina Köthke, who were helping me with all
aspects of writing this report. They established first contacts to potential interviewees, gave me the
change to present my intermediate results, helped with formal issues and organized a final event at
the university where I was able to present my results to some of the interviewees and test some of
my hypothesis. I am grateful to Alexandra Bellinetto for proof-reading the report. All other mistakes,
misinterpretations and inaccuracies are entirely mine.
Last but not least I want to thank all interviewees that took part in this study and enabled me with
their open and direct descriptions to gain a solid understanding of the branding/marketing process in
Hamburg during the last two decades. I was surprised how well the research project was appreciated
and how well the interviewees reacted on the study. Without their openness and commitment this
analysis would not have been possible.

The city branding of Hamburg and Hamburg’s marketing activities are analyzed as a part of a
Stockholm University research project studying the phenomenon of metropolitan branding in an
environment of competing city brands. The Hamburg brand is analyzed using an ethnographic study
design which relies on observations, an extensive nethnograpy and 25 in-depth interviews with
stakeholders involved in the branding process and the city’s marketing activities. The data is analyzed
to construct a narrative of the branding process as it developed in Hamburg and to present the
particular brand this process led to with the aim to note some general observations regarding the
characteristics of the approach in Hamburg. Together with the other city reports, the description of
the branding/branding process in Hamburg will help to grasp the phenomenon of city branding and
create new and deeper insights into city branding in particular and branding in general. In the
Hamburg case the branding process will be divided into four distinct phases: the first phase (before
1997) representing a period before a coordinated marketing and, above all, before a branding
approach was visible; the second phase (1997-2001) in which certain projects and developments
crucial to the brand as it presents itself today were brought on their way; the third phase (2001-
2008) when all the cornerstones of today’s brand were put into place and a coordination of the
marketing approach was established; and, finally, the fourth phase (starting from 2008) in which
some crucial projects were completed, some driving forces of the process left the stage and the
branding process established in phase three was not clearly visible. Furthermore, the actual Hamburg
brand that emerged is described, with a special focus on the dominant themes, the visual identity of
the city and the method used behind the construction of the brand. In a final step five general
observations are presented that capture the characteristics of the Hamburg brand and the branding

Markus Walz                             ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                2010-11-30

Executive summary
The aim of the study was to get a better understanding of the process behind the city’s latest
branding efforts, the role and influence of different groups, people or organizations in this process as
well as the characteristics of the Hamburg case, by analyzing the city brand as it is presented today
and the recent historical process that led to the implemented branding strategy.

An ethnographic study was conducted on site between the 7th of June and the 6th of August 2010.
Data was gathered through ethnographic observations, an extensive nethnography and 25 in-depth
interviews with influential stakeholders from different private and public organizations. The data was
used to construct a narrative of the history of the Hamburg brand and to isolate characteristics of the
branding process in Hamburg.

        Overview of the branding process
The historical process is divided into four distinct phases. Phase I, ‘Hamburg as the Sleeping Beauty’,
describes the period before 1997, when Hamburg lacked a coordinated approach towards city
marketing or branding. Although there were organizations and offices engaged in city marketing, no
coordinated efforts could be observed. The city government focused on infrastructural development,
such as the Köhlbrandbrücke or the deepening of the river Elbe, and there was no influential
branding discourse as far as the city was concerned.
In Phase II, ‘The Beauty awakes’, between 1997 and 2001, two influential aspects of the branding
process appeared. First, the HafenCity project was brought on its way. This inner city construction
project aims at considerably increasing Hamburg’s central area and opens the city to the river and
the port area. The second important aspect was the publication of the McKinsey pro-bono study,
‘Hamburg Vision 2020’, in which the authors push the cluster approach to the city’s economic policy
and at the same time argue for an international orientation of Hamburg as competing against other
Phase III, ‘Hamburg as the growing city’, between 2001 and 2008, was coined by the influential
mission statement of the newly elected conservative government, ‘Metropole Hamburg –
Wachsende Stadt’ (Engl.: Metropolis Hamburg – a Growing City), in which the city officials
formulated the goal that Hamburg would become an international metropolis in order to establish
the preconditions for Hamburg to become an island of demographic and economic growth in a
shrinking nation. During this period the city’s branding efforts were centralized and coordinated
through the establishment of the Hamburg Marketing GmbH (HMG), the company in charge of
coordinating and constructing the brand and branding activities.
Phase IV, ‘Hamburg as Green Capital’, starting at 2008 when the Green party entered a coalition with
the conservative party, is marked by a renewal and an adaptation of the political focus of the city.
The political momentum of the third phase seems to be weakened, political driving forces have left
the government, the city’s financial situation has worsened and the city faces snap elections in the
beginning of 2011. The important theme of this period is the focus on environment and green

         Overview of the brand
The Hamburg brand, as presented today, is based on two brand analyses conducted in 2004 and
2009 by the branding agency Brandmeyer Markenberatung (BMB). The aim of the analysis was to
identify the ‘positive preconceptions’ specific stakeholder groups have regarding the city and to
isolate the ones with the highest driving force. Based on the results the HMG constructed the brand
revolving around nine (since 2009 ten) themes, like ‘metropolis at the waterfront’ or ‘growth and
environment’. These themes govern the communication efforts of the different players involved in

Markus Walz                              ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                2010-11-30

presenting the brand, like the tourist office or the economic promotion office, as well as recently
developed activities, like the Cruise Days or the Reeperbahn Music Festival. Another important aspect
was the implementation of a standardized ‘corporate design’, based on the traditional blue and red
colors that all city controlled companies were forced to implement. A process that was controversial
but nonetheless pushed through with the political backing of the senate.

In the Hamburg case four distinct characteristics can be identified. First, it is striking that Hamburg
does not position itself in a specific industrial, historical or geopolitical context. The city abstains from
focusing on a specific industrial feature, like for example the role of container trade, or from
positioning themselves aggressively in a geopolitical area, like Northern Europe or the Baltic Area.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Hamburg is not using its rich historical asset, especially
their special status as a former member of the Hanseatic League. In this sense the Hamburg brand
can be described as context free.
A second observation is the paradoxical role of the city government in the branding process. On the
one hand, the branding process was initiated and guided by the political leaders who used their
administrative power to implement a coordinated marketing approach. On the other hand, the
actual brand production was not guided by the strategic goals of the political mission statement, like
the internationalization of the city image, but was left to the HMG which, in turn, based the brand on
the empirical material provided by one branding agency. Therefore given the observed strong role of
the political leaders in initiating the recent developments without interfering in the actual brand
production one can speak of government without governance.
A third observation is that the actual branding approach implemented in Hamburg using ten different
target-specific themes leads to a situation were the observer might get a rather ambiguous
impression of the brand. As the city is not using any slogan as for example in the Stockholm case, the
actual themes end up being used as headings and ‘claims’ for communication materials and can
therefore misinterpreted as such by the viewer. These themes however, are rather general in nature,
think about ‘Hamburg - Metropolis of culture’ and especially in an international context it is doubtful
how this will help to differentiate the brand Hamburg from other competitors. Therefore the brand
Hamburg can be described as having multiple scopes and a national focus.
A fourth observation linked to this role of the government in terms of branding production is the
specific approach towards marketing/branding in general and city marketing/branding in particular.
Most officials involved in the city branding efforts align with a particular understanding of marketing
and specific beliefs about the tasks of marketing strongly influenced by the view propagated by the
HMG and the BMB. They believe that marketing should enforce strengths that can already be
observed in the perception of stakeholder groups and should abstain from formulating claims that
are not grounded in these perceptions. Therefore, positioning the city in certain fields or pushing
certain themes that are not in line with the brand analysis are seen as political and not marketing
tasks. This alignment with a specific understanding of the role of branding/marketing led to
controversy in Hamburg and can probably be linked to broader (ideological) debates in the area of
marketing/branding. Following this observation the branding approach in Hamburg can be described
as tactical marketing rather than strategic branding.
A final observation that can be made is that the recent ‘green turn’ in Hamburg’s branding activities
can be seen as bringing the danger of a homogenization of the Hamburg brand compared to its
competitors, as more and more cities, at least in the so called ‘Western’ countries, are pushing the
same issue and themes. Furthermore, strong adherence to Richard Florida’s concept of the creative
class in designing the city’s strategic objectives can be seen as another factor boosting a
homogenization of cities around the globe, as again this concept with its focus on specific subcultures
influences city officials worldwide. Another clue in this direction is the big landmark building
Hamburg is constructing at the moment which is already heavily used in the city’s communication
efforts, the Elbphilharmonie. This waterfront project could be seen as yet another instance of a city

Markus Walz                                ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                  2010-11-30

trying to create an attractive new image by constructing an exceptional artifact. With the growing
number of such projects in other cities, this method could again lead to a homogenization of city
images. Therefore, at the moment it seems that Hamburg is facing the risk of isomorphism and that
the city’s effort to establish an international attractive brand thus might fail in a homogeneous
environment of competing cities.

Markus Walz                           ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                             2010-11-30

Background and methodology
Purpose of the study
The aim of the study was to get a better understanding of the process behind the city’s latest
branding efforts and the role and influence of different groups, people or organizations in this
process. Furthermore, the brand Hamburg was analyzed. What is branded? Where does the branding
take place? How do different groups influence the city brand? Also the role of other cities is
considered, for example, when Hamburg is benchmarking itself from potential competitors. The
descriptive study of Hamburg combined with the other city reports conducted under the framework
of the ‘Branding Metropolitan Place in Global Space’ project will help to establish a deeper
understanding of metropolitan branding. The aim of this report, however, is not to judge or evaluate
the city’s marketing efforts or the brand as it is presented today but to get a genealogical
understanding of the strategic dimension beyond a city brand.

               holistic                                                               genealogical

                                   ‘competitive metropolitan city branding’

                       business/                                                   self-fulfilling prophecies

                        industry                        expressive
                                                         strategy                       reputation/gossip/
          city/state                                                                          narration

       inhabitants                   audiences         CCT

             tourists                                         relational view

                  popular culture

    ‘a better understanding of the processes and principles behind the production and appropriation’

                   WHAT                    WHERE                   HOW                   WHO

 Figure 1: An overview of the research project 'Branding Metropolitan Place in Global Space'. The theoretical
 background derives from an understanding of marketing as an expressive communication strategy, by emphasizing
 the strategic outlook of place branding and insights from Consumer Culture Theory, namely a relational view of
 brands both in their relation to competing brands and the role of the different audiences. One important part of the
 research project is the study of different metropolitan city brands, by employing an ethnographic research
 approach. The goal is a holistic and genealogical understanding of the brand and the processes behind its production
 and appropriation. Important questions are what is actually branded, where is the brand created/used, how is the
 brand created and who are the key players in that process.

The field study of Hamburg’s branding process was carried out on sight from the 7th of June till the 6th
of August 2010. 25 interviews with decision-makers from different organizations were conducted,
the longest of which lasted for two and a half hours and the shortest one for 30 minutes. Different
actors from different organizations and groups were interviewed, starting from the political sphere
(members of the mayor’s office, members of the different ministries, former senators), over the

Markus Walz                                   ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

chamber of commerce, the fair and convention bureau, and other public limited companies that
were or still are involved in one way or the other in the marketing/branding process. Obviously, the
Hamburg Marketing GmbH (Engl.: Hamburg Marketing company), the coordinator of the city’s
marketing efforts since 2004, was part of the study as well. On top of that, documents, websites,
brochures and other material were carefully studied. Given the ethnographic method, the usage of
the brand in the city, the role of the brand in everyday life and citizens’ reactions were observed. This
approach aims at a holistic understanding of the brand as it appears to its audiences today and a
better grasp of the complex process behind it, thereby getting a sense of the identity behind the
image presented.

    Figure 2: Districts of Hamburg-City: Altona, Eimsbüttel, Nord, Wandsbek, Mitte, Harburg, Bergedorf, and the two
    neighboring federal states: Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein. The river Elbe and its arms are clearly visible.

Data gathering
The study is based on three sources of data:
      (1) Ethnographic data collected during a two months period.
      (2) A nethnography of documents, brochures and other material related to the brand or the
          branding material.
      (3) Several in-depth interviews with key players of the branding process.



Markus Walz                                      ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                        2010-11-30

         ethnography                             nethnography                            interviews

  • on site 07.06.-                       • 70 documents                           • 25 key persons

  • pictures/impressions                  • approx. 90 internet                    • between 0.5-2.5h

  • documents                             • local news                             • snow ball principle

 Figure 3: The three methodological pillars: ethnography, nethnograpy and interviews.

(1): During my two-month stay in Hamburg, I tried to blend in and experience the everyday life there,
while listening carefully for comments and opinions on the city, the brand or the projects linked to
the city’s marketing strategy. I shared a flat with seven other people in Hamm-Süd, a city district
south-east of the city center still on the north side of the river Elbe. I had an office at Hamburg
University where most of this report was written, the nethnography was conducted and interviews
were scheduled. In these two months I tried to experience many different aspects of the city, from
traditional sightseeing and activities considered typical of Hamburg, such as visiting the infamous
Reeperbahn or the traditional fish market, exploring the different districts like St. Pauli, Mitte, Altona
and Wilhelmsburg, partaking in different events from clubbing and watching the world cup soccer
games on the exhibition site, Heiligengeistfeld, to going to the movies, to the theatre or participating
in other recreational activities. In addition, I tried to watch out for report-related issues in my
everyday life, particularly visual materializations of the brand as well as people’s comments and
statements. During my stay I kept track of my movements on a map, took 273 pictures and collected
material (e.g. around 60 brochures) that I felt would be important for the issue at hand (for a list of
the material, see Appendix A). Furthermore, in connection with the interviews, interviewees often
presented me with documents, brochures or other material.
(2): through thorough research in the World Wide Web, 70 documents were collected and checked
for relevance. The focus was on strategic documents and information. Thus, documents of strategic
relevance for the branding process and the brand itself, like, for example, the political policy
principles/mission statements (German: Leitbilder) of the city Senate or the brand analysis
conducted by Brandmeyer Markenberatung (Engl: Brandmeyer brand agency) were downloaded and
carefully studied. The websites and image brochures were skimmed for relevant data. Also articles
dealing with in the German quality weeklies (like Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Stern) or the local press (like
Hamburger Abendblatt or Hamburger Morgenpost) were included. A complete list of the documents
can be found in the Appendix B. Articles and websites used are quoted directly in the footnotes.
(3): 25 in-depth interviews were conducted in German (with one exception) during the two-month
on sight in Hamburg. The Appendix C includes a complete list of the different organizations
interviewed. The semi-structured interviews lasted from 30 minutes to two and a half hours. There
were only guiding questions like “How did you/your organization influence the brand Hamburg?” or
“What is your assessment of the branding process?” I tried to be as restrained as possible, while
occasionally challenging the interviewees by presenting opinions stated in other interviews or from

Markus Walz                                   ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                 2010-11-30

the studied material. Naturally, with some interviewees this approach worked better than with
others. In some cases the interview was more like a dialogue, while in others interviewees held long
monologues on certain issues, like the ‘Brand Hamburg’, the ‘Elbphilharmonie’ (Engl.: Elbe
Philharmonic Hall, the new concert hall which is currently under construction) or the story behind
the ‘Olympic Bid 2004’. Interviewees were picked by screening the websites of Hamburg Marketing
GmbH (HMG) and the first documents and by isolating the responsible people. During the two
months and under the impression of the nethnography and the first interviews, the list was adapted.
Further the interviewees were asked to suggest further possible interviewees that they consider to
be key players for the branding process and the city’s marketing efforts. 23 out of 25 interviews were
recorded completely and during all interviews notes (in German and/or English) were taken. In the
report literal quotes are translated into English by myself.

                                         What               Where

                                          How                 Who

 Figure 4: Guiding questions of the in-depth interviews: (1) What: What is branded in Hamburg? What themes,
 artifacts, facts, etc. are used and presented? (2) Where: Where is the brand presented? (3) How: How is the brand
 presented? (4) Who: Which groups or persons are involved?

All data was carefully stored and archived. The interviews, pictures and a lot of the documents are
stored digitally, whereas most of the brochures are stored as hard copies. There is some overlap
between the physical and digital material. A list of the collected material is presented in the
Appendices A-C.

Markus Walz                                  ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                      2010-11-30

 Figure 5: Location of the 25 interviews. The map shows the location of the 25 interviews (the red pins), the location
 of the office at Hamburg university (the green house with the flag on top) and the location of the apartment (the
 yellow house). Two of the interviews were conducted at the university office, one of them via phone. The other 23
 interviews were conducted at places provided by the interviewee. All interviews were conducted in German, with
 the exception of one in English.

Analyzing the data
Throughout the data collection process, I had a weekly Skype conference with the academic project
leader in Stockholm in order to review the progress of the study and to get ideas about what to look
for in the material and about what kind of new material should be collected. Furthermore, the drafts
of this report were sent back and forth between me and the project leader to ensure the quality and
to develop ideas and concepts to describe Hamburg’s branding efforts.
All material was of course checked for relevance regarding Hamburg as a brand and the city’s
marketing efforts. Some of the material that was not of strategic importance, or only remotely
related to the city branding efforts, was only skimmed and will not be used in this report. Still, they
were important to establish a broad understanding of the city. The crucial documents, studies,
analyses and brochures, however, were studied carefully and some will be quoted in this report.
Besides listening to the narratives presented by the interviewees, I tried to check the stories for
critical statements and messages transported ‘between the lines’, with the objective to get a better
grasp of different roles and responsibilities in the branding process and the political complexity
behind such a process. Of course, my ability to evaluate statements increased with the number of
interviews conducted and the knowledge acquired. However, it is important to note that the
narrative of the branding process is but one possible interpretation, obviously biased by the
subjectivity of the researcher. During the interview, certain topics that were labeled crucial or
controversial by some interview partners, the press or citizens, like for example the Elbphilharmonie

Markus Walz                                   ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

(Elphi) or the city’s official corporate design, labeled ‘Kommunikationsmuster’ (Engl.: communication
pattern) by the HMG, were brought into the discussion.
The ethnographic observations are obviously harder to store or categorize. However, I took notes
whenever or wherever something interesting and report-related was observed, experienced or
thought about. These notes were essential to create new insights into the branding process and
creative ideas on how to structure my own narrative of the branding process. In addition, they were
essential in categorizing the observations under themes and headlines.
An important tool to get feedback on my assessment and my ideas regarding the development in
Hamburg were two feedback seminars. The first one with Professor Teichert and his team was in the
middle of July, where I presented a description of the branding process and isolated some
characteristic features of the Hamburg case. The second seminar at the 5th of August at Hamburg
University was conducted as a presentation of my intermediate results at the end of my two-month
stay. I presented my description to some of the interviewees and other interested guests during a
public lecture at the university. These seminars were important in that they checked whether the
narrative presented by this report and the isolated characteristics coincided with the assessment and
understanding of the key players interviewed.


                               Seminars                           Ethnography

                                      Feedback               Interviews

 Figure 6: Data analysis cycle: All five aspects (nethnography, ethnography, interviews, feedback, seminars) were
 influenced by and influencing each other during the two-month period in Hamburg.

The description of the branding process (see An overview of the branding process) follows two major
lines. First, an overview of the branding process and the structures behind the branding process is
presented. A time line was created to cover the rationales behind the present brand. Then specific
categories were constructed to label different phases in the branding process. As the data gathering
relied heavily on digital documents (because of the nethnography) and interviews with key players
active today or in the past decade, the time categories get more sophisticated for the last ten to
fifteen years, whereas the first categories cover a larger time-span and rely more on historical
information (that was not the focus of this study) than on narratives presented by the interviewees.
The second step was to identify the key features of the branding process as well as of the brand itself
(see Elements of the Hamburg brand). The characteristics of the approach followed and implemented
in Hamburg are isolated and categorized. Based on those two steps some more general observations
(see Observations) regarding the Hamburg case are made and categorized under possible themes.

Markus Walz                                  ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                      2010-11-30

An overview of the branding process
Background information

        ‘Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg’ – some basic facts
The ‘Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg‘ (Engl.: Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg) is Germany’s
second biggest city with around 1.7 million inhabitants (4.3 million when including the metropolitan
region) and given its special status as a city state it is also one of sixteen German Federal Lands.
  The city area comprises 755 km2, including 75 km2 of harbor (second largest European harbor). Hamburg
  calls itself the green metropolis of Europe with 4,700 hectares of wooded area (16.8% of the city area,
  though Berlin for instance has 18.1% of green areas) and is also a city at the waterfront since 8% of the city
  area is covered with water (Berlin: 6.7%) by three rivers and some smaller canals (Hamburg has almost
  2,500 bridges, which is more than Venice). Hamburg is also a very touristic city with over 7.4 million
  overnight stays in 2007. Favorite tourist attractions are the harbor including the fish market, the
  Reeperbahn (the former red light district that is nowadays more famous for clubbing), the vibrant
  restaurant and bar scene, and the very diverse cultural offerings like theatres, musicals and museums.
  Hamburg is also an important economic centre hosting numerous headquarters from the top-500 German
  companies. Combined with the international trade the gross domestic product increased in 2008 to 88.5
  billion Euro. With a rate of foreigners of 14.5% (Berlin: 14.0%), the city has a very international touch with
  nearly 100 different consulates in the city, and also a high percentage of second-generation foreigners, who
  are not included in the foreigner statistics because of their German passports. Moreover, the city is a
  students’ town, with 17 different universities and over 80,000 students (Federal Statistical Office of Berlin-
  Brandenburg, 2009; Federal Statistical Office of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, 2008; Hamburg
  Marketing GmbH, 2009a, 2009b). (Zenker, Knubben & Beckmann: 2010)
Politically Hamburg has been governed by different political constellations, however, since the
Second World War mainly by the Social Democratic Party (SPD). From 1957 up till 2001 Hamburg’s
mayors were Social Democrats. In 2001 Ole von Beust, a member of the conservative party (CDU),
came into office after 44 years of social democratic rule. He was head of three cabinets: First, from
2001 to 2004 in a coalition with a newly founded right-wing party, then from 2004 to 2008 with
absolute majority, and from 2008 in a coalition with the Green party. At the 18th of July he resigned
and the current Secretary of the Interior, Christoph Ahlhaus, was elected his successor in August
2010. However, by the end of November 2010 the coalition between the Greens and the
Conservative party failed and in early 2011 there will be snap elections (http://www.dw-
world.de/dw/article/0,,6275185,00.html, 2010-11.29).

         ‘Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg’ – a historical background
Hamburg has a rich and colorful history and plays a crucial role in maritime trading in Europe. First
settlements date back 1400 years and the castle that named the city was built in the 9th century. As
the official city name suggests, two aspects are especially important to Hamburg and to its identity.
First its state as an imperial city (‘a Free City’), free of ecclesiastical influence or temporal power
residence. Therefore, the political structure of Hamburg was characterized by a strong citizen role
and the Senate was established as early as the 13th century. The other aspect is Hamburg’s important
role in the Hanseatic League, an economic alliance dominating trade in the Baltic region and the
North Sea from the late Middle Ages to the early Modern era. The Hanseatic League was established
when the cities of Lübeck and Hamburg entered an alliance in the 13th century. This tradition of being
a free, trading city is still relevant today and explains the city’s official name. Further a word like
‘Pfeffersäcke’ (a depreciatory term used to describe a wealthy person, traditionally a person that
owns a lot of the then valuable spice pepper, and is often focused on gaining money and power) is
still used to describe Hamburg’s citizens and their specific character traits. Many interviewees and
other citizens used the Hanseatic tradition to explain certain traits that are characteristic for political
or cultural life in the city and often referenced Hamburg’s trading tradition saying things like:
“Hamburg is a trading city you know” or “Hamburg was always dominated by merchants.” The city
motto on the town hall reads: ‘Libertatem quam peperere maiores digne studeat servare posteritas’
(May posterity strive to preserve the freedom won by our elders) and fits the description of Hamburg

Markus Walz                                  ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                     2010-11-30

as a city with an emphasize on trade, merchants and freedom. Furthermore, when entering the city
hall one is struck by the fact that the adornments are of secular nature (golden ships, etc.),
emphasizing trade and wealth rather than ecclesiastical events or characters. Also worth mentioning
is the fact that the city hall and the stock exchange building (which is now the home of the Chamber
of Commerce) are juxtapositioned and constructionally connected.

    Figure 7: The town's motto: May posterity strives to preserve the freedom won by our elders. This motto mirrors the
    cities focus on posterity and their pride on being a ‘free’ city with a special status in Germany.

The status as a Free City and the membership in the Hanseatic League together with the growing
harbor guided Hamburg’s development as an important trading city in Europe and earned Hamburg
its German nickname ‘Das Tor zur Welt’ (Engl.: The Gateway to the world) because of the importance
of its harbor for European trade. Before the First World War, Hamburg was on the height of its fame
with more than one million inhabitants and home to the biggest port in Europe. The international
flair that came with merchants and goods from all over the world together with a successful trading
history and a liberal and tolerant culture are other aspects essential to the city’s self-image. It can
also explain the predominant role of the harbor as the ultimate ‘Hamburgian’ icon in the minds of
inhabitants and non-inhabitants alike.

    Figure 8: Overview of the container port by night. The port covers around 10% of Hamburg’s area and is of enormous
    importance not only economically but also as an identity symbol of the city. This picture is taken from a famous
    church tower in Hamburg (‘Michel’) and represents a typical image of the city and its harbor. In front, the river Elbe
    is visible. The lights in the background illuminate the container port.


  Author’s own picture.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

Furthermore, the focus on the harbor and the sea trading might explain why one of the churches – or
rather one of the church towers – Michel, is considered the traditional city landmark. Travelling up
the river Elbe towards the harbor, the Michel is clearly visible, greeting the arriving boat traveler
coming from the sea. So although there are similar churches in size and style (for example, the
church St. Katharinen) in Hamburg, the Michel is perceived and communicated as the city landmark
because of its is prominent position, again showing the importance of the harbor for the perception
of the city.

    Figure 9: On the left picture the landing bridge in St. Pauli with the Michel in the background. The landing bridge is
    the traditional landing stage for passengers. The right picture shows the church tower of St. Katharinen another
    famous church tower in Hamburg. Although different, the two towers can be perceived as similar in style, structure
    and height, especially form the point of view of an ‘ignorant’ visitor. The prominent role of the Michel can probably
    be best explained because of its predestined location at the harbor and the important role of the harbor for the
    city’s identity.

The typical inhabitant is mostly described by echoing the clichés used to describe the tradesmen of
the Hanseatic League and a term like the before-mentioned ‘Peffersäcke’ is not understandable if not
placed in this particular historical context. Above all, one gets the impression that Hamburg citizens
are proud of the city’s special role, its wealth and its history and they take pride in calling themselves
‘Hamburger’ despite the obvious double meaning of the term. Quite often interviewees or other
citizens also referred to Hamburg as “the best city in the world” or “the most beautiful city in the
world,” of course with some ironic distance, which seems rather typical when people talk about their
home town, expressing their strong relation and commitment, while at the same time acknowledging
that these opinions derive more from emotional attachment than objective facts.
After the First World War, Hamburg never managed to reach their pre-war heights again. During the
years of The Weimarer Republic (the short democratic intermezzo between the First World War and
the Nazi area) it did not succeeded in win back its pre-war importance as Europe’s biggest harbor.
Several reasons like the war reparation costs (at least on a psychological level) or the world economic
crisis could be mentioned, but also the growing competition from the port in Rotterdam rendered it
more difficult for Hamburg. Of importance in this period was the establishment of the Hamburg
University (founded in 1919) which for years had been blocked by some members of the Senate and
influential merchants who did not want to spend the money and argued that Hamburg should
concentrate      on      its   position     as      a     trading     metropolis       (http://www.uni-
hamburg.de/Dienste/geschichte_e.html, 2010-11-30). Interestingly, this lack of passion for the

 Author’s own picture.
Hamburg.St.Katharinen.wmt.jpg, 2010-10-25.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

university by the influential Hamburg merchants is still echoed in today’s discussions about the
university and one interviewee argued that “the city is not loving its university *…+ probably because
of the dominating harbor ideology *…+ and it is ideology not reality.”6 It seems to be a Hanseatic
tradition to talk bad about the university.
During the twenties there were also first initiatives to establish a better cooperation between
Hamburg and its surrounding districts (http://metropolregion.hamburg.de/geschichte-historie/,
2010-07-21). During the National Socialistic Dictatorship (1933-1945), Hamburg was pressed under
the system established by the Hitler-party and the Senate and township lost their political influence.
In 1937, through the ‘Groß-Hamburg-Gesetz’ (Engl.: the law regarding the greater area of Hamburg),
the city area was considerably enlarged when former independent cities like Altona, Harburg-
Wilhelmsburg, Wandsbek und Bergedorf were embraced by the city state. This increased Hamburg’s
area considerably. However, especially the districts south of the river Elbe, which was a natural
barrier, were hard to include and until this day the ‘Sprung über die Elbe’ (Engl: the leap of the river
Elbe) – the inclusion and the development of the southern districts – is an important project for the
city and is far from completed. It is still a topic and a problem for the city as the mental exclusion of
the Southern districts can be observed in people’s comments like “I will only go south of the Elbe if I
have to” and I personally experienced the less importance of the area south of the Elbe for everyday
city life when on site and living north of the river.

    Figure 10: A typical map of the city as you can find it in Hamburg. It is striking that the southern districts (compare
    Figure 2) are missing completely. It can be argued that this particular map, which is aimed at visitors and emphasizes
    tourist sites, does not need to include the southern areas. However, this map is but one typical example of the way
    in which the city area is presented, for example also in the public transport stations.

    Interview 10.
    Author’s own picture.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                          2010-11-30

During the Second World War, huge parts of Hamburg and its harbor, like many other German cities,
were destroyed and several thousand persons lost their lives. After the war Hamburg was part of the
British occupation zone of Germany. Obviously, the focus in the post Second World War era was on
reconstruction and establishing the political system. Hamburg experienced fast economic growth and
was able to preserve its unique status as a ‘Free City’ by becoming one of three city states (the others
are Berlin and Bremen) in the new federal system of the Federal Republic of Germany with its sixteen
federal states. However, because of the German division into two states, the ‘capitalistic’ West and
the ‘socialistic’ East, Hamburg also had to suffer economic problems because, as one of the
interviewees pointed out, being close to the inner German border severed Hamburg from its
traditional sales market.8 Important urban development projects were the harbor extension, the
deepening of the river Elbe, the Köhlbrandbrücke and the new Elbtunnel. The focus was on
infrastructural activities that would strengthen the harbor. An occurrence worth mentioning was the
great flood in 1962, when parts of the city were completely inundated. The district Wilhelmsburg was
hit quite strongly. Hamburg experienced political stability and, with the exception of four years, the
Social Democrats held the mayor’s office until 2001.

    Figure 11: View of Hamburg in 1944 or 1945. Hamburg suffered enormous destruction during the end of the Second
    World War. A third of the residential buildings were destroyed and around 35 000 people died. Also Hamburg’s
    economic center, the port, was destroyed during the bombings.

The branding process

        Phase I: Hamburg as the Sleeping Beauty
Marketing on a city level is nothing new to Hamburg. As one interviewee pointed out, it has been
going on for “at least 40 years”10 and material from the ‘pre-digital’ era can still be found. Posters like
the ones in figure 12 date back to 1939 and the motto is, as already mentioned, much older and pays
reference to Hamburg’s predominant role in European trade during the times of the Hanseatic

  Interview 18.
  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Hamburg_after_the_1943_bombing.jpg, 2010-07-21.
   Interview 5.

Markus Walz                                    ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                     2010-11-30

     Figure 12: Hamburg – the Gateway to the World. Two postcards using the traditional nickname of Hamburg, the
     gateway to the world, to illustrate its important role in European trade networks. This slogan is used till today at
     least in Germany, although some argue that other German cities, like Frankfurt which is the major airport hub in
     Germany, would deserve this slogan better. Obviously, the slogan expresses an ethnocentric or ‘German-centric’
     view of the world and it is therefore not surprising that many interviewees and other citizens feel that it is not
     relevant in today’s complex, globalized world. Thus, it does not play an important role in the city’s communication
     activities. However, it is still plays a prominent role in the everyday communication of internal audiences.

This nickname is still quite known in Germany, although today it is mostly used as an historical relict.
However, as a frame of reference, it is important still today. A case in point is Figure 13 which
illustrates a modern adaptation of the traditional nickname by artist Michael Batz.

     Figure 13: Blue goal by Michael Batz (2006). A recent example of how Hamburg is using the image of their traditional
     nickname ‘gateway to the world’ in a more modern way.

A recent example from the early nineties is the campaign/slogan ‘Hamburg – Das Hoch im Norden’
(Engl.: Hamburg – The High in the North), playing on Hamburg’s geographical location in northern
Germany/Europe as well as using the meteorological term ‘high’ which is linked to good or stable
weather. Traditionally the task of marketing the city belonged to the Hamburg Ministry of Economy
and Labor (German: Behörde für Wirtschaft und Arbeit, BWA) and was conducted by the same person

     http://www.bergedorfmuseum.de/sammlung/kartea27a3.jpg, 2010-07-16.
     http://www.michaelbatz.de/galerie/blue_goal_gr.jpg, 2010-09-13.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                        2010-11-30

for around 20 years.13 The department Hamburg Werbung (Engl.: Hamburg Promotion) was
responsible of organizing and coordinating the city’s marketing activities.14
Furthermore, there have been and still are several public limited companies, clubs and organizations
involved in representing the city, promoting it together with their own brand, thereby shaping
Hamburg’s image and influencing the city brand. Cases in point are the airport (Flughafen Hamburg),
the company for the promotion of economic development in Hamburg (Hamburgische
Wirtschaftsförderung, HWF), the port marketing club (Hamburg Hafen Marketing, HHM), the trade
fair and congress company (Hamburg Messe und Congress), the tourism bureau (Hamburg
Tourismus, HHT), the convention bureau (Hamburg Convention Bureau) and the construction project
HafenCity (HCH), often jokingly called the G7, using the letter ‘G’ as the abbreviation of the German
word for public limited company: ‘Gesellschaft’. These different organizations were all in one way or
another engaged in marketing and promotion activities. However, most interviewees pointed out
that during this phase the organizations all followed their own strategies and had their own
corporate design. Although an unofficial coordination through personal networks between the
responsible leaders could have existed,15 there was no official strategic umbrella guiding the
marketing activities. Also, the different city authorities were not operating under one communication
pattern, although, for example, the ‘Hamburg colors’, HKS 41 and HKS 13 (the traditional blue and
red colors currently used) were already adopted.16
In a phrase coined by former German Chancellor, former Senator in Hamburg, former editor-in-chief
of the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, German legend and Hamburg original, Helmut Schmidt,
Hamburg was described as ‘schlafende Schöne’ (Engl.: the Sleeping Beauty, referring to the classic
fairytale by Charles Perrault). While Schmidt was referring more to the lack of political importance of
politicians born in Hamburg and to what he considered a lack of passion for national politics beyond
the city-state border, a lot of interviewees, and later some official documents,17 borrowed the
metaphor to describe the lack of coordinated measures and political vision needed to restate
Hamburg’s reputation as an important international trading metropolis and to help reach its pre-First
World War fame and reputation.

     Figure 14: Helmut Schmidt. Former German chancellor (1974-1982), former Minister for Defence (1969-1972),
     former Minister for Finance (1972-1974) and former Senator for the Interior in Hamburg (1961-1965). Born, raised
     and living in Hamburg, Helmut Schmidt is arguably one of the most respected public personae in Germany. He is
     well-known in Hamburg and in the rest of Germany and his opinions on political and societal issues are listened to in
     German society.

   Interview 5.
   cf. Pressegespraech_LPK-Talentstadt, p. 4.
   http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/images/Schmidt%20and%20cigarette.jpg, 2010-10-25.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

Hamburg’s demographic development posed also a problem. While the harbor expanded and
business grew, Hamburg also faced a decline in population. As figure 15 suggests, the population was
declining during most of the second half of the 20th century and has not yet reached the 1.8 million
figure applying in the sixties.

     Figure 15: ‘Bevölkerungsentwicklung der Stadt Hamburg’ (Engl.: Population Development of the City of Hamburg):
     Demographic development of the city of Hamburg (left axis: number of inhabitants; right axis: years). The figure
     shows that Hamburg faced a population decline during a great part of the 20 century and that the enormous
                     th                             19
     growth of the 19 century could not be repeated.

One reason for this process can be described as a suburbanization. A lot of citizens moved to the
suburbs which in this case also meant that they were moving into the neighboring federal states,
Niedersachsen or Schleswig-Holstein.20 This made the effects for Hamburg more severe than for
Munich, for example, where the neighboring districts at least belong to the same federal state. This
problem was emphasized by some interviewees21 and, together with the demographic problems that
the whole of Germany will be facing in the future, laid the ground for the development of the
‘Growing City’ concept.22
This first identified phase of the branding process, Hamburg as the Sleeping Beauty, covers quite a
long period of time. Roughly, it could be argued that the important historical year 1962 (the year of
the great flood) could be a starting point and 1997 (the year when influential projects, like the
HafenCity project was brought on its way) an end point. Of course, having implemented another
research design one could come up with probably more milestones for these 35 year period.
However following the narrative of most of the interviewees and taking the content of some key
documents, it is reasonable to embrace the years between the rebuilding after the Second World
War and the reconstruction of the city center starting with the HafenCity project as one phase.
Especially when considering that the semantics used to describe city marketing and city branding
have changed during the last two decades with the rise of studies, articles and books addressing
place branding. Earlier it was uncommon either to regard or to analyze cities as brands.

   Leitbild_Metropole Hamburg - wachsende Stadt 2002.pdf, p. 5.
   cf. Interview 18.
   Leitbild_Metropole Hamburg - wachsende Stadt 2002.pdf, p. 5-7.

Markus Walz                                      ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                      2010-11-30

                              - coordinated approach is missing
                              - ‘leap over the river Elbe‘
                              - “Unternehmen Hamburg“ - speech
                              - development of the metropolitan region

     Figure 16: Phase I: Hamburg as the Sleeping Beauty: Although a coordinated approach towards branding/marketing
     of the city was missing during this first phase, some important foundations for the future developments were laid.
     For example, the ‘leap over the Elbe’-vision was again brought into the public discourse with the aim to strengthen
     the part of Hamburg south of the river Elbe. Especially by former mayor Klaus von Dohnanyi (in the picture ) who
     also argued for a more strategic approach to planning the cities future in his famous speech ‘”Unternehmen
     Hamburg” (Engl.: Enterprise Hamburg). Further there was a department, in one of the ministries, ‘Hamburg
     Werbung’ (Hamburg Promotion) dealing with the marketing of the city. Also the development of the metropolitan
     region was pushed forward.

        Phase II: the Beauty awakes
As pointed out by one interviewee, there was an office responsible for marketing the city during the
long period of social democratic rule in Hamburg from 1957 to 2001.24 However, this office or better
city marketing in general was more an “unloved child”25 and often more pursued by the coalition
partners than the Social Democrats (some suggested this had to do with a general skeptical attitude
by the political left towards marketing and branding). However, most interviewees agreed that
during this period there was no clear strategy and no vision for Hamburg’s future that could give
guidance for political projects. Here, it is important to point to the limitations of this research
approach. As the interviews were conducted with key players that were or are influencing the city’s
marketing and branding approach in the last ten years, there is obviously a bias towards narratives as
presented by the CDU. Still, the claim that there was a lack of clear vision for Hamburg’s future
should be understood with special focus on a coordinated marketing approach and should not be
interpreted as a general negation of the social democratic strategy in the years before 2001. There
were projects of strategic importance for Hamburg. However, it could be argued that these followed
the guidance of the “harbor ideology”26(as put by two interviewees critical of Hamburg’s focus on the
port with regard to city projects), first and foremost the deepening of the river Elbe and the steady
development of the port area. Also projects like the Köhlbrandbrücke that connected the northern
part of city with the Wilhelmsburg district, were attempts to better connect the city south of the
river with the inner city.
Of great importance during the end of the Social Democratic rule was the fact that the foundation for
some of the city’s most prestigious projects were laid. Former mayor Klaus von Dohnanyi (1981-
1988) fostered the idea of the ‘leap over the river Elbe’. This concept suggests that Hamburg has to
restructure and utilize the formerly neglected areas south of the city state, such as Wilhelmsburg and
former port areas, because their restricted city state area prevented growth on the periphery of the
city. His successor Henning Voscherau (1988-1997) took up the idea and the Senate approved the
project HafenCity, Europe’s biggest inner-city-building project, in 1997. Under the next mayor,
Ortwin Runde (1997-2001) the HafenCity project was coming along, but there was no yet a
structured strategic approach to push Hamburg in an international context. Also the metropolitan

0017,_K%C3%B6ln,_SPD-Parteitag,_Dohnanyi.jpg, 2010-10-25.
   Interview 5.
   Interview 10 & 12.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                       2010-11-30

cooperation      was     strengthened      during    the     nineties     (http://www.kreis-
pinneberg.de/Kreis+Pinneberg/Metropolregion+Hamburg-p-913.html, 2010-07-21).

     Figure 17: Logo of the metropolitan region of Hamburg. This logo is nowadays mostly used by the actual
     organization presenting the metropolitan region and not so much in communication materials or in presentations of
     the city. More and more the metropolitan region is presented under the ‘umbrella’ of the Hamburg brand and it is
     the strategy of the HMG to include areas outside of the city state borders under the concept of ‘Hamburg’ when
     presenting the region abroad.

Nonetheless, in 2001 under the leadership of Dr. Michael Ollmann, head of the Hamburg office of the
renowned consulting agency McKinsey, a study entitled ‘Hamburg Vision 2020: Vom nationalen
Zentrum zur europäischen Metropole’ (Engl.: Hamburg Vision 2020 – From being a national center
towards becoming a European metropolis) was published.28 This concept was presented to the
Senate in which a considerable political change took place the same year. After 44 years of SPD rule,
Ole von Beust, a member of the conservative party, CDU, took office. Together, the ‘Vision 2020’ and
the political change can be considered a starting point of a structured and politically supported
approach towards marketing the city embedded in a broader concept of urban development. To
return to the romantic metaphor, this signifies the awakening kiss for the ‘sleeping beauty’.
Furthermore, during this period the city logo, as used today, was introduced and the idea of the
Olympia-bid for 2012 entered public discourse.
Still a lot of the concepts and projects were brought on their way or finished before 1997. The most
influential project, the HafenCity, was officially initiated in 1997. In addition, the influential McKinsey
study brought the idea of a cluster-orientated economic policy to the political forefront. Therefore,
phase II, The Beauty awakens, can be described as spanning from 1997 (HafenCity) to 2001 (‘Vision
2020’ and political change).

                              - HafenCity-project
                              - McKinsey study: ‘Hamburg Vision 2020‘
                              - city logo is introduced
                              - idea Olympia-bid for 2012

     Figure 18: Phase II: The Beauty awakens: The influential HafenCity-project is brought on its way. Furthermore, the
     McKinsey study argues for a cluster approach, the strengthening of science and infrastructure and formulates the
     goal of Hamburg in terms of a dynamic European metropolis capable of competing with other cities like Rotterdam
     and Copenhagen. In addition, the current city logo is created and the idea to bid for the Olympic Games in 2012 is
     brought up.


g, 2010-10-25.
   McKinsey, ‚Hamburg Vision 2020 – Vom nationalen Zentrum zur europäischen Metropole’, 2001.
   picture: http://0.image.hamburg.de/image/1178520/Traditionsschiffhafen%207.jpg?width=215 , 2010-10-25.

Markus Walz                                      ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                       2010-11-30

         Phase III: Hamburg as the growing city
In 2001 the conservative party, CDU, under the leadership of Ole von Beust, managed to gain
majority, together with the liberal party, FDP, and a small party on the political right under the
leadership of ‘Richter Gnadenlos’ (English: the merciless judge) Roland Schill, in the Hamburg Senate.
After 44 years of social democratic rule, a new party had the possibility of influencing city politics. As
several interviewees stated, this political change brought a “breath of fresh air” into Hamburg’s city
politics. In the wake of this change and the initiative of the McKinsey team in Hamburg, the newly
elected Senate under the conceptual leadership of the Senator for Finance, Dr. Wolfgang Peiner,
passed a political mission statement as a guidance for all future development of Hamburg: ‘Leitbild:
Metropole Hamburg – Wachsende Stadt’ (Engl.: Mission statement: Metropolis Hamburg – a
Growing City).30 This 73-page document was supposed to deliver the intellectual backbone,
combining the emphasis on the cluster approach derived from the McKinsey analysis with the
concept of growth put forward by the first cabinet of von Beust (von Beust I, 2001-2004) and was
strongly influenced by Peiner’s personal beliefs and vision for the city.
The strategic goal formulated was to become “a growing and pulsating metropolis with international
flair”31 like other dynamic (mostly in the sense of GDP and citizen growth) cities, namely
Copenhagen, Barcelona, Wien, Seattle and Toronto. Most of the ideas used during the next eight
years were outlined in this document: the need to create an atmosphere of departure, the need to
become an island of growth in a country with a decreasing population, the emphasis on soft factors,
like culture and quality of life to attract Richard Florida’s now famous ‘creative class’, the cluster-
orientated economic policy, the inversion of the suburbanization process, the need to increase
Hamburg’s international attractiveness by further strengthening the waterfront (‘leap over the river
Elbe’), the need to strengthen the metropolitan coordination between the different states (Hamburg,
Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Holstein) and, last but not least, the need for a coordinated and controlled
marketing strategy. The document contains 83 assignments for the different city agencies.
Only a year later, in 2003, this mission statement was updated.32 The financial framework was set by
establishing an investment fund, thereby providing five million euro. The areas of operation were
defined and sixteen assignments were formulated. In addition, the foundation of the HMG was
announced to provide an umbrella brand and give the political actors more control over the city’s
marketing. The need for an international strategy and a global image campaign was called attention
to. The HMG was founded as a follow-up of the public limited company that was handling the city’s
bid for the Olympic Games 2012, and the updated mission statement pointed out that the bid
showed the need and potential for a structured marketing process in Hamburg metropolitan region
and also a high level of citizen identification with their city (more of the role of the Olympic bid in
part a.)
The role of the mission statement cannot be underestimated. Under the conceptual leadership of
Peiner, an experienced manager from the private sector, a comprehensive vision for the future of
Hamburg was outlined, based on quantitative and qualitative growth. The cluster-orientation
became the official approach and international attractiveness was formulated as an important goal.
All interviewees agreed on the importance of the mission statement and also on the predominant
role of Peiner in establishing and implementing same.

        a. „Feuer und Flamme für Hamburg“ –The Olympic spark inspires Hamburg
In the beginning of the new millennium, Hamburg bid to host the Olympic games in 2012. The city
put in tremendous effort to present a concept, but in the end lost the German preliminary decision
to Leipzig although, according to many of the interviewees, the Hamburg bid was the one of which
the International Olympic Committee was in favor. In line with the narrative of the updated mission

   Leitbild_Metropole Hamburg - wachsende Stadt 2002.
   ibid.: p. 62.
   wachsende-stadt-fortschreibung 2003.

Markus Walz                               ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                2010-11-30

statement ‘Growing City’,33 most interviewees stated that during these efforts city officials realized
the lack of a common marketing strategy and a brand umbrella and the need for coordinated action.
For the coordination of the bidding efforts a public limited company was founded which – as already
mentioned before – would become the basis of the HMG. As the slogan ‘Feuer und Flamme für
Hamburg’ (Engl.: Fire and Flame for Hamburg, meaning to rally for the cause of Hamburg, but
actually also being a pun with the Olympic symbols, the torch and the flame) indicates a majority of
the citizens stood behind the bid. The disappointment when losing to Leipzig was huge and most
interviewees claimed that the decision was a political one, since Hamburg had a better concept,
however, some also saw strategic mistakes on the political side, such as coordinating voting behavior
with other competitors like Düsseldorf.34

     Figure 19: Logo of the Olympic bid. The slogan ‘Feuer und Flame für Hamburg’ is a play with words as it is a German
     saying meaning ‘being all hocked up for something’ while at the same time utilizing the Olympic notions of ‘fire’ and
     ‘torch’. The bid was strongly supported by the Chamber of Commerce and was critical for the realization of a
     coordinated city marketing approach.

All interviewees regarded the Olympic bid as a key event for the branding process. And while
Olympic Games are often used to restructure cities and initiated world-wide image campaigns –
cases in point are the Olympic Games in Sydney (2000) and Barcelona (1992) – it seems like the mere
bid was already enough to trigger some of the same effects in Hamburg. It started the
conceptualization of Hamburg as a city of sports (http://www.marketing.hamburg.de/Sport-in-
Hamburg.145.0.html?L=1, 2010-11-29), although most interviewees stated that this concept is
nowadays a thing of the past, at least when it comes to acquiring big events and is not part of the
HMG strategy.36 Most important for the city’s marketing the bid was the spark of the HMG. As stated
in the founding document:
     Mit der nationalen Bewerbung Hamburgs um die Olympischen Spiele 2012 sind die enormen Potenziale der
     Metropole Hamburg deutlich geworden. Die Bewerbungsgesellschaft, gemeinsam getragen durch die
     Stadt, die Wirtschaft und den Sport, hat durch eine effektive Arbeitsweise in kürzester Zeit Hervorragendes
     geleistet. Es ist gelungen, in der ganzen Stadt eine Begeisterung für eine Idee auszulösen und eine
     Aufbruchstimmung mit positiver Zukunftseinschätzung zu erzeugen. Zugleich wurde deutlich, dass die
     Aktivitäten im Bereich des Standortmarketings national und insbesondere international wesentlich
     verstärkt werden müssen, wenn Hamburg im internationalen Standortwettbewerb bestehen will. Das
     internationale Marketing ist heute mehr denn je entscheidend für eine erfolgreiche Wachstumsstrategie.
     Die sektoralen Marketingaktivitäten verschiedener Träger des Hamburger Standortmarketings sollen daher
     zu einem umfassenden Standortmarketing weiterentwickelt werden, das sich am Leitbild „Metropole

     ibid.:, p. 1.
     Interview 18, 25.

pg, 2010-07-05.
   cf. Interview 3.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

     Hamburg – Wachsende Stadt“ ausrichtet und mit dem sich Hamburg zu einer international
     unverwechselbaren Marke profiliert.
One of the core aims was to develop an umbrella brand for the city in line with the ‘Growing City’
mission statement and the development of an international marketing strategy for the metropolitan
region.38 It is important to note the emphasize of the international dimension of the marketing
process in this quote. Hamburg is seen as having to compete with other cities on an international
level and, therefore, the city brand has to be developed. The HMG was founded with the support of
the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg (German: Handelskammer Hamburg, HKH) and the first chief
executive officer of the HMG, Hariolf Wenzler, was a former HKH employee. The chamber was a
driving force behind the Olympic bid and did not want to lose the momentum created by the bid.
Furthermore, the chamber retrieved the ideas from the 2002 mission statement, ‘Growing City’, and
developed their own suggestions how to implement and reach the goals of this statement.39
Traditionally the chamber monitors the results of the government in their regular publications.40

         b. The Beauty gets a new dress
One of the first actions of the HMG was to hire an agency, Brandmeyer brand agency (German:
Brandmeyer Markenberatung, BMB), to analyze the success criteria of Hamburg. With the help of
‘experts’, i.e. Hamburg citizens regarded by the HMG and BMB as qualified enough to evaluate what
makes Hamburg unique or what are Hamburg’s essential traits. On the basis of these interviews they
constructed a questionnaire, using a Lickert scale with several items where the person questioned
could express his/her level of agreement. With the help of this data BMB developed several
‘Markenbausteine’ (Engl.: brand building blocks), specific themes, like culture or water, that
summarized the city’s strength. Furthermore, the brand building blocks with the highest impact on
the city’s growth were identified. This analysis was repeated in 2009 and the themes were adjusted.
The brand analysis will be discussed somewhat further in the next chapter.
At the moment it is important that the emerging ‘Erfolgsmuster’ (Engl.: success pattern) was
implemented by the HMG to build their strategy and that it constitute the basis of the brand as it is
still communicated today. It is worthy to note that although the HMG was supposed to be in line with
the mission statement,41 they instead adopted an approach that took into consideration the positive
images people (citizens, tourists, etc.) have of Hamburg, tried to identify them and structuring their
marketing in accordance with them (more of this in Observations), which could be considered less
strategic than originally intended. Another important HMG project, and surely a milestone in the
city’s branding efforts, is the development of a unified corporate design or ‘Kommunikationsmuster’
(Engl.: communication pattern) for the city authorities and public-owned companies. After a public
call for bids, the HMG picked a design based on the traditional color code and a logo inspired by
Hamburg’s coat of arms given to the city by renowned designer Peter Schmidt already in 1998.

   2003_Gruendung einer Hamburg Marketing, p. 1. Engl.: During the national application of Hamburg for the
Olympic Games in 2012 the enormous potential of the city of Hamburg have become obvious. The company in
charge of the application, sponsored jointly by the city, business organizations and sport clubs, has reached
extraordinary results in quite a short time through their effective work. They managed to create enthusiasm for
an idea and a spirit of optimism in the whole city. At the same time, it became clear that the national and
international place marketing activities must be increased significantly, if Hamburg wants to survive in
international competition. International marketing is now more than ever crucial for a successful growth
strategy. The different marketing activities of different stakeholder should therefore be further developed into
a comprehensive strategy keeping the mission statement "Metropolis Hamburg - Growing City" in mind and
with the goal to establish Hamburg as a distinctive international brand. [Emphasis added]
   ibid.: p. 3.
   Interview 21.
   2003_Gruendung einer Hamburg Marketing, p. 1.

Markus Walz                                 ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                    2010-11-30

     Figure 20: The Hamburg Logo, designed by Peter Schmidt, depicts the traditional town gate which is part of the
     city’s original coat of arms. However, the gate here is open, probably to challenge the old joke that although
     Hamburg proclaims itself as the gateway to the world, the gate is actually closed and, consequently, the city is not
     welcoming visitors and strangers after all. The town gate is combined with a rolling blue line signifying the
     importance of water (especially the river Elbe) to the city and its image.

Most interviewees appreciate the idea of having a unified corporate design – even though a lot of
criticism has been leveled against the rigid rules of usage – and the HMG celebrates it as a success.
The design was based on the traditional blue and red colors, using a red bow on a blue background,
symbolizing the connection of the city with shipping and water. While talking to citizens one often
hears disappointment that “millions of euro only let to a rather simple visual code.”43 The point is not
the simplicity of the design as such but rather that all the effort ‘only’ led to a corporate design and
nothing substantial behind it and that money would have been better invested in ‘real’ projects than
in marketing projects. This argument was particularly used by critics from the political left who seem
to be traditionally against all marketing efforts.

     Figure 21: An example of the use of the 'Kommunikationsmuster'. The classical colors (red/blue), the HMG logo
     (including the city logo) and a ‘slogan’ (the HMG and BMB would not use this term but would call it heading or
     something similar) refer to one of Hamburg’s prominent themes of marketing, namely culture. In the background,
     parts of the draft for the new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie, is visible.

        c. Hamburg – A city of/for Talents
Later, the strategy expanded, embracing a specific approach to entice potential talents to the city.
The former Senator for Science and Research, Jörg Dräger, was the driving force behind this
adaptation. Leaning on a study carried out by consultant firm Roland Berger, entitled ‘Talentstadt
Hamburg’ (Engl.: Hamburg – City of Talent), he presented an intellectual backdrop as well as specific
actions that would attract and keep talented individuals in Hamburg.45 ‘Talents’ were constructed as
a supplement to Florida’s ‘creative class’. While a member of the ‘creative class’, by definition,
already works, the concept of talents included individuals who were not yet employed. Although
personal animosities and the end of Dräger’s term in 2008 stopped the concept from being
developed further,46 it was integrated in an updated version of the mission statement in 2007 with
the document ‘Weiterentwicklung des Leitbilds “Metropole Hamburg – Wachsende Stadt”’ (Engl.:
Elaboration of the mission statement: Metropolis Hamburg – a Growing City).47 Again, soft factors
were emphasized for a metropolis worth living in. Urbanity and being a “Green Metropolis at the

   http://www.marketing.hamburg.de/uploads/media/visual_01_home_2010_01.jpg, 2010-07-05.
   Some interviews showed sympathy for this claim but it could also be observed during everyday
   http://www.marketing.hamburg.de/uploads/media/visual_01_home_engl_2010.jpg, 2010-07-05.
   talentstadt-hamburg_Endbericht 2007.
   Interview 11.
   weiterentwicklung des leitbilds_2007.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                        2010-11-30

Waterfront” were seen as essential for attracting talents. An operational field of its own, dealing with
attracting talents, was formulated. Special emphasis was put on the role of creative districts and
creative communities. A combinational strategy was outlined advancing the scientific excellence of
the city as well as its artistic flair. Furthermore, the role of the cluster politics was emphasized once
more. One further aspect of this approach was the foundation of the Hamburg Welcome Center
(HWC), with the goal to attract talents and young professionals to the city and make it easier for
them to settle in Hamburg. The welcome center was meant to be a meeting place for all new citizens,
a place where they would get relevant services in a supportive and friendly environment with
personal contacts.

     Figure 22: A page from the guest book in Hamburg Welcome Center with the question: What’s necessary for a
     cosmopolitan Hamburg? Answers are, for example: “Language options throughout the city” or “Have English
     translations across public transportation”. This picture seems to express, once again, the city’s aspiration to be a
     cosmopolitan city of international rank.

         d. Hamburg – The Metropolis
Furthermore, the metropolitan cooperation was pressed ahead. Under the political framework of
MORO (‘Modelvorhaben der Raumordnung’), a federal project to advance regional cooperation
between           the      federal        states       and       districts      (http://www.bodensee-
Handlungsstrategien_fuer_die_Raumentwicklung_2006_455.pdf, 2010-11-01), the metropolitan
region is part of MORO Nord, a concept that tries to link four different federal states and even the
South of Denmark in order to encourage economic cooperation (http://www.moro-nord.hcu-
hamburg.de/Ziele.123.0.html, 2010-07-21). In addition, the metropolitan region committed itself to
an internationalization strategy in 2005/2006 (http://metropolregion.hamburg.de/geschichte-
historie/, 2010-07-21). As shown in Figure 17, the metropolitan region of Hamburg has its own logo.
However, the logo is used mainly by the branch office which is located at the Ministry of Economic
Affairs and Labor and, for example, not when presenting the region on trading fairs or similar
activities.49 As pointed out by several interviewees, the region is presented under the umbrella of the
Hamburg brand. This creates a problem of governance as the metropolitan region lies in the different
federal states (Hamburg, Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Holstein) and in the future even different nations
(Germany, Denmark). For example the other German federal states might be concerned about the
growing influence of Hamburg at the expanses of their communes as well as of the distinct identities

     Author’s own picture.
     Interview 3.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                        2010-11-30

of regions like Lüneburg of Cuxhaven. It is noteworthy that other regions act in the same way in the
sense that a greater business region is united under the name of a major city like in the case of
Stockholm (Stockholm – the capital of Scandinavia) and the regions gather under the brand name of
the ‘capital’ (http://www.stockholmbusinessregion.se/, 2010-11-01.) Compared to other German
metropolitan regions, where the whole region lies in one federal state, Hamburg faces a more
complex governance system. This ultimately links back to discussions to restructure the German
federal state and to create a Northern German state, which could be a threat to Hamburg’s distinct
identity but also a possibility for more efficient regional cooperation. As one interviewee pointed out,
it would make a lot of things easier, but it is not a realistic option.50 Still, the metropolitan region is
used by the city when branding Hamburg, but more or less by incorporating it into the city brand
rather than establishing a metropolitan region brand.

     Figure 23: Moro Nord – Greater Partnership Northern Germany and metropolitan region of Hamburg (the dark green
     area is the metropolitan region of Hamburg). South of the metropolitan region are the bordering metropolitan

 Interview 19.

Markus Walz                                     ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                     2010-11-30

  regions of Bremen-Oldenburg, Hannover, Braunschweig, Göttingen and Wolfsburg. In the north the potential
  candidates for future corporation in Germany and Denmark.

        e. A new landmark – the Elbphilharmonie
This prestigious project is now a crucial part of all of Hamburg’s marketing efforts. It greets you on
your arrival at the city’s airport and you find it in most of the image brochures (see also Figure 21). It
is consciously used to create a new landmark for the city of Hamburg and is embedded in the
narrative     presented       by     the    HMG.       It   has     made    world-wide        news     (cf.
internationale-bauaustellung/, 2010-11-30) and is already a crowd puller, especially for international
tourists.52 The city offers guided tours through the construction site. Once it is finished it is supposed
to be the new architectural and musical highlight of the ‘Hansestadt’ and an icon for Hamburg with
international impact.

  Figure 24: Sketch of the new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie. The prestigious building is based on a concept by
  famous architects Herzog & de Meuron. The old Kaispeicher A (an old warehouse in the former free-harbor) is used
  as the base of the building. On top thereof, the actual concert hall is built. The space between the warehouse and
  the concert hall is open to the public.

The Elphi is interesting for several reasons. First of all, it does not fit the cliché of the typical
‘Hamburgian’ merchant who is not willing to spend a huge amount of money for prestigious projects
not directly related to trading or of direct economic impact. Also, looking at the sketch (see Figure
24), it does not seem to be a project in line with the Hanseatic understatement citizens often refer
to. However, the story behind the Elphi’s development fits the ‘Hamburgian’ tradition much better.
The Elphi was born out of private initiative. In early 2002, two citizens who were not satisfied with
the official development plan for the area (that lies right in the river Elbe and is part of the former
‘Freihafen’, the part of the port with special taxation rules) contacted their former fellow students,
the world famous architects Jaques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron who designed and presented a
new project, although the area was already planned to be used in a different way.54 The influential

E%20|%20%3C%2Fa%3E&md5=f112b92a3fff8601cc9a7dad95e10267, 2010-07-21.
   Interview 13.
8bSYCI/AAAAAAAAAKI/Bni2cPJqrUk/s400/hamburgkonzert_1.jpg, 2010-10-25.
   Interview 11.

Markus Walz                                   ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                       2010-11-30

local newspaper, ‘Hamburger Abendblatt’, took up the idea and started a discussion in the city.
Finally, the Senate took over the project and the foundation stone was laid in 2007. Again, fitting the
‘Hamburgian’ stereotype of having a strong and active citizenship that brings forward social and
cultural projects and activities (in German, ‘Mäzentum’), the Elphi was supported and backed up by
private sponsors (another famous example is Gerd Bucerius, publisher of the famous German
newspaper ‘Die Zeit’, who funded an art gallery and a private law school in Hamburg).
Although the project gained a positive press and seemed to be supported by the majority of citizens,
public opinion has changed considerably in the last few years and the time plan has not been kept.
The rising costs of the project have hurt its reputation in Hamburg and Germany
(http://www.zeit.de/2010/22/DOS-Elbphilharmonie?page=all, 2010-11-30). As one interviewee
pointed out´, there are several reasons to explain the rise in costs, such as fuzzy contracts,
complexity of the project and personal shortcomings.55 Still, this makes the project less and less
popular. Most interviewees, however, hope that once the Elphi will open its doors these problems
will be forgotten (as happened to the Opera House in Sydney) and the international impact will more
than pay back the large investment.

     Figure 25: The Elphi in July 2010. Originally, the building was supposed to open in 2010. However, due to a number
     of problems, the opening date had to be postponed until 2012. The Elphi will be the highest building in Hamburg and
     is already launched as the new landmark of Hamburg. As with similar-sized projects, the Elphi is controversial. While
     city officials emphasize her potential impact on Hamburg’s international standing as a ‘Metropolis of Culture’, others
     are doubtful and concerned that to cover the high costs other cultural institutions will have to suffer.

         f. Summary
The phase between 2001 and 2008 had enormous influence on the marketing strategy and the
Hamburg brand as it is presented today. Considering the influence of the mission statement, it makes
sense to the name this period ‘Growing City’. The four to five years from 2004, in particular – with
the establishment of the HMG and ending with the second term of the von Beust Senate (von Beust
II) - can be regarded as the ‘golden years’ of the cities branding process. The mission statement
‘Growing City’ obtained a lot of positive feedback from the business community and the HKH .57 It
was often seen as a good example and gained recognition beyond Hamburg.58 The development in

   Interview 13.
   Author’s own picture.
   Interview 1.
   Interview 18.

Markus Walz                                        ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

Hamburg gained international and national news coverage.59 This coincided with the CDU and von
Beust having the absolute majority in the Senate and a good shaped budget. The mission statement,
as one of the interviewees pointed out, served as a filter to test actions,60 aligned the senators
behind a common goal and made capital-intensive projects possible. Three senators (Wolfgang
Peiner, Jörg Dräger and Gunnar Uldall) committed themselves towards the mission statement and
tried to put it into use in everyday politics. To strengthen Hamburg’s international attractiveness, a
coordinated marketing approach was implemented which led to the formation of the HMG and the
brand (‘Erfolgsmuster’ and ‘Kommunikationsmuster’) as we know it today.

                               - mission statement: ‚Growing City‘
                               - establishing the HMG
                               - focus on ‘talents‘
                               - Elphi

     Figure 26: Phase III: The Growing City. This phase is characterized by a stable political situation (especially 2004-
     2008), a clear political mission statement and committed political personnel. Important steps were the mission
     statement, the foundation of the HMG, the broadening of the focus from the ‘creative class’ towards ‘talents’ in
     general and the construction start of the new Hamburg landmark, the Elphi (which could be seen as the coronation
     of this phase, once finished). The picture shows the state of the Elphi in June 2010.

         Phase IV: Hamburg as Green Capital – the Green Turn
The 2008 elections forced von Beust to join a coalition with the Green party. This, of course, made it
harder for the mission statement to be implemented since, from now on, a political compromise had
to be sought. In addition, the former political driving forces Peiner, Dräger and Uldall had left the
cabinet for different reason. During the coalition talks it was made clear that the new partner
(traditionally more on the left of the political center) would not be able to accept the mission
statement with its positive (or as they would have claimed “less critical”) emphasis on growth.
Therefore, a new mission statement ‘Leitbild Hamburg: Wachsen mit Weitsicht’ (Engl.: Mission
statement Hamburg: long sighted growth) was formulated. In this nine-page document a lot of the
traditional terminology was used (cluster approach, focus on talents, etc.). However, sustainability
issues were of more frequent occurrence than in the old mission statement. Furthermore, the
federal state of Hamburg’s financial situation worsened and, therefore, some projects had to be
cancelled, such as the relocation of the university (which also faced resistance from various citizen
groups). In July 2010, Ole von Beust, mayor since 2001, resigned and with him the last of the four
forces behind the ‘Growing City’ left the political stage. Future will show how his successor Christoph
Ahlhaus will influence the marketing and branding of Hamburg. As already mentioned, at the end of
November the coalition between the Green Party and the CDU failed and snap elections will be held
in the beginning of 2011.
In 2009, BMB conducted a follow-up study of their 2004 analyses. On basis hereof, a new theme
(brand-building block) was added, namely ‘Wachstum und Umwelt’ (Engl. growth and environment).
This theme dealt with environmental topics and sustainability. Some see this as a political
interference of the new coalition, while BMB, the HMG and others insisted that the new theme was
constructed on basis of the empirical results of the brand analysis questionnaire. No matter how one
chooses to explain this growing importance of ecological and sustainability issues, the new theme
does fit the new political reality in Hamburg. Another project that fits the ‘green turn’ of the city is

   cf. the already mentioned coverage by CNN or further the title stories in Der Spiegel (2007/34) and Stern
   Interview 11.
   Author’s own picture.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

Hamburg becoming Europe’s second green capital in 2011 (Stockholm was first in 2010). This event
will be a crucial part of the HMG strategy in 2011 (http://hamburggreencapital.eu/, 2010-11-29). The
green theme was already used in Hamburg’s contribution to the EXPO in Shanghai in 2010. The
‘Hamburg House’ stressed the issue of sustainable and energy-efficient construction and also pushed
Hamburg into an international context and into strengthening its link with China in general and
Shanghai in particular.

     Figure 27: The logo for the European Green Capital 2011. Hamburg is the second city in Europe allowed to call itself
     ‘Green Capital’ after Stockholm in 2010 and will pass on the title in 2012 to the Spanish city of Vitoria-Gasteiz and to
     the French city of Nantes in 2013. The award is seen as an initiative to promote local commitment to sustainable and
     environmentally friendly development. The European Union initiative aims at encouraging cities to compete in
     finding new ways to make urban life more environmentally friendly. Interestingly, this also resulted in a new
     slogan for Hamburg during the second half of 2010, a ‘green’ interpretation of the often used I love New York (or
     nowadays any other city), but where normally a heart replaces the verb love, Hamburg uses the heart-shaped leaf of
     a Linden tree.

While this green turn seems understandable, given the current zeitgeist in Europe, it also entails the
danger that, by emphasizing the green topic, the Hamburg brand becomes too similar to other
European and German cities, all trying to claim the same topic as their strength. This problem of
isomorphism or homogenization will be discussed later in more detail. In addition, this fourth phase
seems crucial for the future success of the Hamburg brand. The political drivers from phase III are
gone. The mission statement is changed. The prestigious projects, such as the HafenCity and the
Elbphilharmonie are already brought on their way. The city budget does not look so good anymore.
The coalition forces, the different parties to compromise their specific vision of Hamburg and, in the
end, the differences between the Green Party and the Conservatives were too big which will lead to
snap elections in the beginning of 2011. Therefore, the political sphere will be occupied rather with
campaigning than governance. Furthermore, it is not clear yet which coalition will govern Hamburg
after February 2011. It could happen – if, for example, the SPD returns to power – that the marketing
activities will be restructured or even abolished, as initiatives by HMG and BMB could be seen as
projects of the political opponent and therefore not worth supporting. All of these aspects, while not
pointing clearly in one direction, seem to suggest that Hamburg has to concentrate its efforts so that
the ‘Beauty’ is not going to fall asleep again. The restructuring of the HMG holding (tourism,
economy enhancement and marketing under one holding) could be a first step
(http://www.hamburg.de/pressemeldungen/2360082/2010-07-02-bwa-marketing.html,                2010-11-

     http://9.image.hamburg.de/contentblob/2505338/data/logo-gross-rechte-seite.jpg, 2010-11-29.
     http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/about_submenus/background.html, 2010-11-01.

Markus Walz                                         ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                          2010-11-30

                               - new coalition government
                               - adaption of mission statement
                               - new ‘green‘ theme
                               - European Green Capital

     Figure 28: Phase IV: The Green Turn. This phase is characterized by a more complex governance situation, the former
     absolute majority of the CDU being gone and the city now being governed by a coalition of CDU and the Green party.
     By the end of November 2010 the coalition failed and Hamburg is now facing snap elections in February 2011. The
     mission statement was adopted to incorporate the ideas of the coalition partner and the updated BMB analysis
     identified environmental issues as essential to the city image. The status as European’s Green Capital in 2011 is seen
     as an opportunity to push this green theme and will be the focal point of Hamburg’s activities in 2011.

An genealogical overview
The four phases described above are one possible way to summarize the branding process in
Hamburg and the narrative of the process is constructed on the basis of the empirical data, especially
the interviews. What sticks out is the strong role of the government and, in particular, of the political
leaders. The absolute majority of one party made it easier for the city government to implement a
coordinated approach towards the city marketing, guided by a mission statement. However, even
though the process was driven by the city government, other stakeholders where influential too.
Thus, the chamber of commerce was a driving force during the bid for the Olympic Games 2012
which was the starting signal for the foundation of a coordinated marketing approach. Furthermore,
the strategic advice given in the pro-bono study ‘Vision 2020’, initiated by McKinsey, was crucial in
shaping the city’s economic policy and in formulating the need for a coordinated approach. After the
drastic (given the stable political situation in Hamburg for the last 30 years) political change in 2001
and especially after the von Beust government reached an absolute majority in 2004, the political
possibility for major restructuring was available In addition, there were several political drivers
pushing a pro-marketing agenda in the Senate, first and foremost, Wolfgang Peiner, who was also
the driving force behind the influential mission statement ‘Growing City’. These developments led to
the establishment of the HMG which on the basis of the BMB brand analyses constructed the brand
as we can observe it today. The following two figures visualize crucial aspects of the branding

      picture: http://www.hamburg.de/image/1204120/logo-european-green-capital-winner-quer.jpg, 2010-06-

Markus Walz                                        ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

  I                                                                                   II        III             IV
                                                                               „Vision        „Growing
                                                                               2020“          City“

                                                                              Olympia-        Brand-
                                                                              Bid             analysis


        Expansion of the port, deepening of the Elbe
   Reconstruction                                                                          HafenCity

  CDU SPD CDU              SPD                                                               CDU
 1950                    1965                      1980                     1995                                 2010
 Figure 29: Timeline 1950-2010. The four different phase (I – IV) can be observed. While in the first phase
 infrastructural projects were in focus, in the later phases more prestigious projects such as the HafenCity or the Elphi
 were developed. Of crucial importance to the brand/branding process was: first, the Olympics bid as an inspiration
 for a coordinated city marketing approach; second, the ‘Vision 2020’ as an impulse for political change; third, the
 mission statement ‘Growing City’ as a guideline for the city’s activities and; finally, the brand analysis as the cradle
 of the Hamburg brand as we know it today. Phase III can be described as the crucial phase for the development of a
 coordinated marketing approach in Hamburg.

               III                                                                           IV
                           Peiner           Schön
  McKinsey                                                                Elphi
                  Hafen                                                                                 Party
                                    Uldall           Dräger
      HKH         City

       G7                                        HMG


  2000        2002                      2004         2005                                               2010

 Figure 30: Timeline 2000-2010. Phase III was crucial to the branding process in Hamburg. Inspired by the Chamber of
 Commerce and McKinsey and fostered by the political drivers (Peiner as the Senator for Finances, Schön as the head
 of the Senate Chancellery, Uldall as the Senator for Economic Affairs and Labor and Dräger as the Senator for Science
 and Research), the city established a coordinated marketing approach under the lead of the HMG to better
 coordinate the activities of the different companies (G7). The political change in 2001/2002 and the establishment of
 the HMG in 2004, which led to the brand analysis conducted by BMB, were crucial to the development of the
 Hamburg brand. Projects like HafenCity and especially the Elphi are characteristic of this period. In phase IV this
 process seems to slow down and with the Green party a new political player enters the government.

Markus Walz                                     ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                          2010-11-30

Elements of the Hamburg brand
Brandmeyer analysis – Identifying ‘positive preconceptions’
After the foundation of the HMG as the successor of the public limited company that was
coordinating the Olympic bid, the first step was to establish a marketing strategy. They hired newly
established marketing agency BMB, the aim of which was to conduct a study and identify the key
features of the city or as one interview put it “to look for the brand in the heads of inhabitants,
companies and tourists.”65 This study was first conducted in 2004 and then again in 2009 with some
minor changes, to update the results. In the following the 2009 version is referred to, however the
basic approach is identical for both versions. BMB first interviewed 30 so called ‘experts’ that had a
special knowledge or insights on Hamburg and its people and checked what they consider to be
crucial factors for Hamburg’s attractiveness. These interviews helped complete and formulate items
used in a questionnaire which was subsequently presented to 3840 persons. They were asked to
evaluate their accordance with the statements presented on a scale from 1 (not agreeing at all) to 10
(total agreement).

     Figure 31: An example of questions from the Brandmeyer questionnaire. Using a Likert scale the questionnaire
     checks in how far different stakeholder groups agree with specific statements about the city. 1 means the person is
     not agreeing at all, 10 means the person agrees completely, while 11 means the person abstains from judgment. The
     first question for example states: “In Hamburg gibt es eine lebendige Szene/Subkultur aus Künstlern, Musikern und
     Kreativen (Engl.: Hamburg is home to a lively subculture of artists, musicans and creatives).”

These 3840 people were divided into two main groups: The first group consisted of 2700 private
persons (400 from Hamburg, 300 from the metropolitan region, 800 from other parts of Germany ,
800 from the ‘creative class’ – as defined by Richard Florida – from Hamburg as well as from the rest
of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 200 from other parts of Europe and 200 from overseas), and
the second group consisted of 1140 persons representing the business sector (100 companies based
in Hamburg, 500 in other parts of Germany, 300 in other parts of Europe and 240 based overseas).
The different items (harbor, opera, etc.) were put together under certain labels called
‘Erfolgsbausteine’ (Engl.: cornerstones of success) so that the average points given for certain items
could be used in a factor analysis with ‘Erfolgsbausteine’ as factors. The ten (in 2004 nine) different
factors were then tested with a regression analysis regarding their ‘sales’ driving ability. Thus, BMB
was able to identify different factors and their importance for the private sector, the business field
and for tourism. The ten established ‘Erfolgsbausteine’ are the basis of the city’s marketing efforts up
till today. BMB and the HMG describe their approach as ‘Themenmarketing’ (Engl.: topic-related
marketing) which does not work with slogans or a specific claim but instead with different topics
depending on the target group approached. They also emphasize that they are not “making stuff up”
or “inventing or claiming something that is not already in the minds of the target groups” but they
are instead just capturing the positive preconceptions people have regarding the city of Hamburg.67

   Interview 7.
   Markenanalyse_Hamburg-1, p. 5.
   Interview 7.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                       2010-11-30

In 2009 they also compared their average results with the ones from the 2004 study and concluded
that with most items their average points increased significantly. This was considered a first sign of
success for the new marketing strategy led by HMG. Furthermore, the analysis included a benchmark
against other European metropolises, namely Copenhagen, Barcelona, Milan and Vienna. These cities
were picked because they are often considered to be best practices examples in specific areas.
Copenhagen, for example, or the Oresund region, is often mentioned as a constructive case when it
comes to acquiring talents and positioning oneself as a city attractive to talented people. Barcelona,
on the other hand, is often used as an example of a city that successfully transformed itself from an
‘unattractive’ backwater city to an attractive cultural metropolis at the waterfront. Interestingly,
these benchmark cities are often chosen in a rather unstructured way and there is often a personal
decision of the key players involved. For the BMB analysis they were picked by the first head of HMG,
Dr. Hariolf Wenzler. For the mission statement ‘Growing City’ (Barcelona, Copenhagen, Seattle,
Toronto, Vienna) they were picked by the former Senator, Dr. Wolfgang Peiner. For the McKinsey
study ‘Hamburg Vision 2020’ (Copenhagen, Rotterdam) they were picked by McKinsey and for the
‘Hamburg – City of Talents’ (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dublin, Vienna) they were chosen
by former Senators Dr. Jörg Dräger and Gunnar Uldall. Of course, these decisions were influenced by
different city ratings like Anholt’s city brand index, Saffron Consultants’ ranking, GaWC ranking or
real-estate-based rankings like the ones at Jones Lang LaSalle. However, it can be noted that the
individual component when choosing competing cities was quite strong and there was no rigid
strategy behind picking them. The participants were also asked to rank the five cities (from 1st place
to 5th place) and Hamburg came in first in the business as well as the private sector, implying that the
people questioned considered Hamburg the most attractive metropolis compared to the other four
cities. In the end they summed up their results and concluded that the city of Hamburg was on a
good way, because it managed to increase its attractiveness in nearly all target markets (with the
exception of the business attractiveness for oversea companies) and they also considered it proof
that target-group-specific reinforcing of the driving factors was a successful strategy for Hamburg.
Before any further discussion about the different factors of the ‘Erfolgsmuster’, some general
remarks on the analysis, its method and results would be in order. First of all, the empirical data was
not studied, but only the results as presented by BMB and HMG. Therefore, a final evaluation of the
method and the significance of the data presented go beyond this report. However, some of the
interviewees questioned the validity of the data and were doubtful regarding the BMB method. Still,
the majority of the interviewees had confidence in the analysis and stood behind the general BMB
Two obvious aspects that emerged were the sample structure and linked thereto the comparison
between the cities. The majority of the people came from Hamburg or the metropolitan region. In
addition, even the overseas companies had some “relation or connection”68 to Hamburg and
probably the foreign tourists as well. Therefore, it could be suspected that the sample was biased in
favor of Hamburg, although it has to be kept in mind that a certain knowledge or connection to
Hamburg would be required to evaluate the attractiveness of the specific items presented in the
questionnaire. Still, the results of the comparison between the five cities, where Hamburg ranks first,
could probably be explained by the structure of the sample. One interviewee suggested that “the
data on the comparison should not be taken too seriously as it is used more to increase the public
impact of the results than based on solid data.”69 Besides, the political ‘neutrality’ of the
‘Markenbausteine’ (Engl. Brand- building blocks) could be called in question, because the items
behind them were constructed by ‘experts’ that could have an agenda in mind rather than stating
their honest opinion. This kind of criticism was often brought forward when it came to the newly
added factor ‘Growth and Environment’. Some interviewees suggest that it was a political decision
due to the Green/Conservative coalition who has governed Hamburg since 2008. Thus, it seems
rather difficult to isolate the influence of certain political powers, the general zeitgeist or other

     Interview 7.

Markus Walz                              ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                2010-11-30

influences on the different themes. Another general criticism was that the questionnaire implied in
its question that Hamburg is attractive, by formulating the question in a positive way. However,
criticism aside Hamburg’s marketing strategy and Hamburg’s brand are based on this analysis and
therefore it is worth taking seriously.

‘Erfolgsmuster’ – the building blocks of the brand
The before-mentioned ten ‘Markenbausteine’ (Engl.: brand building blocks) are the backbone of the
brand as it is presented today. These ten different schemes are used in the communication with the
city’s stakeholder. They are (in no specific order):
       -    International trading metropolis;
       -    Attractive business environment;
       -    Metropolis for living;
       -    Reeperbahn as streets of pleasures;
       -    Pulsating milieus;
       -    Metropolis on the waterfront;
       -    Shopping metropolis;
       -    High-caliber cultural offerings;
       -    Hamburg folk festivals;
       -    Growth and environment (since 2009).
Some of them are more important to target groups from the business sector, some to tourists, while
others aim more at internal audiences or potential new citizens (who hopefully are part of the
creative class). For example, for foreign tourists Hamburg’s reputation as a ‘Shopping metropolis’ is
of special importance. For private persons in Germany ‘Metropolis for living’ and ‘Metropolis at the
waterfront’ are driving themes. For private persons in the metropolitan area ‘High-caliber cultural
offerings’, especially the musicals, are considered important. For the business sector an ‘Attractive
business environment’ has the highest driving power. Overall, the ‘Growth and environment’ topic
has high average points and a high driving power as well.

     Figure 32: The ten building blocks of the Hamburg brand in German. This is a presentation of the ‘success pattern’
     of the Hamburg brand as presented on the HMG website and in the BMB documents. The building blocks are the
     ones listed above. The red color indicates that the theme is especially important for private persons, whereas the

     Markenanalyse_Hamburg-1, p. 47.

Markus Walz                                      ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                       2010-11-30

     blue color indicates the theme is of special interest to stakeholders from the business community. A combination of
     blue and red indicates that the theme is important to both groups. So ‘Metropolis at the waterfront’, ‘Shopping
     metropolis’, ‘Hamburg folk festivals’ and ‘High-caliber cultural offerings’ are of special relevance for private persons,
     whereas ‘International trading metropolis’ and ‘Attractive business environment’ are especially relevant for
     business people. The other four are of relevance for both groups.

However, most prominent, when looking at the communication material, is ‘Hamburg – Metropole
am Wasser’ (Engl.: Metropolis at the waterfront) with the related items, like the harbor, the rivers
Elbe and Alster are used in nearly every communication and Hamburg’s maritime character is always
emphasized, which is not a surprise given the prominent role of the harbor and the sea trade
throughout the city’s history and its development. Take, for example, the image film presented by
HMG (http://www.marketing.hamburg.de/, 2010-07-27). Water is the recurring image and also other
activities and items presented are linked to the water theme (like for example when they show an
office building, they show a person who is cleaning the windows or when showing business men in
the football arena the cut to the next scene is established by showing a drinking bottle falling and the
water in it moving).
The approach to construct different themes on the basis of stakeholder perception and the driving
force of the specific theme faced criticism in Hamburg. Some interviewees 71 were not satisfied that
what they regarded as issues of strategic importance, like science or sports, were not part of this
approach, while others representing the organizations in charge 72 insisted that it was the task of city
marketing to communicate issues that have a strong impact on the city’s image. Their motto is
‘Stärken stärken’ (Engl.: ‘strengthening strengths’) and they believe that this is the most reasonable
approach to marketing in general. Ultimately, this conflict between, let us call it, a more tactical
understanding of marketing, on the one hand, and a more strategic understanding of marketing, on
the other, links back to general beliefs of what effective marketing and branding should look like.
One of the responsible persons summarized that, when all is said and done, marketing should
communicate the current state of the city, and it is a political and not a marketing task to establish
conditions to reach a specific goal, for example, to establish Hamburg as a center of science, thereby
putting the issue in focus of the brand analysis.73 Brandmeyer supports this view and argues that the
new theme ‘Wachstum und Umwelt’ (Engl.: ‘Growth and environment’), which entered the brand in
2009, is proof that perceptions change over time and that political activities can strengthen certain
aspects which will then be observable in the analysis.74 However, others insist that marketing and
branding should also be used to position the city strategically, also in fields that were not identified
as crucial according to the brand analysis. In addition, some express doubts on the approach used by
BMB in general. It goes beyond this report to evaluate the scientific method and the general
understanding of marketing and branding used by the HMG on the basis of the BMB. Still, this
discussion divides stakeholders which could also be observed during the feedback seminar in

Exkurs: St. Pauli
St. Pauli, as the home to many ‘creative people’, like painters or musicians, and alternative lifestyles
is famous in Hamburg and the whole of Germany, last but not least because of its famous football
club 1. FC St. Pauli (slogan: ‘non-established since 1910’) which nowadays plays in the first league in
Germany. Like the club, the whole district has a reputation of being tolerant, more liberal than the
rest of the city, leaning more to the political left and respecting alternative lifestyles. The football
club, for example, used to have an openly gay president, Connie Littman, a taboo in the traditional
conservative world of professional football.

   Interview 2, 10, 12, 22.
   Interview 3, 7, 21.
   Interview 11.
   Interview 7.

Markus Walz                                         ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                           2010-11-30

The district itself is home to prostitutes, squatters, artists, punks, etc. A dream district in Richard
Florida’s understanding. On top of that, the district has a distinct visual identity with its famous skull
and bones pirate flag. Although parts of St. Pauli, like the Reeperbahn or the landing bridges, are
obviously part of the Hamburg brand and used in the city’s official communication, St. Pauli is not a
theme or a building block in its own right and the St. Pauli brand is not used or incorporated into the
city. Given St. Pauli’s reputation, it is doubtful that such incorporation would be greeted in a friendly
way by St. Pauli officials and inhabitants, as they seem to be critical towards city marketing and
branding and pride themselves in being ‘non-established’. Still, this strong district brand is a specialty
of Hamburg’s brandscape. While other German cities also have or had their ‘alternative districts’ (like
Kreuzberg in Berlin or Schwabing in Munich), few, if none, have such a distinct district brand as St.
Pauli with its own strong visual identity. While it is beyond this report to further elaborate on the
complex relation between the St. Pauli and the Hamburg brands, it is worthwhile considering the
special challenges and opportunities this situation offers city marketers. In a consumer culture
perspective, where brands are seen as one important device for the self to construct his/her identity,
the St. Pauli brand seems to help establish an identity sharply distinguished from the more ‘official’
and ‘mainstream’ Hamburg brand. By including St. Pauli even stronger in the Hamburg brand, a
brand offering could be constructed that paradoxically already includes the resistance against the
brand in the brand itself.

Figure 33: A picture from St. Pauli. The visible pirate flag is a widespread symbol of St. Pauli. It is well-known in Germany
being closely linked to the St. Pauli football club (one of the two first league teams in Hamburg). Like the football club,

Markus Walz                                      ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                          2010-11-30

the whole district is famous for being home to an alternative lifestyle, tolerant and left-oriented politically. Home of the
landing bridges, the Reeperbahn and the ‘Schanze’ (a famous party area) the district houses some of the most popular
places in Hamburg. Historically, it was the area in which, in the eighties, squatting was popular and the city authorities
and locals often clashed. Thanks to the football club, St. Pauli has probably one the most famous ‘corporate designs’ in
Germany and probably most people recognize the pirate flag as belonging to St. Pauli.

 ‘Kommunikationsmuster’ – giving the city one face
The other major HMG project was to establish a unique and common corporate design for all city
communication. It uses the traditional colors (red and blue). There is always a red bow, the official
city logo and a blue background (see Figure 21). There are strict guidelines how to use the corporate
design and how to combine the different elements. As already mentioned, the introduction of a
common visual identity of the city was a major goal of a coordinated marketing approach. The strong
political backing gave the HMG the required power to implement a common design in the city owned
or influenced companies. This power was needed as the introduction faced resistance from different
organizations and was controversial in the G7. Some organizations, such as the airport, are organized
as a public private partnership, and the private shareholders were, at first, not convinced of the
necessity of a new design but wanted to keep their independent design.75 Others, such as the fair
and congress company felt that the new design looked too much like the visual identity of their
competitors (e.g. the fair in Hannover, http://www.hannovermesse.de/homepage_e, 2010-11-30).76
Others were unhappy to have to implement a new design shortly after having updated their own
visual identity and still others complained that the Hamburg design was too rigid and doubted that it
could or should be used for prestigious projects like the HafenCity or the Elphi.77 Also many citizens
doubted the return of investment of this project as they felt disappointed that so much time and
resources was spent on the implementation of a design. Other companies, which are under a
stronger influence of the city government, just accepted the new guidelines as a fact that they could
not do much about. They agreed to them without ‘loving’ them.

     Figure 34: Example of the 'Kommunikationsmuster' (Engl.: communication pattern) from the image brochure. The
     red bow on blue background is clearly visible. In the righthand corner below, the city logo is placed. The image used

   Interview 12.
   Interview 23.
   Interview 8, 13.
   Brochure_Hamburg Image_engl_en, p.1.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

     is a sketch of the Elphi which is aggressively used as the new landmark building of Hamburg although it is not yet

Most interviewees agreed that it was useful to have a common visual identity, but they were not
satisfied with the way it was implemented. Most interviewees felt that they were not included and
could not participate enough in the actual decision process and were more or less presented with a
“fait accompli”. Also the city officials in charge acknowledged that the implementation process was
more time-consuming and more difficult than imagined and that they had probably underestimated
the role and importance of the organizations’ own visual identities. The strong political backing by
the Senate, and especially by the former Senator for Economic and Labor Affairs, Gunnar Uldall, was
a big advantage in finally the new visual identity but hurt the participative element of the process.
Based on my experience from living in the city and observing the physical material, the process has
now more or less been completed and the visual identity of Hamburg can be watched practically
everywhere in the city. To take some concerns of the G7 into account, some organizations have a
little more liberty in incorporating the design, like the airport or the Elbphilharmonie. The city
officials were relieved to see the process completed (at least in their eyes) and hope to be able to
concentrate on other issues in the future.

Brand activities
On the basis of the ‘brand building blocks’ the city officials organize events, activities,
communication, material, etc. One example when using the ‘Metropolis of the waterfront’ is in
connection with the Hamburg Cruise Days, a yearly event established in 2005 encouraging visitors to
experience the theme of water and to emphasize the importance of the port in attracting visitors and
gain press coverage. During the Cruise Days, big cruise ships are leaving the port together, which is lit
in blue (see Figure 35) and their sailing is celebrated by fireworks. During the Cruise Days this year
150 000 visitors watched and Hamburg made the national and international news
(http://www.hamburgcruisedays.de/, 2010-11-02). In addition, the water theme is visible in almost
all communication material from flyers and brochures, over web page designs, to the image film as
Hamburg is trying to push its maritime flair.

     Figure 35: Hamburg Cruise Days 2010. The cruise days originated from the idea of making an event of the regular
     visits of the prestigious cruise ship Queen Mary 2 to enable stakeholders to experience the maritime character of the
     city, thereby strengthening Hamburg’s image as a Metropolis at the waterfront.

     http://admin.cruisedays.de/newstool_upload/images/ab08.jpg, 2010-11-02.

Markus Walz                                       ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

Another example of a conscious effort to illuminate a specific theme is the Reeperbahn Music
Festival, an annual music event on Hamburg’s most famous street, the ReeperbahnCombining
different themes such as the ’Reeperbahn’, the ‘pulsating milieus’ and ‘culture’, a music event in
“Germany’s most creative neighborhood” (http://www.reeperbahnfestival.com/, 2010-11-02) was
constructed. This claim communicates an interesting aspect of the Hamburg brand and the role of
the district St. Pauli (the home of the Reeperbahn) in relation to the city brand. There are several
regular events in Hamburg, such as the Hambuger Dom (a Hamburg folk festival), the
Hafengeburtstag (Engl.: the birthday of the harbor), the more recently established Harley Days (a
huge biker meeting in Hamburg) and the Nacht des Wissens (Engl.: night of knowledge/science). In
addition, there were and are several non-recurring events that have shaped, are shaping or will
shape the brand, such as the earlier bid for the Olympic Games 2012. In the future, events like the
Internationale Bauaustellung (Engl.: international construction expo) or the Internationale
Gartenshow (Engl.: international garden exhibition) will be used in the city branding. However, not
only is the epithet ‘international’ exaggerated, but it can also be questioned whether Hamburg, at
all, has regular events or has had non-recurring events of international standing and most
interviewees shared this assessment.
Possible exceptions are the construction of the Elphi which, although a future brand artifact, can be
described as a non-recurring event, since the city is actively using its construction and construction
sites for events, communication and marketing. Also, having been appointed European Green Capital
in 2011 could have the potential of international impact. However, the latter cases deal more with
potentialities than actual effect. Thus, it is noteworthy that Hamburg does not have any event
pushing the city onto the international stage, as is the case of, for example, Stockholm with the
annual awarding of the Nobel prize.

               III                                                                          IV

  2000        2002                      2004         2005                                               2010
Figure 36: Branding activities. There were different occurrences crucial to the brand development. The already
mentioned Olympia bid was important as a starting shot for a more coordinated branding approach. The Harley
Davidson Days are nowadays used to give authenticity to Hamburg’s claim towards being a lively metropolis with
pulsating subcultures. Nacht des Wissens is a join effort of universities and the Ministry of Science and Research to push
the theme science which is not a part of the Hamburg brand. Two examples of how city officials try to strengthen themes
based on the results of the BMB analysis are the Reeperbahn Music Festival and the Hamburg Cruise Days. The music
festival is an event consciously constructed to push the theme of Hamburg as a lively metropolis with pulsating
subcultures. It utilizes the Reeperbahn and its connection with the music scene. The Hamburg Cruise Days are an obvious
attempt at creating an event that plays on Hamburg’s status as a metropolis at the waterfront and as a harbor city. The
Elphi is an artifact and not an event but the construction process is made into an event of its one by celebrating
milestones, having guided tour on the construction site, etc. In 2011 Hamburg will be the Green Capital for one year
which, of course, suits the city brand’s new theme of ‘growth and environment’.

Markus Walz                                     ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                         2010-11-30

Context free
What is special in the Hamburg case is that Hamburg is not positioning itself in a specific geopolitical,
industrial or historical context. This is particularly surprising given Hamburg’s rich history and its
special heritage as a ‘free city’. While the Hanseatic theme is present in Hamburg first and foremost
in the city’s official name but is also extensively used when talking about Hamburg and its citizens.
However, as the brand is based on a brand analysis that does not embrace the ‘Hanse-concept’ it is
not used as a prominent feature in their branding and marketing activities. While some interviewees
were of the opinion that the ‘Hanse concept’ would only be of European relevance and, therefore, its
impact in an international context would be limited, one interviewee argued that the ‘Hanse-
concept’ could be problematic because of negative connotations in connection with the Hanseatic
League as a dominating economic cartel and thereby too controversial for the city brand.80 Still, given
its high visibility in the everyday life of the city (in the city name and in the abbreviation HH for
‘Hansestadt Hamburg’ on the license plates of cars registered in Hamburg) and the strength of the
connection between Hamburg and the Hanseatic history, at least in the national context of Germany,
it is surprising to see its weak role in Hamburg’s branding activities.
Furthermore, Hamburg could focus on an industrial context by using the port, the role of trading and
its status as one of the most important container ports in Europe. This industrial context plays a more
prominent role than the historical one, since the port – or, in BMB terms, Hamburg’s status as a
‘Metropolis at the waterfront’ – is one, if not the most important, theme emphasized in their
communication efforts. In their activities towards business, the port and related sectors play a
prominent role, a case in point being Hamburg’s positioning itself as the ‘Gateway to China’, since
the city handles a significant part of Chinese-European sea trade. In addition, they try to augment
this ‘strength’ by fostering direct relations with China and by establishing Hamburg as a center for
Chinese business in Germany and Europe.
However, as mentioned before, some interviewees suggested that Hamburg’s focus on the port and
the trade business narrows down Hamburg’s merits at the expense of, for example, the aviation
business in which Hamburg, being home to Airbus and Lufthansa, is one out of three major centers in
the world, together with Toulouse and Seattle. Some argue that – depending on statistical definitions
– in terms of employment, the aviation sector is even more important than the port. Of course,
Hamburg does push the aviation sector as well, since it is one of the clusters in the city’s economic
policy approach. Still, it is not an independent brand-building block compared to the port with its
‘Waterfront’-theme and the ‘Trading Metropolis’-theme. However, both conceivable industrial
contexts are not utilized in a prominent way like for example in other cities that are strongly linked to
specific industries, like for example Helsinki with its focus on design.
In addition, Hamburg does not try to present itself in a specific geopolitical context either. Although it
sometimes claims to be the center of Northern Europe, based on its major role in the container
traffic,81 or the heart of Europe.82 Thus, just as with the historical and industrial concepts, a
geopolitical positioning is not a major part of Hamburg’s international branding approach. While
other cities, like Stockholm (‘The Capital of Scandinavia’) or Helsinki (‘A Baltic Metropolis’), clearly
position themselves in a geopolitical context, Hamburg does not.
To refrain from positioning the city in a specific context is the result of a specific understanding of
marketing and branding, particularly with regard to cities, on part of key political players. Strongly
influenced by the theoretical background of the BMB, a lot of interviewees stated that it is not the

   Interview 25.
   Brochure_Metropolitan Region_en, p. 1.
   ibid., p.3.

Markus Walz                                 ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                               2010-11-30

task of marketing communications to make claims that are not reflected by major stakeholder
groups. Furthermore, a lot of interviewees also argued that since cities are complex entities, the use
of just one specific positioning claim, like the old nickname ‘Das Tor zur Welt’ (Engl.: ‘The Gateway to
the World’), would be too simplistic and would not make much sense when it comes to marketing a
city. Obviously, these issues have also been debated during the feedback seminar. However, it goes
beyond this report to evaluate the accuracy of such claims or comment on what city
marketing/branding is and what makes it successful. Still, it is in place to mention that the context-
free marketing of Hamburg distinguishes the city from the marketing of other cities.

Government without governance
Another observation made in Hamburg was the importance of political drivers, political vision and
political will. Personalized by former Senators like Wolfgang Peiner or Jörg Dräger, Hamburg’s
branding efforts were heavily influenced and guided by political personnel. Thus, although some
initiative came from other sectors, such as the McKinsey study or the active role of the HKH, the
development took off after a political change in Hamburg’s city government. The mission statement
was a strategic formulation of the city goals and a coordinated marketing approach was one way of
making Hamburg a ‘cosmopolitan city’. The HMG was connected and supported by the highest level
of the city government and were thus able to push through their agenda also against resistance,
which was the case when introducing the ‘communication pattern’. Therefore, in this perspective the
process can be described as being driven by the political sector, a top down approach, embedded in
a political strategy, which was to be expected by a city state.
However, once the need for a coordinated city marketing approach was formulated and the HMG
was founded, the driving force in terms of marketing and branding was shifted towards the HMG and
the BMB. The city government did not directly interfere with the construction of the brand by, for
example, pushing certain topics or themes on the agenda. The brand construction, although HMG
and BMB would not use such a term as they claim that they are just looking for the brand in the
minds of the stakeholder groups, was in the hands of HMG and BMB. This sharing of responsibility
led to the paradoxical observation that, although the Hamburg branding process at the end was
initiated and backed by the political sector – the government – the political sector was not actively
involved in the creation thereof, the brand being ‘outsourced’ to a marketing agency. Consequently,
the Hamburg case shows high involvement by the government without governance. This is especially
surprising since the idea of a coordinated marketing and branding approach emanated from a
political mission statement, a strategic document aiming at leading Hamburg back to international

Multiple scopes and national focus
Furthermore, the particular approach of the HMG and the BMB seem to have lead to a situation
where Hamburg has multiple scopes. The ‘success pattern’ with its ten themes or ‘brand-building
blocks’ visualizes this broader approach. The players involved argue that a narrower approach would
not cover the complexity of a city of this caliber and would be an over-simplification of the matter at
hand. This leads to a situation in which it is hard for the observer to pinpoint a particular theme or
association with regard to Hamburg, since the city wants to present itself target-market specific,
while at the same time abstaining from using a slogan or an umbrella theme in addition to the city
name, to make it easier to remember. This is a conscious decision of the players in charge, based on
their understanding and beliefs about marketing/branding. Still, when trying to pinpoint one concept
or theme, it seems that the ‘Metropolis at the waterfront’ is the most prominent one and the ‘water’
theme is used nearly all the time. This leaves the impression of a rather ambiguous Hamburg brand
difficult to differentiate from other city brands, especially in an international context.
This leads up to another observation. While the internationalization goal was prevailing when the
branding was established as part of the ‘Growing City’ mission, it seems that a great part of the
efforts rather addressed internal audiences, like in the introduction of the new visual design. As a
matter of fact, it feels that a great many of the themes used, of the events created and the ‘claims’

Markus Walz                              ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                2010-11-30

made in some of the communication material are going to work in a national context, however, their
effect in an international setting could be doubted. The most prominent example, i.e. ‘Hamburg –
Metropolis at the waterfront’, works perfectly in a German context, as there is no other city
exceeding 1 million inhabitants hosting a harbor. However, in an international context there are
several cities which could rightfully claim being a metropolis at the waterfront. It is true that the
HMG and the BMB do not perceive their themes as claims, the city name alone being the actual
brand. Still, these themes come up in headlines and headings of communication material and can
therefore be misinterpreted as claims by hasty readers and visitors. Worth mentioning is that,
although the internationalization goal is mentioned in the latest documents, such as the HHT
marketing plan83 and the new mission statement84, it is not so conspicuous in the actual branding,
the marketing activities and the city’s marketing communication.

Tactical marketing rather than strategic branding
On a more general level, Hamburg’s particular approach could be described more as tactical than
strategic. Tactical in the sense that BMB’s activities have aimed at strengthening the already present
dominant positive perceptions of stakeholder groups. Their approach aims at communicating the
city’s strengths by pushing specific themes always communicated under the term ‘Hamburg’, hoping
to establish a strong ‘Hamburg’ brand with specific associations, like with product brands such as
NIVEA (a famous skin lotion brand by the Hamburg-based company Beiersdorf, often used as an
example by the BMB of a successful brand not using a slogan).85 This approach can be described as
non-strategic, and some interviewees actually used this term, in the sense that the city is not trying
to push certain themes, such as science or sports, by including them in the brand. 86 Again, this
basically links back to the wider debate on what works in (city) marketing/branding. In the Hamburg
case, a tactical approach has become accepted by the key players in charge of the brand
construction. While other cities seem to use branding more as a strategic tool, e.g. Stockholm with its
positioning or Helsinki with its focus on the competence of innovation and design, Hamburg uses
tactical marketing to establish a strong NIVEA-like brand name ‘Hamburg’.
While, again, it goes beyond this descriptive report to judge the merits of such an approach, it is
interesting that in the Hamburg case the origins of today’s branding activities could be described as
adhering more to a strategic branding approach. As formulated in the ‘Growing City’ mission
statement, the goal behind the establishment of the HMG and the coordinated approach to
marketing was to increase Hamburg’s international standing and Hamburg’s attractiveness in order
to enable (especially qualified) population growth. While the international focus was, and still is,
evident in most original documents like ‘Vision 2020’ and the mission statement, it seems as if the
activities that actually followed the establishment of the HMG were more concerned with the
internal Hamburg audience than the external one.
First, they commissioned the brand analysis, probably to establish a certain level of authenticity and
authority for their specific construct of the brand (a procedure that has been implemented, however,
in other cities as well, e.g. the beBerlin-campaign was created on the basis of a similar empirical
brand analysis).87 Then they constructed their tactical toolbox based on this analysis. However, as far
as can be seen, the strategic goal to increase the international attractiveness was not the foremost
driver behind the construction of the brand. The focus was rather on establishing a scientific basis
and legitimacy for their particular approach. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, the analysis and
the brand both seem to put focus on the German market and not be constructed with an
international market in mind. For example, the terms used by the BMB and the HMG are difficult to
translate (also in this report) and hard to transfer into an English setting. Similar problems were

   HHT-Brochure ‘Marketingplan 2010-2015’.
   Leitbild_Hamburg - Wachsen mit Weitsicht 2010.
   Interview 7.
   Interview 2, 10, 12.
   Lecture of Berlin Patners during the ICD conference in Berlin 2010-07-29.

Markus Walz                                 ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                            2010-11-30

encountered in the beBerlin-campaign. Although at a first glance the slogan was seemingly English,
the actual campaign using a triad, like ‘be world, be wide, be berlin’ was heavily relying on the
specific stories of Berlin citizens and play on (German) words and therefore when trying to bring the
campaign on the international level they ended up using the slogan ‘the place to be for’ in
combination with a specific theme like music or culture, which seems to be a rather ambiguous claim
(http://www.be.berlin.de/, 2010-11-07).
In addition, a lot of effort was spent on implementing the ‘communication pattern’ across the
different city-owned companies. This was a process that cost a lot of energy for the people involved
and caused a great deal of conflict between the G7 which will probably hurt the acceptance of the
whole HMG approach, and some interviewees expressed doubt of its benefits. Again, the actual
merits of having a consistent ‘corporate design’ versus allowing multiple designs will not be
evaluated here. However, Hamburg’s approach can be described as a tactical one, focusing on the
internal audience, an approach in which the strategic work and the marketing communication are
strictly divided between the government, the HMG and G7.

In a broader point of view, the Hamburg case seems to face similar problems as other cities in what
some describe as homogenization or, in social science terminology, isomorphism (the gradual
assimilation on one common level). Indications are, for example, the role of the ‘green’-topics in the
‘success pattern’, the focus on waterfront projects, the role of empirical brand analyses conducted by
consulting firms and the influence of Richard Florida’s creative class concept. All these issues can be
observed in the branding of other cities. As already mentioned the beBerlin-campaign was based on a
similar empirical approach as the Hamburg case. With the growing demand for city marketing or
branding concepts, the role of consultancies is getting increasingly important. Given the need of
consultancies to gain authority for their claims, it seems only logical that a great many of them use
empirical analyses to boost their specific conceptualization of a city as their ‘product’. It also seems
realistic to assume that these empirical approaches will be similar in nature, last but not least, since
the border line between scholars in city branding and consultants is somewhat blurry and, therefore,
it could be hard to find a theoretical alternative. Influential scholars in the field of city branding are
often closely linked consultants at the same time, cases in point are Simon Anholt, Mihalis Kavaratzis
or Ares Kalandides just to mention a few. This could foster the homogenization of the theoretical and
the practical sphere of city branding and, in the end, the homogenization of the cities given
This can likewise be observed in the Hamburg case, in which the BMB is a marketing agency under
the leadership of a Professor in the field of branding, Klaus Brandmeyer. In addition, an increasing
amount of cities are strongly influenced by Richard Florida’s not undisputed theories on the
importance of the ‘creative class’, Hamburg being no exception. Again, this could lead to a
homogenization, if not of cities, at least of city brands, if every city aims at attracting the same ‘class’
of people.
Looking at the international marketing communication of cities, it is already felt that cities are
beginning to look more alike. For example, Berlin, talks about itself ‘as the place to be’, while Sydney
claims      ‘it’s   a     real     ‘you       have      to    be       there’     type      of     place’
(http://corporate.tourism.nsw.gov.au/SydneyTourismBrand_p736.aspx, 2010-11-30). A further
indication of this danger of isomorphism is the prominence of waterfront projects in Hamburg and
cities all over the world, like recently in Copenhagen, Oslo and Marseille. Although the idea of
creating a landmark for the city by building an exceptional artifact is understandable, the impact of a
such a building can be doubted in times when this approach is all too common. In Shanghai, for
example, where the entire coast line has been constructed as a series of landmark buildings, the
ultimate consequence of this logic is conspicuous. In Hamburg, the HafenCity could be an example of
similar development endeavors. Again, the perceived need for a distinguishable architectural
landmark building could lead to a homogenization of the city’s architecture. After all, looking at the
opera in Sydney with its curvy with ‘sails’, the Elphi concept with its curvy wave-like windows seems

Markus Walz                               ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                  2010-11-30

not as original as some would like to claim. Possibly, the strongest example of isomorphism is the
recent importance of ‘green’-topics, culminating in Hamburg’s status as European Green Capital in
2010. The focus on ‘green’-topics can be seen in a great many other European cities from Barcelona
and Paris, over Munich and Berlin, to Helsinki and Stockholm. Every city offers figures and facts, like
square-meters of park or number of trees. In addition, it should not be forgotten that the title
‘European Green Capital’ is a ‘moving cup’ and that two cities already stand in line. It seems that
‘green’-topics is rather a necessity than a point of differentiation nowadays and that, therefore, a
focus on these issues can be challenged even beyond the possibility of homogenization.

Markus Walz                             ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                2010-11-30

Appendix A: Physical Material

In the following all physical material collected is listed. The material is structured according to the
place/organization where it was picked up. All material is stored at the School of Business, Stockholm

    -   Brandmeyer Markenberatung:
            o ‘Markenanalyse 2009: Das Erfolgsmuster der Marke Hamburg’ (Engl.: Brand analysis
              2009: Success pattern of the Hamburg brand), complete set of powerpoint slides

    -   Behörde für Kultur Sport und Medien (Engl.: Ministry of Culture, Sport and Media):
           o Flyer ‚HafenCity City Tours‘
           o Elphilharmonie concert programs 2009/10 & 2010/11
           o Brochure ‘Gedenkstätten in Hamburg’ (Engl.: ‘Memorial places in Hamburg’)
           o Flyer ‚Hamburg – Cultural Metropolis’

    -   Behörde für Wirtschaft und Arbeit (Engl.: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labor):
           o Drucksache ‚Weiterentwicklung des Leitbilds „Metropole Hamburg – Wachsende
               Stadt“‘ (Engl.: Further development of mission statement: „Metropolis Hamburg –
               Growing City“)
           o Brochure ‚Landesexzellenzinitiative Hamburg – Forschungscluster und
               Graduiertenschulen‘ (Engl.: ‚Excellent initiative Hamburg – research cluster and
               graduate schools’)
           o Magazine ‚Life Science Nord – Magazin für Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft‘ 1/2009
               (Engl.: ‚Life Science Nord – magazine for economy and science’)

    -   Expo Shanghai – The Hamburg House:
           o Flyer ‚Elbphilharmonie Hamburg‘
           o Flyer ‚The Hamburg House – at EXPO 2010 Shanghai’, English
           o 4 pages of the slideshow used in the press conference of BMB and HMG in Hamburg,
           o Brochure ‘Hamburg House – Home of Hidden Energies’, Chinese/English

    -   HafenCity Hamburg:
            o Flyer ‚Elbphilharmonie Hamburg‘
            o Postcard ‘Ja zu Hamburg’ (Engl.: ‚Yes to Hamburg’)
            o Flyer ‘Kritik im Wandeln 5’ (Engl.: ‚Changing Criticism’)
            o HCH-Brochure ‘HafenCity Hamburg – Wohnen, Arbeiten, und Leben in der HafenCity’
               10/2009 (Engl.: HafenCity Hamburg – Residing, working and lifing in the HafenCity)
            o HCH-Flyer ‘News Extra – 10 Jahre Masterplan’ (Engl.: News Extra – 10 year
            o HCH-Brochure ‘HafenCity Hamburg – Projects’, 03/2010,

    -   Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V. (Engl.: Port of Hamburg Marketing Club):
            o 3xFlyer ‘Port of Hamburg – Facts and Figures’, Chinese/English/German
            o Flyer ‘Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V. – Messen, Events & Besuchergruppen’ (Engl.:
               ‘Port of Hamburg Marketing Club – trade fairs, events, visiting groups’)
            o Flyer ‚Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V. – Internet/Multimedia‘
            o Flyer ‚Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V. – Marktforschung‘ (Engl.: ‘Port of Hamburg
               Marketing Club – market research)

Markus Walz                             ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                2010-11-30

          o Flyer ‚Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V. – Ihr Ansprechpartner‘ (Engl.: ‘Port of Hamburg
            Marketing Club – contact details)
          o Magazine ‚Port of Hamburg magazine‘
          o 4xBrochures ‘Port of Hamburg’, Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Portuguese
          o Business report ‘Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V. – Jahresbericht 2009’ (Engl.: ‘Port of
            Hamburg Marketing Club – Annual report 2010)
          o Brochure ‚Port of Hamburg Handbook – Hafen Hamburg Handbuch‘

   -   Hamburg Airport:
          o Presentation ‘Routes Europe 2010 – Toulouse’
          o Flyer ‘Your guide – The New Hamburg Airport’, English/German
          o Flyer ‘Preiswert ab Hamburg’ (Engl.: ‚low cost from Hamburg’)
          o Flyer ‘Schneller zum Erlebnis’ (Engl.: ‚Get to your experience faster’)
          o Newspaper ‘Hamburg Flughafen’ (Engl.: ‘Hamburg Airport’)
          o Newsletter ‘HAM Airport Mail – März 2010’ (Engl.: ‘HAM Airport Mail – March 2010’)
          o Business report 2009
          o Magazine ‘Hamburg airport magazine 2_2010’, English/German

   -   Hamburgische Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftsförderung mbH (Engl.: company for the promotion
       of economic development in Hamburg):
           o 2xpostcards (aviation & port)
           o Brochure ‚Metropolregion Hamburg – Wirtschaftszentrum für Nordeuropa‘ (Engl.:
              ‘Metropolitan region of Hamburg – Economic center of Northern Europe’)
           o Brochure ‚Vision Hamburg – Responsible Growth‘, Chinese/English/German

   -   Hamburg Marketing GmbH (Engl.: Hamburg Marketing Company):
          o Magazine ‚Hamburg: Das Magazin aus der Metropole‘,(Engl.: ‚Hamburg: Magazine
             from the Metropolis’) april 2009
          o Magazine ‚Hamburg: Das Magazin aus der Metropole‘, (Engl.: ‚Hamburg: Magazine
             from the Metropolis’) june 2009
          o Magazine ‚Hamburg: Das Magazin aus der Metropole‘,(Engl.: ‚Hamburg: Magazine
             from the Metropolis’) april 2010
          o Flyer ‚Metropolregion Hamburg‘ (Engl.: ‘Metropolitan region Hamburg’)
          o Brochure ‚Metropolregion Hamburg – Fakten und Beispiele aus der
             Regionalkooperation‘, (Engl.: ‚Metropolitan region Hamburg – facts and examples
             from regional cooperation’)
          o Brochure ‚Mitten im Norden – Metropolregion Hamburg ‘ (Engl.: ‘In the center of the
             North – the Hamburg Metropolitan Region’)

   -   Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (Engl.: Hamburg fair and congress company):
          o Citymap
          o Flyer Dates
          o Flyer Taxis
          o Flyer ‘Planten un Blomen – Sommerprogram 2010’
          o Flyer ‚Planten un Blomen‘, English Guide

   -   Hamburg Tourismus GmbH (Engl.: Hamburg tourism company):
          o HHT-Brochure ‘Hamburg Maritim’
          o HHT-Brochure ‘Shopping in Hamburg’
          o HHT-Brochure ‘Hamburg St. Pauli – Erlebnis Reeperbahn’
          o HHT-Brochure ‘Hamburg Tourismus Monitoring – Kultur und Tourismus’ (Engl.:
             ‚Hamburg Tourism monitoring – Culture and Tourism’)

Markus Walz                          ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                             2010-11-30

           o HHT-Brochure ‚Hamburg Tourismus Monitoring – Zahlen, Fakten, Trends 2009‘ (Engl.:
             ‚Hamburg Tourism Monitoring – facts, figures and trends 2009’)
           o HHT-Flyer ‘Metropole Hamburg – Strategien zum Erfolg’ (Engl.: ‘Metropolis Hamburg
             – Strategies towards success’)
           o HHT-Brochure ‘Marketingplan 2010-2015’

   -   Hamburg University Marketing GmbH (Engl.: University Hamburg Marketing Company):
          o Flyer ‘climate change’, English & German
          o Flyer ‘Facts and Figures’ 06/2002
          o Flyer ‘Open Uni 2009’
          o Flyer ‘Hanseatische Universitätsgespräche’ 11/2008 (Engl.: ‚Hanseatic University
          o Flyer ‘Hanseatische Universitätsgespräche’ 06/2008 (Engl.: ‚Hanseatic University
          o Brochure ‘Information für Studierende 2009/10’ (Engl.: ‚Information for students

   -   Hamburg Welcome Center:
          o bag
          o usb-stick
          o matches
          o ballons
          o pen
          o 3xbuttons
          o 2xkeylaces
          o sweets
          o HWC-Newsletter, 01/2010 (English/German)
          o HWC-company presentation
          o HWF-Flyer in Spanish
          o HWC-Flyer in English/Chinese
          o Brochure of the Grindel district
          o City-guide ‘Neustäder Hamburg’, 2010
          o City-guide ‘New In The City’, 2010
          o Magazine ‘Geo Special Hamburg’ English, April/May 2006
          o HWC-Welcome package (English/German)
          o BSG-Brochure ‘Hamburger Handlungskonzept zur Integration von Zuwanderern’,
             02/2007 (Engl: Concept for the integration of immigrants)
          o BWA-Flyer ‘new perspectives for aviation‘
          o BWA-Flyer ‘aviation research Hamburg’
          o Hamburg logistics-Brochure ‘Hamburg – Northern Europe’s logistics centre’
          o 3xbrochures ‘Metropole Hamburg – Wachsende Stadt’ (Engl.: ‘Metropolis Hamburg –
             Growing City’), in Korean, Japanese, Chinese

   -   Handelskammer Hamburg (Engl. Hamburg Chamber of Commerce):
          o brochure ‘Standpunkte – Metropole der Dynamik – Hamburgs Weg in die
              europäische Spitze’ (Engl.: ‚Point of view – Dynamic Metropolis – Hamburg’s way to
              the European Top’)

   -   McKinsey Company:
          o McKinsey pro-bono study ‚Hamburg Vision 2020 – Vom nationalen Zentrum zur
              europäischen Metropole’, 2001 (Engl. ‚Hamburg Vision 2020 – From national center
              towards an european metropolis’)

Markus Walz                           ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                             2010-11-30

   -   TuTech & Hamburg Innovation:
          o ‚Impressions of Hamburg‘ – Peter Schofield
          o Flyer ‘Rundgang durch den Harburger Binnenhafen‘ (Engl.: ‚Tour through Harburg’s
              inner harbour’)
          o Postcard – Harburger Binnenhafen (Engl.: Hamburg’s inner harbour)
          o Magazine ‚IBA-Blick – Magazin der internationalen Bauaustellung Hamburg‘, Mai
              2010 (Engl.: ‚IBA-Blick – Magazine of the interantional building/construction fair
              Hamburg, May 2010)
          o Brochure ‚TideElbee Journal‘
          o Flyer ‘Klimzug-Nord – Klimawandel in der Metropolregion Hamburg: Können wir uns
              die Zukunft ausmalen?’ (Engl.: ‚Chinup-North – Climate Change in the metropolitan
              region of Hamburg: Can we envision the future’)

   -   Universität Hamburg, Arbeitsbereich Marketing und Innovation (Engl.: Hamburg University,
       area of marketing and innovation):
           o Flyer Career Services ‚Fishing for Experiences, Fishing for Talents
           o Brochure ‘Hamburg Handbuch – Mit Hamburg verbunden 2010/2011 (Engl.:
               Hamburg handbook – Connect with Hamburg)
           o Final report ‚Market Potential of the Zemships technology – an indicative empirical
           o Final report ‘Abschlussbericht RIS – Aktionslinie 1.1’ (Engl.: ‚Final report RIS’)
           o Flyer ‚Innovation gründen? – Pro-Ideenfonds‘ (Engl.: ‚Founding Innovation? – pro-
               ideas fonds’

Markus Walz                           ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                              2010-11-30

Appendix B: Digital Material

In the following all digital material collected is listed. The material is structured alphabetically and the
documents are listed under their file name as stored in Stockholm. All material is stored at the School
of Business, Stockholm University.
    -   090319_hhm-daten-fakten_2009_en_en
    -   114_32_olympia_broschuere_property=source
    -   2003_Gruendung einer Hamburg Marketing
    -   2006_weiterentwicklung der HMG
    -   2009-10_magazin_unter-geiern
    -   2010_Strärkung der HMG durch Hoding Struktur
    -   10540-51429 - KM Beispiele Teil 1 (C1)
    -   11100-51430 - KM Beispiele Teil 2 (C2)
    -   Begleitgutachten_Metrople Hamburg-Wachsende Stadt
    -   Brochure_Hamburg Image_engl_en
    -   Brochure_Metropolitan Region_en
    -   Broschuere_Vision_Hamburg_en
    -   BWF_ZVL_Ziel_und_Leistungsvereinbarung_2009
    -   Forderungen_2004-2008_HK
    -   greencapital_web_en-Nov09_en
    -   HafenCity_Hamburg_Projects_en
    -   Hamburg17_2010
    -   Hamburg Magazin 18_2010
    -   hamburg_application_green capital
    -   hamburg_presentation_green capital
    -   Hamburgtrailer_neu_de
    -   HH News_ExpoSpecial_engl_final_en
    -   HH_Bilanz_2006
    -   HHNews0710EN
    -   imagebroschuere-willkommen-in-hamburg
    -   internationalisierungsstrategie
    -   interreg-3
    -   Knieling & Koerner_Metropolregion Hamburg
    -   Kooperationen_HamburgTourismus_2010
    -   kreative Ökonomie_IBA
    -   Leitbild_Endversion_Handbuch
    -   Leitbild_Hamburg - Wachsen mit Weitsicht 2010
    -   Leitbild_Metropole Hamburg - wachsende Stadt 2002
    -   Leitbilder-und-Handlungsstrategien-fuer-die-Raumentwicklung-in-Deutschland-2006
    -   Literatur links_wachsende Stadt
    -   Luftfahrtstandort_HH_engl_en
    -   Markenanalyse_Hamburg-1
    -   Menzel_Zukunftsrat_Buchbeitrag-Wachsende Stadt
    -   mitteilung-senat-staerkung-mrh
    -   Not In Our Namen
    -   operatives-programm Metropolregion Hamburg
    -   Patriotische Gesellschaft zur wachsende_stadt 2005
    -   positionspapier-schleswig-holstein
    -   Pressegespraech_LPK-Talentstadt
    -   Rede peiner zur wachsenden Stadt

Markus Walz                               ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                  2010-11-30

   -   Rede von Beust 2003-09-23
   -   regierungserklaerung-2008
   -   Regierungserklaerung_Beust_2004
   -   regierungsprogramm-2004-2008
   -   Rundgang_Sportstadt Hamburg_de
   -   senatsdrucksache-neuausrichtung-politik-norddtl
   -   Stadtportrait_2008_Englisch_en
   -   Standpunkte_Metropole_der_Dynamik_HK
   -   Stellungnahme zur Handelskammer_Zukunftsrat Hamburg
   -   Stern 2006_20 - Boomtown Hamburg
   -   talentstadt-hamburg
   -   talentstadt-hamburg_Endbericht 2007
   -   TR_Maerz2010
   -   TTT_Wo steht Deutschland
   -   unternehmensbroschuere hvv
   -   Urbanista_readingthecity_1
   -   wachsender-widerstand_Jusos
   -   wachsende-stadt-fortschreibung 2003
   -   weiterentwicklung des leitbilds_2007
   -   Weiterentwicklung und Umstrukturierung der HMG
   -   wohnungsbau fue eine wachsende stadt_LBS_2005
   -   vortrag-1983-11-29 _ Dohnanyi _ Unternehmen Hamburg
   -   vortrag-2003-04-02 _ Peiner_Metropolregion Hamburg Wachsende Stadt
   -   vortrag-2003-09-22 _ von Beust_Halbzeit in Hamburg
   -   Zukunftsrat_Monitor wachsende Stadt 2005

Markus Walz                         ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                     2010-11-30

Appendix C: List of Interviewees

In the following all 25 interview partners are listed. The material is structured in chronological order
of the actual interview. During all interviews notes were taken and 25 interviews were also digitally
recorded. All material is stored at the School of Business, Stockholm University.
    1)    Chamber of Commerce (HKH)
    2)    Ministry of Science and Research (BWF)
    3)    Hamburg Marketing Company (HMG)
    4)    Respect Research Group
    5)    Company for the promotion of economic development in Hamburg (HWF)
    6)    Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labor (BWA)
    7)    Brandmeyer brand agency (BMB)
    8)    Hafen City Hamburg Company (HCH)
    9)    Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labor (BWA)
    10)   University Hamburg Marketing Company
    11)   former Senator for Science and Research
    12)   Hamburg Airport
    13)   Ministry of Culture, Sport and Media (BKSM)
    14)   Port Hamburg Marketing Company (HHM)
    15)   Hamburg.de
    16)   McKinsey & Company
    17)   Hamburg Welcome Center (HWC)
    18)   former Senator for Finance
    19)   Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labor (BWA)
    20)   Hamburg tourism company (HHT)
    21)   Bucerius Law School
    22)   TuTech Innovation
    23)   Hamburg fair and congress company
    24)   Ministry of Culture, Sport and Media (BKSM)
    25)   State Chancellary

Markus Walz                              ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                2010-11-30

Appendix D: List of Figures

Figure 1: An overview of the research project 'Branding Metropolitan Place in Global Space'. ............ 6
Figure 2: Districts of Hamburg-City. ........................................................................................................ 7
Figure 3: The three methodological pillars ............................................................................................. 8
Figure 4: Guiding questions of the in-depth interviews .......................................................................... 9
Figure 5: Location of the 25 interviews ................................................................................................. 10
Figure 6: Data analysis cycle .................................................................................................................. 11
Figure 7: The town's motto ................................................................................................................... 13
Figure 8: Overview of the container port by night ................................................................................ 13
Figure 9: Michel and St. Katharinen ...................................................................................................... 14
Figure 10: A typical map of the city as you can find it in Hamburg ....................................................... 15
Figure 11: View of Hamburg in 1944 or 1945 ....................................................................................... 16
Figure 12: Hamburg - the Gateway to the World.................................................................................. 17
Figure 13: Blue goal by Michael Batz (2006) ......................................................................................... 17
Figure 14: Helmut Schmidt .................................................................................................................... 18
Figure 15: Population Development of the city of Hamburg ................................................................ 19
Figure 16: Phase I .................................................................................................................................. 20
Figure 17: Logo of the metropolitan region of Hamburg. ..................................................................... 21
Figure 18: Phase II ................................................................................................................................ 21
Figure 19: Logo of the Olympic bid ....................................................................................................... 23
Figure 20: Hamburg Logo designed by Peter Schmidt. ......................................................................... 25
Figure 21: Example of the usage of the 'Kommunikationsmuster' ....................................................... 25
Figure 22: A page out of the guest book in Hamburg Welcome Center................................................ 26
Figure 23: Moro Nord ............................................................................................................................ 27
Figure 24: Sketch of the new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie .......................................................... 28
Figure 25: The Elphi in July 2010 ........................................................................................................... 29
Figure 26: Phase III. ............................................................................................................................... 30
Figure 27: The logo for the European Green Capital 2011.................................................................... 31
Figure 28: Phase IV. ............................................................................................................................... 32
Figure 29: Timeline 1950-2010 .............................................................................................................. 33
Figure 30: Timeline 2000-2010 .............................................................................................................. 33
Figure 31: An example of questions from the Brandmeyer questionnaire........................................... 34
Figure 32: The ten building blocks of the Hamburg brand in German .................................................. 36
Figure 33: An impression from St. Pauli ................................................................................................ 38
Figure 34: Example for the 'Kommunikationsmuster'........................................................................... 39
Figure 35: Hamburg Cruise Days 2010 .................................................................................................. 40
Figure 36: Branding activities. ............................................................................................................... 41

Markus Walz                                                 ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                                                       2010-11-30

Appendix E: List of Abbreviations

   -   AMI = Arbeitsbereich Marketing und Innovation, Universität Hamburg (Engl.: area for
       marketing and innovation, Hamburg University)
   -   approx. = approximately
   -   BKSM = Behörde für Kultur Sport und Medien (Engl.: Ministry of Culture, Sport and Media)
   -   BMB = Brandmeyer Markenberatung (Engl.: Brandmeyer brand agency)
   -   BSG = Behörde für Soziales, Familie, Gesundheit und Verbraucherschutz (Engl.: Ministry of
       Social Affairs, Family, Health and Consumer protection)
   -   BWA = Behörde für Wirtschaft und Arbeit (Engl.: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labor)
   -   BWF = Behörde für Wissenschaft und Forschung (Engl.: Ministry of Science and Research)
   -   CDU = Christlich Demokratische Union (Engl.: Christian Democratic Union)
   -   Elphi = Elphilharmonie (Engl.: Elbe Philharmonic Hall)
   -   Engl. = English
   -   FDP = Freie Demokratische Datei (Engl.: Free Democratic Party)
   -   HCH = HafenCity Hamburg
   -   HHM = Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V. (Engl.: Port of Hamburg Marketing Club)
   -   HHT = Hamburg Tourismus GmbH (Engl.: Hamburg Tourisme Company)
   -   HKH = Handelskammer Hamburg (Engl.: Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg)
   -   HKS = color system
   -   HMG = Hamburg Marketing GmbH (Engl.: Hamburg Marketing company)
   -   HWC = Hamburg Welcome Center
   -   HWF = Hamburgischen Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftsförderung mbH (Engl.: company for the
       promotion of economic development in Hamburg)
   -   SPD = Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Engl.: Socialdemocratic Party Germany)

Markus Walz                            ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                             2010-11-30

Appendix F: Other References

Zenker, S., Knubben, E., & Beckmann, S.C. (2010): Your City, My City, Their City, Our City – Different
Perceptions of a Place Brand by Diverse Target Groups. Presentation at the 6th International
Conference Thought Leaders in Brand Management, Lugano, Switzerland.

Markus Walz                             ‘Weltstadt’ Hamburg                               2010-11-30

Shared By: