Limerick’s status as one of Ireland’s inward investment hotspots is set to be animated with the development of a brand identity.
In the latest move by Limerick City and County Council to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of the region, the local authority is seeking to develop and deliver a compelling and coherent brand strategy for Limerick, by coordinating its own marketing activities, and by taking a lead role in leveraging the marketing activities of it's key strategic partners.
The tender is the latest move under the local authority’s successful programme to lead the transformation of the city into an urban centre that is delivering as a key national catalyst of growth and helping to deliver balanced regional development on the island of Ireland.
It comes off the back of a record period of growth for Limerick across the past five years, with an unprecedented 12,000 jobs created in that period, that has seen Limerick become the country’s fastest growing regional economic centre. The dramatic economic resurgence has platformed from the Limerick Economic and Spatial Plan in 2013, the first integrated local authority plan of its kind in the country.
More than €1.7 billion of investment by new or existing companies in Limerick has been announced since the plan was published and the city is now the fastest growing Irish region for foreign direct investment outside of Dublin.
The creation of a new brand identity is the latest initiative in an ongoing marketing drive under the Economic and Spatial plan that has played a key role in the economic regeneration of the city.
A range of marketing initiatives have supported the wider plan with a strong emphasis on digital technology innovations and digital marketing campaigns. This included the development of the hugely successful Limerick.ie, which was named among the Top 25 Tourism websites in the world 2017 by *Skift.com and enables locals and visitors instant access to information on some 2,000 attractions and 1,000 events across the city and county each year.
Said Laura Ryan, Head of Marketing and Communications, Limerick City and County Council: “Limerick has been revitalised over the past five years beyond expectations. The genesis of this was undoubtedly the launch of the Limerick Economic and Spatial Plan in 2013. We’ve had huge gains since and now we want to go again, at all levels, including through this brand identity initiative. Limerick is now, thankfully, in a place that it can make a bold and creative declaration that it is a hugely attractive and competitive location to work live and play.”
Ms Ryan explained that the confidence has been hard earned and down to a confluence of success across the region. “Since the launch of our Economic and Spatial Plan, we’ve had a hugely successful amalgamation of the city and county councils, we’ve been Ireland’s first National City of Culture, we’ve launched Limerick Twenty Thirty DAC, which is developing key strategic sites in Limerick City and County that will act as anchors for enterprise and investment development across Limerick. Innovate Limerick, which is helping to drive innovation across the city and county has already claimed a number of major wins, including the development of a 35,000 sq ft Innovation Hub at Roxboro, and Engine in the city centre, where it will co-locate FDI companies and provide shared workspace along with a Production and Digital Skills Hub. A new Tourism Strategy 2017-2023 has also been designed to revitalise the tourism industry by increasing the number of visitors by 50%.”
“Critically also the ‘Limerick Charter: Commitment to Cohesion and Convergence’ was initiated and signed up to by all key stakeholders in the region, leading to a level of collaboration across these stakeholders that has been critical also in the development of the region. Those stakeholders, namely Shannon Group, Shannon Foynes Port Authority, Limerick Chamber, University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick Institute of Technology have all enjoyed huge growth so we have a real platform to shout from.”
The competitive brand identity will be used to support the development of Limerick as a vibrant economic and visitor destination, as well as a unifying stimulus for all city and county stakeholders. It will communicate Limerick as a contemporary international location to live, work, invest, study and visit.
The successful tenderer will be asked to create a Limerick Brand and Marketing Toolkit that will guide the brand usage across all marketing communications platforms from digital, social media, audio, print, multimedia and outdoor.
The new brand will have to complement Limerick.ie and will be employed across the full range of marketing and communications channels. The brand must project Limerick as an international economic destination, a place to live, work, invest and a city and county that appeals to international and domestic visitors.
In addition to defining the brand, the successful agency will be asked to develop an implementation programme that will include an action orientated plan to guide the process from brand launch to its strategic development including a five-year implementation programme for adaption by Limerick City and County Council.