With the creation of a regional brand, Bretagne has embarked on a global attractiveness drive to enrich, rejuvenate and dynamise its image. This is a brand to be shared by all those private and public players – from the worlds of business, the arts, research, academia or sport – who wish to make reference to the region and its values in publicising and promoting their activities on the national and international scenes.
While this region of over 3 million inhabitants is set to welcome 26,000 new residents per year between now and 2040, Bretagne has opted to establish a shared brand in order to enhance its image and boost its appeal in Europe and beyond. Other European regions, towns and conurbations have already adopted this approach, but this is the first time a French region has gone down this route, by federating a large number of partners from all walks of life - and this is where its originality lies.
"Against a global backdrop of inter-regional competition, a region’s image is a determining factor," asserts Jean-Yves Le Drian, President of the Regional Council. "Although Bretagne enjoys a certain level of recognition and a high goodwill factor, it nevertheless needs to enhance its attractiveness, particularly among tomorrow’s economic sectors that do not always associate Bretagne with high performance.”
So what is it for ? Making reference to the region in order to promote one’s activities
So Bretagne has made the decision to adopt a global strategy of attractiveness which incorporates all its strengths, be they economic, touristic, cultural, community-focused or institutional. Initiated jointly by the Regional Council, the Bretagne Development & Innovation agency and the Brittany Regional Tourism Committee, this approach is based on a shared brand, a brand that can be appropriated by all players in their own way, in order to publicise and promote their interests and activities.
According to Jean-Yves Le Drian, "What distinguishes us from other regions is our capacity - demonstrated by elected representatives and economic and cultural players - to mobilise around shared issues and to maintain these links in action. In the past, we pooled our energies from Brest to Rennes for our road network and for the TGV. Today, we are continuing to assure the future of Bretagne in the fields of railways, research, high-speed internet and energy."
For everyone, using the Bretagne brand means:
- Benefiting from a recognised reputation for quality and reliability... and a very high awareness level compared with other French regions, but it also means contributing collectively to constructing a richer and more up to date image of the region.
- through subscribing to the values of the brand, claiming for oneself those things that make Bretagne strong: a sense of commitment and of community, openness and imagination.
- a proactive drive for continual improvement in one’s practices, organisation and activities... through the implementation of actions and measures that are in harmony with these values.
- through the application of the brand code, accessing a current set of references for the region, opting to develop communication towards more contemporary codes, and contributing to make one's own image - and that of Bretagne - more innovative and high-quality.
- deploying a consistent and strengthened message, one that cannot fail to grow as the months pass and will be a benefit to all those who have made common cause with it. So every single Euro invested in communication by each brand partner will be of ever greater benefit to all the others.
What is it? A set of value-conveying symbols
The regional brand is not restricted to a logotype or an imposed slogan. Quite the contrary: it takes shape around a set of graphic symbols, colours and words that express values specific to Bretagne. All are visual and lexical elements to be shared and associated with Breton brands that refer to the regional area in their communication.
How does it work ? With a brand code
In contrast with a graphic charter, the brand code, defined in this instance with the support of the Lyon-based agency Communiquez, is an open, flexible system, designed as a toolbox available to all players wishing to refer to Bretagne in their communication. Whilst retaining their own identity, local authorities, companies, universities and associations are invited to draw elements from it, each thereby weaving a common thread in order to construct a homogeneous and consistent image of Bretagne, one that is up to date and innovative.
What does this brand code consist of ? Tool that can be used by all
- Four key values, commitment, a sense of community, openness, imagination: these reflect the Breton identity and thus the rationale of the brand. This, in any event, is what is conveyed by the portrait of Bretagne – painted in very fine detail by the regional marketing agency CoManaging – both from a physical and psychological standpoint.
- A positioning statement: Bretagne, an area that creates connections, transforms and strengthens.
- The 7 symbols expressing the brand: positive strength, connections in action, black & white, proactive and responsible tone of communication, humour and individuality, living symbols, a touch of magic and poetry. They express the values of the mark and meet its objectives. Each of these symbols will be the subject of precise recommendations and examples of application. They can be used à la carte: indeed, it will be a question of seeking out those elements that are most appropriate for a given communication media.
- A range of colours: taken from the portrait of the region, this palette reflects the harmony of colours so particular to Bretagne. The vividness and intensity of yellows and golds, oranges and reds and violets lifts the omnipresent blues and greens, the celebrated blue-green "glaz" so particular to Bretagne; likewise the resonant greys of the skies and stones, not forgetting that iconic colour pair, black & white.
- The brand vocabulary offers key words, advice on fonts and photographic images.
- A black & white logo: the brand bears the name of the regional area whose reputation is not in any doubt.
Through its elegance and graphic strength, the black & white colour pair meets one of the essential objectives of the brand: to modernise the image of Bretagne. The immediate reference to the Breton flag, the gwenn-ha-du, conveys the attachment of the Breton people to this living symbol that expresses belongingness to a region of contrasts and diversity. It was designed by Xavier Mercier of the Communiquez agency.
How to use the logo Reserved for partners
Above and beyond the brand code, accessible to all and free to use, it will be possible for future brand partners to display this new logo on their own communication materials (with the exception of products), in a closely regulated context. This is a second level of appropriation of the Bretagne brand, which will be granted to those having applied to the Bretagne Development & Innovation agency - or to the Regional Tourist Board for professionals in that sector. Following the submission and examination of the application, the Brand Committee, made up exclusively of players from civil society, will grant the applicant a licence to use the brand for 3 years.
And what then ? The Bretagne Development & Innovation agency at the helm
The Regional Council has tasked the Bretagne Development and Innovation agency with the implementation of the attractiveness and image strategies for Bretagne. The Agency’s Attractiveness Direction will run and coordinate the Bretagne brand strategy, in close collaboration with the Brittany Regional Tourism Committee. Its goals will be to bring the brand to life, via the website www.marque-bretagne.fr, to roll out the tools and to raise awareness and foster adhesion among partners.