How to Brand a City Region: Example ONLYLYON, France

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit the city of Lyon in Southern France, and to meet Lionel Flasseur, Director of ONLYLYON, the entity in charge of the city's place brand strategy and communication. In this city branding case study, learn more about ONLYLYON - its mission, approach, challenges and successes.

Learn about:

  • Lyon's reputation challenge: what motivated its leaders to engage with city branding;
  • ONLYLYON's approach to city branding: its mission and organisational structure;
  • City branding projects and activities by ONLYLYON;
  • Results: How city branding activities have helped Lyon reach its objectives.

Lyon's brand challenge

Lyon, France's second largest city in terms of population of metropolitan area (2.6 million inhabitants), the country's first "smart city", most popular European city for a city break and France's no. 1 city for culture, has a problem: the city's image is not as positive as it could be, especially in the eyes of international potential visitors, investors, and talent.

Initiated by the then lord mayor and supported by key stakeholders across public and private institutions, the ONLYLYON programme was set up in 2007 to change this, and to position Lyon as a European Metropolis with leadership appeal especially in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and culture.

ONLYLYON's approach to city branding

ONLYLYON serves both as brand and as the name of the international marketing programme, created by initially 13 institutional partners in 2007 with the aim to build Lyon's international reputation and to ensure its competitiveness in a context of growing competition among world's cities, all eager to attract talent, investment and visitors.

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The Editorial Team

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