Marketing of High-tech Regions (3): Nuremberg’s regional marketing as part of regional integration

Nuremberg with its rural regional surroudings

Nuremberg with its rural regional surroudings

by Hans Pul

In this post, I will give an overview of the regional marketing strategies, instruments and cooperation model of the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region (NMR). All in all, the region is an interesting case of a region with a clear central city, that develops into an integrated region with more and more regional cooperations. In her recent post, Hanna already introduced the NMR, focussing on the regional resident identification.

The regional public transport cooperation VGN is a good example of the interconnectedness of the region

The regional public transport cooperation VGN is a good example of the interconnectedness of the region

Besides Nuremberg (500.000 inhabitants), there is a number of smaller cities and villages in it’s direct surroundings. With most of the region’s other places within a radius of 75 kilometres from Nuremberg’s city centre, Nuremberg is the region’s economic and cultural centre. The region’s scale makes it suitable for commuter traffic. The interconnectedness of the region is also reflected in the integrated public transport network, run by VGN (Verkehrsverbund Großraum Nürnberg). The network, consisting of metro lines, regional trains and buses, connects the region’s places with each other, including many villages and rural areas.

The reason I talked about the public transport cooperation in the region, is that it is a good illustration of how organisations are increasingly cooperating on a regional level. In 2005, regional cooperations and lobbying resulted in the official recognition of the region as European Metropolitan Region by the German federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. NMR is one of the 4 regions that was granted the status of Metropolitan Region in Germany in 2005, totalling the number of such regions to 11. However, many of the organisations and bodies (including the marketing association and the Medical Valley cooperation) that are now incorporated in NMR, already existed. Since the initiation of the metropolitan region, these actors now work more closely together, meanwhile using the regional brand within the region itself, as well in the national and international arena. The cooperation is a more or less “natural” next step in the region’s integration.

NMR´s English language homepage

NMR´s English language homepage

As a region with a clear central city, the choice of the name for the regional brand is straightforward, plain and effective: Nuremberg Metropolitan Region. As we will see in examples of other European hightech regions in upcoming posts, it is not to be taken for granted that a region can create a brand name which satisfies all participants. Unfortunately, the English and German abbreviations of the regional brand are not the same: NMR (Nuremberg Metropolitan Region) and EMN (Europäische Metropolregion Nürnberg). The result: non-uniformity throughout the website and other marketing instruments.

MedicalValley EMN´s homepage

MedicalValley EMN´s homepage

As many other regional marketing constructs, NMR highlights a number of hightech clusters on its website, including IT, automotive and energy. Special attention is granted to the cluster of medicine and health, which is organised as “Medical Valley EMN”. As the EMN part of the name suggests, this brand exists under the umbrella brand of the Metropolitan Region. The cooperation and clustering of hightech companies in the medical sector goes back more years than the Metropolitan Region, with an accordingly well-developed management.

Another brand that exists under the umbrella brand of the metropolitan region is “original regional”. This brand incorporates regional products as part of the metropolitan identity. The tag-line adds “aus der metropolregion nürnberg” (from the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region).

The Facebook-site of Original Regional, a brand und the NMR umbrella brand

The Facebook-site of Original Regional, a brand und the NMR umbrella brand

The marketing association of NMR is formed by its 380 members. Instruments of the marketing association that is part of the regional cooperation include “original regional”, road signs throughout the regions and the “Entdeckerspass” (see Hanna’s recent post for more details). Other instruments are similar to that of other regions: a website, glossy brochures, events, etc. Besides the focus on business, there is a lot attention for quality of life as well, both for residents and potential new residents. Also, the incorporation of local media to stimulate the use of the word “Metropolregion”, is another peculiar project of the marketing association.

To deal with concrete issues and problems in the region, the resources and competences of the participating partners in the Metropolitan Region are used in 7 forums. These forums deal with the themes Industry & Infrastructure, Science, Transport & Planning, Culture, Sport, Leisure & Tourism, and Marketing. The cooperation model of NMR is characterised by an equal participation of public and private actors, and of urban and rural actors. Important regional actors include the participating Chambers of Commerce and multinationals based in the region, including Adidas and Siemens. Finally, another crucial success factor is the voluntary participation of actors in the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region.

In conclusion, the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region is an excelent example of how effective regional marketing cooperation, among other regional cooperation aspects, should be a crucial part of a regional integration process.

Other posts in this series:

Marketing of High-tech Regions (1): Karlsruhe “HighTech meets the Good Life”

Marketing of High-tech Regions (2): Resident Identification in Nuremberg

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