Case Study: Indonesia's City Branding

A deeper dive towards several examples of city branding in Indonesia

Back to Blog Page
7 Aug

Case Study: Indonesia’s City Branding


One of the most successful city branding in the world is carried out by the city of New York with the slogan “I Love NY” which was used since 1970. They decided to promote tourism to help offset a recession, and asked the Ad Agency Wells, Rich and Greene, and graphic artist Milton Glaser to develop a campaign. In the context of building a city branding the New York City Government always involves all its citizens to discuss and debate from the very beginning to the stage where the branding concept of the city can be accepted by New Yorkers. Since then, New York has always been a reflection the strength of its own citizens as the city image. Eventually the city residents themselves were the advertisements that walked and talked in promoting the city. New York has also been considered a city that has an interesting cultural, climate and entertainment side. 
 
How about city of Indonesia? Is there any city branding that successful like New York city? Take a look at our listed city branding below,
 
 
1. Enjoy Jakarta
 
The logo design of ‘Enjoy Jakarta’ has National Monument (Monas) form which is also an important monument in the city of Jakarta. The logo is formed from five lines symbolizing the five areas of Jakarta that move swiftly and rapidly through modern era. The slogan ‘Enjoy Jakarta’ is also written in smaller letters to symbolize humility and openness.
 
As a capital city, Jakarta has grow as the busiest city in Indonesia. A research conducted that Jakarta has transforms into a city that has six unique strengths compared to any other cities in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. The strengths were, dining, shopping, spas, golf, marine tourism (thousand islands) and nightlife. This research conclude ‘Enjoy Jakarta’ as a marketing language has the right to interpret the meaning of this slogan entirely in the hands of potential customers that are being targeted. Governments also has rights to attach Enjoy Jakarta logo through all their tourism media.
 

As we talked before, the process of designing Enjoy Jakarta logo is being taken seriously through many researches. The data is compiled from on site visits and taking notes on what visitors do in the city, along with all the places such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, travel agents, etc. Researcher polled 2,000 hotel guests in 4 and 5 star hotels, spoke to local and overseas travel agents, and a raft of tourism related experts. They gathered data based on many locals opinion and what they think about the city. This delivered a message about enjoying the good bits and ignore the bad, the fact is that the bad are now encroaching on and affect the good.

 

2. Jogja Istimewa

Jogja Never Ending Asia, a campaign launched in 2001, was a form of branding strategy established from a collaboration of the government with Yogyakarta Mark Plus & Co. and IMA. After 13 years using the tagline “Never Ending Asia”, Jogja changed its tagline into “Jogja Istimewa”. 

“Jogja Istimewa” is not your typical re-branding since it employed what is called ‘urun rembug’, a special team consisted of creative individuals with extraordinary talents at visual branding from Yogyakarta, namely Tim 11. They were assigned to help the government to create and determine Joga’s new branding and tagline.
 
Contributions from other Yogyakarta citizens were also desired hence the Governor conducted a branding competition, open for every Yogyakarta citizen who wanted to participate. All of these effort was put on to create an updated branding which aligns with the development of the city itself, which is of course caused by its citizens especially the younger generation.
“Jogja Istimewa” was special by design, with the Governor’s old-fashioned concept combined with a touch of the spirit of the youth.
 
The Jogja rebranding was created by taking its character and social philosophies into consideration. What helps Jogja Istimewa to stand out is the fact that Jogja is rich in culture and heritage. Jogja also happened to be the ‘hub’ of education in Indonesia as well as one of the cities in Indonesia with the most polite and lovable locals. 
 
The brand image of Jogja Istimewa clearly represents the city perfectly. Showcasing its boldness and dynamism from the new generation, without losing its true identity as a city of anceint heritage. In addition, the new branding was built to cover the declining of relevance and energy from its previous branding, “Jogja Never Ending Asia”. The brand positioning for Jogja Istimewa lays on the traditional side, with a slight touch of modernism.
 
 
3. Shining Batu
 
Focusing on tourism, the branding “Kota Wisata Batu” was introduced in 2007 as the first city branding for Kota Batu, followed by a massive promotion to reach other countries around the world. This movement was intended to attract investors across country as well as international tourists.  

Kota Batu government and its stakeholders then proceeded to further develop Kota Batu by building various attractions. Jawa Timur Park 1, 2, 3, Batu Night Spectacular, Eco Green Park and Predator Fun Park altogether were built on a mission to establish a new, complete learning and fun land in Kota Batu. As the attraction was being the developed, Kota Batu was granted a rebranding. What was initially called “Kota Wisata Batu” was changed into “Shining Batu” in 2013. “Shining Batu” brand was Kota Batu’s way to embrace its new colors. 

Promotions for the new brand “Shining Batu” was accommodated by the Ministry of Tourism of Kota Batu through print media and the development of an official website of Shining Batu. Banners and posters were put on several spots in Ngurah Rai International Airport Bali, Juanda International Airport Surabaya, and other points throughout the whole region of East Java. Since we are in a modern era, promotions were also set up in social media. Kota Batu government even developed an Android App namely Shining Batu to help tourist to discover the beauty of Kota Batu within a few taps. 

Other than family travel destinations, Kota Batu also offers natural beauty for the adventurous kinds. With affordable accommodation and transportation, Kota Batu had become a excellent place to stop by.

 

4. Magnificent Samarinda

Samarinda is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. The city lies on the banks of the Mahakam River. It is the most populous city on the entire Borneo island. Last January, Samarinda decided to held a rebranding process with its new tagline — Magnificent Samarinda. In that occasion, the governments of Samarinda asked Citiasia.Inc with three logo option to be chosen by the Governor himself. However, it was revealed that the chosen logo was plagiarized from a work by George Bokhua, an American designer. Even Bokhua himself declared that his work was stolen on his Instagram.

Samarinda government and Cityasia Inc. proceeded to conduct a press conference and dismissed the claim by Bokhua. However, the Governor admitted his mistake and apologized for not allowing Samarinda citizens to contribute in the making of the logo. All of that started a campaign called #sumbanglogopemkotsamarinda, which gained interest from the creative youth of Samarinda. Not only through logos, citizens can also contribute by donating funds to increase the prize pool.

The fiasco was caused by the lack of participation from the locals, which are ironically the most important part of Samarinda. Involvement and approval of citizens towards any program in an area determines its success. The branding must represent the character of a city, which is what the locals are best at.

 

5. Coral Wonders of Indonesia

In 2017, the government initiated a branding campaign for 10 most favored travel destinations in Indonesia. The list includes the aquatic heavens of Indonesia, which are Bunaken, Wakatobi and Raja Ampat. These three areas earned their well-deserved branding called Coral Wonders, with a different logo for each area. 

Just like the other travel destinations which obtained their own city branding, Bunaken, Wakatobi and Raja Ampat have fulfilled the criteria, which is to possess an excellent 3A (Attraction, Accessibity, Amenity). Being the perfect choice for aquatic tourism by travellers, The Coral Wonders easily earned the branding.
 
This branding was created by the Ministry of Tourism with the intention to fit with master brand of Indonesia tourism (Wonderful Indonesia) and the 9 other travel destinations. Since the Coral Wonders are the ultimate destination for aquatic tourism, it is a must to promote them by building a branding for them. It also strengthens the brand positioning for Wonderful Indonesia, which is already well known by tourists as a colorful, oriental, cultural and leans more towards natural beauty than infrastructures.
 
Logos and slogans generate momentum in raising awareness. Even though Coral Wonders and the other cities have their own logo, they still managed to align with the styling of Wonderful Indonesia, the master brand with a widespread acknowledgement from both locals and foreigns. Branding strategy does not only gain engagements and following from the outside but also among stakeholders and its internal audiences. It should be built on a sense of belonging and shared purpose and hence generate the kind of engagement that is desired and impossible to imitate elsewhere. By achieving that, internal stakeholders should be self-motivated to join the game and not forced.