IDEAS GENERATION / City Re-branding Assignment 2 / Term 3, Week 4

Concluding our first assignment for this module, we moved on directly to the second assignment which is city re-branding (creating a new image or rejuvenating the image of a city in its essence). In this assignment we are required to create a new logo for the city that we chose, and merchandises that come with it.

The city I chose is Balikpapan, second largest city in East Borneo (Kalimantan). Its wildlife is abundant, the city has been associated with the sun bear, and it has good reputation of being a clean city with good town planning. Some also note its similarity with our neighboring trade country Singapore, subbing Balikpapan as “Singapura nya Indonesia”. This being said, the city also share another similarity with Singapore; its high living cost compared to other cities in Indonesia.

Balikpapan was the home of oil drilling & finery back in the 1900s, and still is the base site of Pertamina (who took over Shell at 1965). During the World War 2, oil production was halted in Balikpapan and the industry took a huge damage until repaired by the Royal Dutch Shell in 1950s. Because of its geographical factor (located by the sea, easy access for ships), Balikpapan is also a trading point. Many multinational companies set their Indonesian base company in Balikpapan. In 2013, Balikpapan was chosen as the “Most Liveable City” (measured once every two years), toppling its predecessor Jogjakarta (2009, 2011) off the title.

Considering these factors (which I acquired after cursory researching), I feel like promoting Balikpapan’s orderliness, cleanliness (keyword: “posh” perhaps?) and the coastal sites, rather than the wildlife (which the city is also abundant with). Right now I have the imagery of promoting Balikpapan as a city that metropolitan folks would feel comfortable living in (or, relocating to). Balikpapan has a stable weather throughout the entire year – no days are too dry or too rainy, is generally warm – Β which could make a more sustainable living than in Jakarta – unpredictable weather and harsh rainfall which leads to flooding almost every year. The city is developed enough that it has a lot of shopping centres, but it has natural sites that people can relax in as well (beaches, botanical garden, etc). The infrastructure is recognised as one of the best- its town structure neater than a lot of other big cities in Indonesia. According to my friend (whose family came from Balikpapan, but he himself doesn’t spend much time there either other than some occassional trips back to hometown), Balikpapan is like Surabaya but quieter, less populated, and is a lot quieter than Jakarta (maybe I can promote the relaxation factor?). Many businesses open up their offices there, so job isn’t scarce there either. The city is definitely very livable, and although the living cost is higher than some, the townfolks earning is also high (which results in high consuming power).


References on re-branding:

Behance – Rebranding Greece

Why do most city branding campaigns fail

City branding is not just for tourists

City branding study cases

Place branding


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