Ambassadors for Regional Branding


  • Lack of participation in regional branding
  • Lack of power


  • 50 companies acting as ambassador for their region
  • co-branding of the region


  • Policy, money, regulations


  • Application form for possible ambassadors
  • Provincial ambassadors label
  • Specific ambassadors label

Problems and challenges

When you are working on a brand for your region and have fulfilled all the steps in branding (defining the region, selecting qualities, communication, …see ‘Tool corner' below and Manual regional marketing ).

  • When you have invested a lot in communication campaigns.
  • When you initiated and funded, as a (provincial) government/organisation most of these campaigns.
  • When you experience a lack of participation of other organisations in the regional branding process.
  • When you invite other organisations to share your brand,

the concept of ‘ambassadors’ can bring a solution.

Ambassadors West Vlaanderen 2Ambassadors West Vlaanderen 1


The provincial government and the provincial development made a selection of 60 companies in the region , large and small, international orientated or local starters, representative for the most important sectors, and with a certain spread over the region. This selection was based upon the expertise of the provincial development company. All these companies were invited on a information meeting with the governor and the deputation of West Flanders. This meeting was prepared with 3 or 4 companies with whom the province discussed the concept of ambassadors and who were willing to share their conviction with the other companies. The province also contacted and persuaded a wellknown publisher (Rik De Nolf-Roularta), so this initiative was taken seriously from the start by the other companies invited.

The province asked all the companies to become ‘ambassador of West Flanders’ if they had a strong belief in their region. If they wanted to become an ambassador, they had to fill out a form in which they indicated if they could show a provincial engagement , if they had provincial or national recognition , etc. They also had to be willing to open their communication means tot promote West Flanders as an ‘Enterprising region’. Therefore they received a provincial ‘label’. The province offered free publicity for these companies by press releases and provincial newsletters, Also the group of ambassadors was invited on a number of network events organized by the province.

After two years the province wellcomed 50 ambassadors, which was considered as a maximum. The fact that some well-known CEO’s gave the example was convincing others to follow quickly. The value of the communication tools they used to help to promote West Flanders as an enterprising region was very important (but not calculated) : the communication went from mentioning the specially developped ambassador label on websites and company newsletters to banners on trucks, company gadgets and advertising on company buildings.


-policy: the companies can note offend provincial regulations on environment, etc -money : the ambassador project is based on networking ; you do not need a large budget - time : you need a lot of time and staff to visit the 50 members and underhold the network -culture :some ambassadors believe more strongly in their West Flemish origins and are therefore more enthusiastic than others to promote the brand.


-application form for potential ambassadors including criteria -a provincial ambassadors label -guidelines how to use the provincial label/brand as an ambassador -website

Background information Ambassador Project West Flanders