5.000 live performances a year

The fastest growing capital in Europe

A wave of youth age 25-35

The Nordic tech scene is hot

Short distances

Welcome to the Oslo Brand Toolbox

How to build our region’s brand – and why.
For everyone communicating the great region of Oslo to an international audience.

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Many companies, municipalities, organisations and individuals in the Oslo region work hard to get international attention. You might need people to come to your event. You may be working in tourism. Or you could be searching for international talent. Whatever your position or field of expertise, this is a toolbox to help put Oslo on the global map. It is easy to use, it is very versatile and best of all – it is absolutely free.

 

Unlike many brand strategies that focus entirely on an individual city, this strategy and toolbox takes a regional approach. The Oslo region is gradually becoming more integrated with respect to business structure, labour markets, housing markets, leisure and culture. Internationally – our whole region represents the Oslo brand. In a domestic context, the different municipalities and counties within the Oslo region remain brands in their own right.

 

Why do we need a toolbox?
Anyone trying to get international attention for the Oslo region faces a tough challenge: Very few people know or care much about us, and nobody chooses Oslo by coincidence, whether for investment purposes, employment, study, start-ups or travel. All in all, we lack visibility, and we lack a memorable position as a brand. So, let’s start building one. We are much more likely to succeed if we all pull together, and even more so if we pull in the same direction. That’s what this toolbox is for.

 

What’s in the toolbox?
To build a stronger international profile, we need a crisp and clear story of Oslo. Our main tool is the Oslo Brand Filter. It is not a design handbook or a strict set of rules, but a guideline and checklist to help you develop your own stories and messages while staying on brand. The better you know the brand filter, the more you will be able to take advantage of it, so spend some time getting familiar with our common vision, values, goal and brand position.

 

In addition to the brand filter, you will find cases for inspiration, as well as images and videos you are free to use.

 

01

The Oslo Brand filter

Our easy-to-use precision tool

First of all: The brand filter is not a design handbook. We don’t have a logo, and we don’t have a slogan. But we do have a shared vision, a clear goal and a set of values. All stakeholders in the Oslo region can participate on their own terms, but still strengthen our common brand by knowing and using the Oslo Brand Filter.

Below, you will find a detailed description of the brand filter. The better you know it, the more you will be able to take advantage of it. Get familiar with it, and refer to it later by using the On-Brand-Checklist. And always, always remember this:

  • Behave like a pioneer («Cool, who did that? Oslo!» 
is the reaction we are looking for.)
  • Include «Oslo» in project names, hashtags and 
every type of communication.
Brand Filter Checklist Brand Cases
02

Oslo in short

Oslo – The Big Small

Here is the short text about Oslo, and its important that Oslo appears in a uniform matter regardless of sender. Use it in speeches, conversations, on your website, in brochures – anywhere you want to tell about Oslo in a short manner. We even made a visual presentation of it. Download the copy and the presentation for free.

  • Oslo - The Big Small

    Oslo is, in a word, compact. Here you will find everything you need within easy reach. But we do have a lot of room. Not only physical space for growth, but room for new ideas, for study, for innovation, for entrepreneurship – and for offering almost 5.000 live performances in a year. Being small, we also have short distances – from urban centres to quiet forests, from ski slopes to the waterfront, from the place you work to the place you live. In our informal, egalitarian society other distances are short as well – from people to power and from words to action.

    Finally, Oslo is geared for the future. We are early adopters of new technology, we have a hot start-up scene, and we are Europe’s fastest growing capital, with a high and increasing ratio of young, well-educated people.

    We happily admit that our city is small. But it is small in a very big way.

03

Why Oslo

Now, honestly, why would anyone choose Oslo?

Actually, we have quite a lot going for us, but it doesn’t matter much if nobody knows. (What is your own impression of, say, Gaborone?) Let us define our strong points, and communicate them to selected target groups in a consistent, clear and compelling way. And keep on doing it.

Why Oslo?
Indeed, why choose Oslo, when there are vibrant, exciting metropolises in every corner of the world?
In building the Oslo brand, we are going to turn an apparent weakness – our size – into a strength.

 

There is no way around it – Oslo is small. But a compact city has its advantages. You can take the tram to the halfpipe after work – it will take you 20 minutes. No steep hierarchies means that you are only a phone call (or a tweet) away from people in power. And even if we are few, we speak a lot of languages: More than 30 per cent of us have a non-Norwegian background.

 

We are also fierce advocates of human equality and freedom of speech, and we have a transparent and well functioning democracy. The world recognises us as tech-savvy, creative and straightforward. We work hard and play hard, and we make room for both entrepreneurship and parenthood.

 

And in some ways, Oslo is surprisingly big. We host more than 5.000  live performances a year, more than Stockholm and Copenhagen.

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Why work in Oslo?

Norway is an egalitarian society with flat hierarchies and power structures that do not keep management and employees estranged. Norwegians often work across hierarchies rather than imposing boundaries. The leadership style is informal, and is based on employee freedom with responsibility. Norway also has transparent business and governmental processes.

A good work-life balance is an integral part of our culture, and it is possible to have a two-career household with children – one does not have to be chosen over the other.

Oslo enables and supports personal growth not only through the work-life balance, but also through a vibrant cultural scene, ethnic diversity, and a unique proximity to nature. Total commuting time is one of the lowest among competitive world cities.

To work in Oslo means great responsibility at young age, flat hierarchies and high ambitions.

If you want to make the most out of your life, Oslo is your kind of place

Why start a business in Oslo?

In 2013, The Economist stated that the Nordic region is becoming a hothouse of entrepreneurship. 15.000 new companies are established every year in Oslo, and there is room for more. Collaboration is our way of competing, and we see various co-working and innovation hubs popping up all over, with Mesh, 657 Oslo, Startup Lab, Fintech Factory, SoCentral, Oslo Cancer Cluster, Bitraf, House of Nerds and others taking the lead.

An army of new, innovative Oslo companies are about to take on the world. Xeneta is changing the global container freight business model, Kahoot is changing class learning and education forever, No Isolation gives kids with long-term illness their social life back with an avatar robot, Nimber, the «Airbnb for sending stuff» has launched in the UK and Unacast is changing the global ad industry by merging online and offline behaviour.

Oslo is collaborating with Austin (Texas) and Hackney (London) through Creative Cities Alliances, and we can give your ideas global launch pads. Who knows where your start-up may end up?

Oslo is tech savvy and collaborative. Come grow your ideas here!

 

Why invest in Oslo?

Oslo is the fastest growing capital in Europe, and innovation is our new oil (by the way, NASA will use Norwegian oil drilling technology to search for life on Mars).

Norway’s tech scene may spend less time in the limelight than some of its Nordic cousins, but that is changing fast. We have a strong tech heritage and a long list of high-profile exits to its name from the likes of Playfish (bought by EA), Kelkoo (bought by Yahoo!) and Siri (part of Apple). Jay Z’s acquisition of Oslo-based music streaming firm Aspiro also thrust Norway in the global spotlight.

Lack of hierarchies fosters creativity and collaboration, and we have world-leading clusters in high technology industries. We are early adopters of new technology, and test market for leading providers of ecommerce like IBM and Visa. The population of Oslo is young (age group 25-35 will increase by 40% next 8 years), talented and highly educated.

Why study in Oslo

Oslo is geared for the future. We are early adopters of new technology, we have a hot start-up scene, and one of Europe’s fastest growing capital, with a high and increasing ratio of young, well-educated people. Schools at first and secondary level are publicly funded. Even at university level there are several schools with no tuition fees. In addition, almost half of Norway’s R&D activity is located in the Oslo region.

 

There are 65.000 students in the city of Oslo – counting for just below 10 per cent of the total population. At the region’s aproximately 31 universities and institutions you will find a wide range of courses taught in English, welcoming qualified students from all over the world. International students also have priority housing offered.

 

Read more about study in Oslo in sections 04 Campus Oslo

 

Why visit Oslo?

Oslo is a capital on the rise, with amazing changes going on in everything from local cuisine to architecture.

Over the last decade, new neighborhoods and landmarks of modern architecture have reshaped the face of the city, and old container docks are turning into fjord-side housing areas and walking promenades. Go for a stroll and enjoy the feel of a city on the rise!

Small revolutions in food, coffee and craft beers have put Oslo on the world’s culinary radar. Local ingredients and food traditions, which before were of little interest to anyone, are now cultivated into a three-star Michelin meals at the Oslo restaurant Maaemo.

You will also find that Oslo has one the most vibrant culture scenes in all of Europe. Concerts and music festivals are particularly plentiful, and great happenings in contemporary dance, clubbing, opera and theatre make Oslo an excellent choice for a cultural city break.

Finally, as always, nature is a major feature of the city center. Large and accessible forests surround it, and the Oslo fjord has a strong presence in the city centre. For an active twist on your stay, hit the forests and climb the trees in Oslo Summer Park, or go island hopping by public ferry.

04

Campus Oslo

Studies and research in the Oslo region

All the world’s major cities compete for talent – the brightest students, the most ingenious researchers, and the hardest working young entrepreneurs. So, with endless opportunities, why would this future elite ever choose Oslo? It’s small. It’s remote. It’s… er, where is it exactly?

To be chosen, people must at least have heard about Oslo. Don’t take for granted that they have. To build a stronger international profile, we need a crisp and clear story.

 

Oslo has excellent universities and colleges in fields as diverse as agro ecology, biomechanics, finance and nano electronics. But there is more. We know quite a bit about balancing studies, work and life. Oslo is a compact city with a vibrant cultural scene and great outdoor activities. All based on an egalitarian, transparent and safe society where everyone can make it.

 

Let’s bring some more talent to Oslo! Use the brand filter and the brand filter test to get on-brand. Below, you will also find useful information targeted to students and researchers.

Read more
  • Study and science

    All ambitious young people, all around the world face tough choices. What to study? Where? Which academic standards? A number of factors will influence the decision, and Oslo is in a strong position to score well in many of them.

     

    The general quality of higher education in Norway is first-rate, and we have the rankings to prove it – among them U-Multirank and the business education rankings of the Financial Times. But there is more to it: Several bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are taught in English, and with 8.500 foreign students (from a total of 67.000 in Oslo and Akershus), Oslo is a student and science city with a truly international outlook.

     

    Furthermore, as education is a priority in Norway, there are a number of facilities and offerings for students in general and international students in particular. Affordable accommodation is guaranteed for foreign nationals with an admission to study. Tuition is free at public universities and colleges, only an administrative fee is charged. In many cases, student loans and grants are attainable. Day-care is available for all children. And public transport and a number of other offerings are discounted. All in all, the Oslo region can be seen as a convenient campus with high academic standards.

     

    But we need to get our message out there – that the Oslo region has excellent universities and colleges in fields as diverse as agro ecology, biomechanics, finance and nano electronics. Here is a map you can use in your communication.

     

    View map

  • Leisure and culture

    For young people, even the most ambitious ones, there is more to life than studies. You remember, right? Those student years are often remembered as the best of one’s life, and the more various experiences they can hold, the better. The attractiveness of extracurricular activities (the academic word for fun and leisure) will almost always influence the choice of where to study. Which is very good for Oslo, because we have a lot to offer.

     

    The problem is; the world believes that not much is happening in Oslo on the cultural scene… You need to get the story out there!

     

    The city’s cultural muscles are much bigger than its size implies, with a large number of events, sites, galleries and close to 5.000 live performances every year, more than double that of Stockholm and Copenhagen. Oslopolitans are becoming aware of this, and many share their local favourites with the world. Here is a guide from Bakken & Bæck (a digital studio), maybe you will find some inspiration. VisitOSLO is also a great source on what’s happening. New local guides are born every month, so just Google it, whenever you need interesting stuff to share with the world. Something is always going on in the Oslo region!

     

    Then of course, there is our great outdoors, with all the possibilities the surroundings offer, from sports to recreation. Beaches in summer, ski slopes in winter and everything in between. All of it within easy reach in our very compact city region. We often take this proximity to nature for granted. In an international perspective; this is unique, and very attractive.

  • Norwegian society

    Oslo wants people to stay after finishing their studies and we have a competitive edge. In an egalitarian, transparent society where talent, education and innovation are taken seriously, ambitious young people have excellent opportunities to thrive.

     

    For starting a career, the local job market is very beneficial. Blue-chip international businesses, ambitious Scandinavian and Norwegian firms, hot start-ups and business incubators are all in place, as well as a comprehensive public sector. An egalitarian mindset ensures flat hierarchies and equal opportunities everywhere.

     

    For further learning and research, there are several centres of excellence and specialized clusters, such as the Oslo Cancer Cluster.

     

    All in all, as capital of an affluent welfare state, Oslo is a very safe, stable and comfortable environment for studies, research and work life.

05

Key Facts

10 Key Facts About Oslo

There are a million good things you could say about the Oslo region. When we try to say it all, we end up saying nothing. Here are the 10 most compelling key facts about Oslo. Stick to them, and tell them over and over again. It takes time to build a brand.

  • Show key facts

    5.000 LIVE PERFORMANCES A YEAR

    Oslo is hosting between 4.000-5.000 live performances a year. In the region moreover, 25 music festivals are arranged every year. This is in sharp contrast to what people outside Norway believe. The perception abroad is that “nothing much” happens on our cultural scene.

    Oslo is a small capital by any standard, but still holds more shows per capita than any other city in Europe. We must tell the world about all the things happening here. Events and festivals must communicate internationally, and attach Oslo to their communication.

     

    ONE OF EUROPES FASTEST GROWING CAPITALS

    Oslo is one of the fastest growing capital cities in Europe, and the growth rate in the region as a whole is just as high. Unemployment is low, and the economy is healthy.

     

    A WAVE OF YOUTH AGE 25-35

    The population in Oslo is relatively youthful, and getting younger. A striking younger population wave is facing Norway, with a 23% growth of 25-35 year olds between 2014-2024. This trend is even more pronounced in Oslo and the whole region, with a potential 40% growth in this age group. Our population is amongst the highest educated in the world, and early adaptors of new technology.

    All cities around the world have to attract young people, as they are the future. Yet no city has really developed a brand position that is tied to young people. As this strategy must benefit Oslo in the long run, a “young” brand position is valuable.

     

    MODERN URBAN LIVING

    Oslo is another type of capital than many others you find in Europe. Oslo does not rest on a colonial legacy, and 30 years ago you might say Oslo was a village (internationally speaking) – not a big city. We are building our distinctive metropolitan character as we speak. In the last 30 years, Oslo has grown by more than 200.000 inhabitants, without sacrificing cropland or forest. The population growth has not made the city worse, quite the contrary – according to Erling Dokk Holm. The city has improved in almost every area: better air quality, better schools, better transport and a more active city life.

    Architecturally, Barcode, Tjuvholmen, the Opera house, Astrup Fearnly museum, the coming Munch museum and the Deichmanske Library all give us a new urban expression. Michelin star restaurants, food trucks, co-working spaces, world class coffee, international retail, and walking distances between nature and concrete all give Oslo a unique urban quality.

     

    STRONG INTERNATIONAL BRANDS

    The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Munch. International winter sport events. Opera (software). Kongsberg Innovation. Oslo Cancer Cluster. These are just a very few examples on strong international brands hosted by or originated in the Oslo region.

     

    STARTUP HUB

    The Nordic tech scene is hot, and Oslo has grown to become an internationally recognized startup hub. The city is full of co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators (for instance MESH, Startup Lab, FintechFactory, Tøyen Startup Village, 657, Oslo Cancer Cluster, and many more). Oslo startups are getting international recognition (Kahoot!, Gelato Group. Tapad. Xeneta. Unacast. To mention a very few).

    500 Startups, a leading global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator, chose Oslo as they entered the Nordics in 2015.

     

    SHORT DISTANCES

    Oslo is a compact city, the whole region is. Total commuting time is one of the lowest among competitive world cities, and this enables inhabitants to have a high quality of life.

    Oslo has short distances. Between concrete and nature (after work, you can go sailing, snowboarding or hiking in no time – and public transport will take you there). Between family and career (you can have both). Between live performances (5.000 of them). Between people and power. Norway is an egalitarian society with flat hierarchies, and you are only a tweet away from power.

    Oslo’s compactness is a unique quality, and we aim to make Oslo the world´s favourite compact city.

     

    ACCESSIBLE

    There are 116 international direct flights to OSL, and growing.

     

    EDUCATED

    The Oslo region has 37 universities and institutions.

     

    MARITIME CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

    Menon Economics ranks the 15 leading maritime capitals of the world in their bi-annual report. In 2017, Singapore is ranked as the leader, followed by Hamburg and Oslo. The the field of Maritime Technology, Oslo is ranked as number 1!

    There are three main reasons behind Oslo’s success in Menon’s rankings.

    • The first is a favourable regulatory climate that makes it simpler to both issue bonds and raise equity with less documentation.
    • The second reason is the Norwegian investor community, which historically has shown both the experience and willingness to invest in shipping and offshore.
    • The third driver, and perhaps the most important, is the high concentration of local shipping expertise. Oslo offers a complete maritime cluster in all areas.

    Read the full report here.

06

Digital Footprint

How to measure Oslo's digital footprint

Oslo needs international visibility. We need to be talked about, read about and cared about. In a word, we need buzz, and we need it in digital and social media. Here we can supply attractive and relevant content, see to it that it reaches its audience, and track and measure the results of everything we do.

X Games SoMe Read more

We believe one of the most important things we can do to create awareness about Oslo, is to reach as many screens as possible, and then to fill them with great content about Oslo. We also depend upon Oslo’s population and visitors to become active ambassadors in social media.

 

As far as we know, VisitOSLO is the first destination marketer in the world to measure its digital footprint and set a goal to increase it by 20% each year. Oslo Business Region does the same, and hopefully you will too! Below, you will find a description of our method.

 

By «digital footprint» we mean everything that is said and read about Oslo across all the digital channels we are able to track, whether the content is created by your organisation or others. In short:

  • Engagement (how many times do our followers in social media share our content)
  • Content creation (how much relevant Oslo content do others produce)
  • Reach (how many people are exposed to our content)

 

This is how VisitOSLO does it:

The Swedish agency Notified was chosen as our tracking tool. There are many tools on the market, and this was chosen for its combination of price and functionality. Notified makes searches in Norwegian and international media in addition to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, videos and digital communities. These are the sources:

  • Articles: 150.000 news sources via Opoint
  • Blogs: 140 million blogs via Twingly and WordPress
  • Facebook: 200.000 FB-pages
  • Twitter: about 300 million users or one micro network
  • Communities: about 20.000 communities
  • Video: YouTube, SVT Play and TV4 Play.
  • Instagram: all open accounts and images

 

Searches are designed according to the type of channel.

For articles the key word is Oslo, meaning that the article must contain this word to provide a hit. In addition, the article will need to contain one or several pre-defined words. This can be words associated with experiences in Oslo, such as attractions, vacation, concert, festival, nightlife, museum etc. Or the search words can concern specific events, such as X Games.

 

In addition, words not to be featured are specified. This can be words that for various reasons appear in the search results, but have no relevance to experiences in Oslo. This can concern crime, finance, property, Utøya etc.

 

For Instagram, the search is designed with words relating to Oslo, such as Frogner, Holmenkollen, Bygdøy etc. Not all Oslo images are tagged #oslo. Oslo as a keyword is challenging, because many images are tagged with city names without having anything to do with the city itself. Our Instagram search results must not contain words like Kuala Lumpur, Rio, London or other city names.

 

This is a volume analysis designed for overall results, and not for specific analyses or trackings. We are not aiming at exact measurements, as we are probably not going to hit all relevant words – or avoid irrelevant ones, but the tracking is constantly being improved by adding and removing search words.

 

For the digital footprints the numbers are interesting mainly to track changes over time.

 

07

Photos

Nothing can tell a story better than a picture

Photography is one of our most widely used influential brand assets. Here you will find a selection of high-resolution pictures we are proud of and which we would like you to use for free. The only exception is if you want to use them in commercials (ads, films), then we will need to negotiate a fee with the photographer

Open gallery
08

Film

Feel free to download one of our movies

They are free to use. A great intro to a speech or a presentation, at events and online

Open gallery
09

Oslo Brand Alliance

Oslo Brand Alliance

The Oslo Brand Alliance is a coalition between Oslo Business Region, VisitOSLO and Osloregionen, and we aim to make Oslo world famous together with you.
Below you can find insight, strategies and reports. But most important: Let’s be in touch!

Tone-Lise Vilje is the brand manager of this toolbox, and if you have questions, comments, ideas; please contact her: tonelise@oslobrandbox.no

  • About Oslo Brand Alliance

    Three organisations have been given the responsibility to manage and implement the strategy, by forming an Oslo Brand Alliance:

    These institutions have established mandates and resources central to the place brand management and cooperate with many regional and national bodies and organisations concerned with marketing of Oslo and Norway worldwide.

    The existing division of labour amongst the three organisations:

    • VisitOSLO: Marketing and promotion of Oslo; the Oslo Visitor Board
    • Oslo Business Region: Promotion of the Oslo Region as a place to invest, start up, work, study and do R&D
    • Oslo Region Alliance: Building regional pride and cooperation with regional organisations in business, transport, urban development

    The alliance is not suggested to fund or to exercise everything, but to orchestrate the broad collaboration needed between public and private organisations in the region. This is done through back-office services (like this toolbox) and by supporting on-brand strategic projects with international reach.

  • The Oslo Region Brand Management Strategy

    The Oslo Region Brand Management Strategy is the foundation of this toolbox. The strategy process involved almost 1.000 people from private business and public, from culture, academia, and organizations. Take a closer look at the Oslo brand and the strategic choices made, and learn from other cities.

     

    The Oslo Region Brand Management Strategy

  • Oslo: State of The City

    Attractiveness is an indicator for international competitiveness. In order to find out how attractive the world really finds Oslo, we commissioned Greg Clark and Tim Moonen of the Business of Cities Group in London to do ”An outside in view of Oslo.”
    Oslo: State of the city surveys more than 100 international city indexes in order to identify Oslo’s current performance and reputation in 16 areas within four overarching themes; Business, Liveability, Hospitality, and Governance. It evaluates Oslo’s performance along a 10-point scale and compares progress to the 2016 Oslo: State of the city.

     

    Oslo: State of the city

  • Annual Report

    2016 was the Oslo Brand Alliance first working year, and here you can read all about the projects done, and the results achieved.


    Årsrapport 2016

10

Have a project?

Do you have a project for us?

At Oslo Brand Alliance we are always looking for gold. And the region is full of it!

Do you have a project you think will be a great way to show off Oslo abroad, don’t be shy. But first, see if your project is on-brand. If you need help getting your project on-brand, maybe we can help out. Fill in the form and we will be in touch real soon!