Birmingham 2

Big up Birmingham

FACT: Birmingham is a great place to work. The city has and continues to undergo significant transformation, making it the UK’s fastest growing regional tourist destination*. Iconic developments such as Birmingham Library, Bullring and the Mailbox, have recently been complimented by the unveiling of the Grand Central shopping destination, sitting atop the newly refurbished New Street station.

And it doesn’t stop there. Billions of pounds are being poured into the city to improve the urban realm, reducing the impact of the motor vehicle on the city centre. The tram returns in 2016, more effectively linking up the city’s train stations, and Birmingham’s position as a travel hub will be further enhanced by the arrival of HS2 in the near future.

But it’s not just about infrastructure. Birmingham has a thriving night-time economy, bolstered by theatres, comedy clubs, stylish bars, Michelin starred restaurants and super clubs. With its cultural diversity you can take your pick from a smorgasbord of eateries in the city!

So whilst RbD staff might use words such as modern, exciting, and vibrant to describe our city, how do the general public perceive Birmingham? Well, we thought we’d find out by asking this question in an online poll amongst around 1,500 UK consumers** …

 “What words or phrases first come to mind when you think about the City of Birmingham?”

Encouragingly, other ‘locals’ share our enthusiasm for the city, with around one third of those in the West Midlands using words such as modern vibrant and ‘up and coming’ in their descriptions of Birmingham. Opinions of Birmingham

Whilst some of those outside of the city and particularly women use positive words such as creative and cool, there is a sizeable proportion who still associate Birmingham with some of the more negative words we might have used ourselves 10 to 15 years ago, such as scruffy and industrial.

So, although we at RbD might eulogise about our city, efforts to promote Birmingham could still be considered work in progress. Whilst considerable steps have been taken to build its reputation it undoubtedly still suffers from the poor planning decisions of the 60’s and 70’s and its historical industrial focused reputation. Clearly, there is still work to be done, to change people’s perceptions, but things are definitely looking up!  

* Regional Observatory and tourism research body, Global Tourism Solutions (GTS).

** Online poll amongst UK consumers December 8th 2015

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This entry was posted in Market Research Birmingham, tagged Birmingham city centre and posted on December 15, 2015


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