North Sea Port: a new port brand


At the end of 2017, the Port of Ghent and Zeeland Seaports announced their merger, founding a new port authority called North Sea Port. This merged port covers a 60-km long port area that extends from Vlissingen, Borsele and Terneuzen in the Netherlands, all the way to Ghent in Belgium. In other words, a cross-border merger, which catapulted this new port into the top 10 of European ports.

The new port authority needed a new, clear identity and a strong brand, which is why it decided to call on Think BBDO’s expertise.

Our solution

In conjunction with the management of the Port of Ghent and Zeeland Seaports, Think BBDO started by developing the positioning of the merged port authority. Based on the content and the story, we then set about developing a name and baseline, in addition to a new, unique logo.

North Sea Port: the name as such expresses innovation and ambition, while also claiming the entire North Sea area. The name is purposefully international, giving the new port authority a unique position in the centre of Europe.

While North Sea Port may not be the largest port, it is one of Europe’s top ports. To emphasise this added value, Think BBDO settled on a more aspirational baseline. With “Together. Smarter” the emphasis is on the close, tailored collaboration with partners, customers and stakeholders. At the same time, we also confirm the new port’s role as an atypical player. North Sea Port wants to actively work on innovation and innovative entrepreneurship, on smarter progress, without being arrogant.

The new logo underscores the innovative aspect with its modern typography. We chose an atypical – albeit nautically-inspired – dynamic visual language, that conveys the port’s way of working. The colours are a blend of the various shades of blue used by the former port authorities, while also referencing the port category.

Finally, Think BBDO also took care of the launch of the new North Sea Port brand. We combined our advice for the further roll-out in a corporate style guide and internal and external communication.

Branding, Change communication

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