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Cannabis and Canals- Amsterdam is a City With a Changing Brand

What the Amsterdam re-brand can teach you about marketing your property. 

Why is it that New York retains this aura of excitement? Why is it not Denver: The City that Never Sleeps, or Toulouse: The Big Apple? Certain cities manage to evoke images just with their names. When you hear New York, the image of Bright Lights; Big City is unavoidable. Cities brand themselves and this can be hard to escape.

Now think of Amsterdam. Vice-riddled waterways and pot-blasted stag nights are probably not far away, right? A city’s trademark or brand can be hard to shift once it is established. Despite having a rich and varied culture, these impressions can often be the most persuasive.


Consider how this could affect your rental property. Is a stereotypical image affecting your bookings and what can be done about it? People may be avoiding your city, and your vacation rentals because of a pre-determined image of your area that may no longer be accurate. Imagine how many people have dismissed a trip to Amsterdam because of an impression that was created 20-30 years ago.

The city of Amsterdam is a good example because it is a city actively trying to alter the perception that people have of it. Their I Amsterdam campaign sets out how the city is looking to the future and how it is trying to become widely known for more than just sex, drugs and clogs. The features that first made it popular and distinctive are now causing problems as the city tries to attract international commerce and a new wave of tourists.

This process takes time but, slowly, it is possible to turn around the main connotations people have. As this happens it is worth considering how your business and its output fits in with this. There are things you can do to move forward with these changes and grow alongside the city.

We have used Amsterdam as an example and compiled five ideas to help you to stay current in a dynamic enviroment.

Fine Line Between Love and Hate

For everyone that loves something about a city, there will be others that hate it. Think about the main image of your area and if your property fits into this. If not, why not try to reach people that would actively avoid this part of a vacation rental? For Amsterdam, this means places a little further out from the main buzz of nightlife are able to market their properties to show a different side of the the city. This allows them to reach people that may have originally considered the city too loud or wild.

Research Your Area

Perhaps your property has always been a little removed from the main centerpiece of a city? Away from the center, not near the best shopping district. Now is the time to see what parts of your area might be appealing to people that are only just considering your destination. Amsterdam is trying to focus on art and business so these are great places to start. Check out the links to galleries and business centers and your property may become a lot more appealing to the new generation of visitors.

Where is Your City Headed?

The information on targets for cities and areas is widely available. The Smithsonian provided a spider graph, produced by the city of Amsterdam, to show their targets for what they want their city to be known for. Out are canals and the Redlight District. The future for Amsterdam lies in the artistic side of the city and as a place for international business. Check the tourism department for your area and see if there are changes happening that you can become a part of.

Think About What You Want for Your Property

 There is no substitute for genuine knowledge and enthusiasm. If you are passionate about an element of your location that people may not know about, include it in your page. People will always engage with genuine passion. You can be part of the change that you would like to see happen in your city.

Address Concerns

If you are looking to expand your market towards people that may usually avoid your area, it is useful to imagine their concerns. Families and business travellers will be concerned with noise and safety. Use your personal experience to accurately describe the experience of staying in your property.

It is a slow process but if you don’t keep up with how your city or area is changing itself you may find that you have been left behind.
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