Publicerat 11 november, 2014

Västerbotten County Locals Choose Culture over Sport

Sport or culture? Ask residents of Västerbotten County which they prefer to enjoy on their night off and their answer will likely be culture. What’s more, high on the list of cultural venues they like to visit is NorrlandsOperan. These are the results of a major brand survey conducted by Brand Clinic, one of Sweden’s leading experts on corporate branding.

“Preferring culture to sport is not unique to Västerbotten County, actually. We’ve observed the same pattern in many places,” says Brand Clinic’s Ulrik von Szokolay.

Commissioned by NorrlandsOperan, Brand Clinic asked a representative selection of residents in Umeå, Skellefteå and all of Västerbotten’s inland municipalities – a total of 1,100 respondents – about the range of cultural events on offer, in general, and about NorrlandsOperan, specifically. The survey was conducted in 2013. When asked about what they prefer to do on a free evening, concerts and theatre trumped sporting events.

“That was nice to hear, of course, but, in reality, it’s not a matter of competition. You can like both culture and sport at the same time. I’m the perfect example of that,” says Kjell Englund, NorrlandsOperan’s Managing and Artistic Director.

The survey revealed that NorrlandsOperan is a strong brand*. According to Brand Clinic, NorrlandsOperan also measures up well against other cultural brands in Sweden.

Many people both knew of and had a relationship with NorrlandsOperan. Amongst respondents form Umeå and Skellefteå, NorrlandsOperan ranked highest in stage art. In Västerbotten’s other municipalities, NorrlandsOperan ranked second after local community centres (Folkets hus). Regardless of where respondents lived, the opera was associated with the same things: relaxation, entertainment, classical and innovative works, new experiences and perspectives, an international standard of quality and performances that receive good written and oral reviews.

“The results are better than we had dared hope for. What we know now for sure is that we have a strong brand. We are strongest here in Umeå, but our brand needs more exposure in other Västerbotten municipalities. The best thing about the results is that they show that we’ve succeeded in communicating the right image; namely that we are a venue for new forms of expression,” Englund concludes.
*”Brand” refers here to people’s collective associations and opinions concerning a particular company name, service or product.

Photo:  Emil Nyström

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