Cross-border marketing initiative puts Braunau, Simbach on the map

The cross-border towns of Braunau am Inn, Austria, and Simbach am Inn, Germany, have developed a coordinated marketing strategy to promote their combined economic, touristic, and liveability strengths.

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The cross-border towns of Braunau am Inn, Austria (its St. Pankratius church pictured), and Simbach am Inn, Germany, have developed a marketing strategy to promote their attractions. ©CC0 Creative Commons The cross-border towns of Braunau am Inn, Austria (its St. Pankratius church pictured), and Simbach am Inn, Germany, have developed a marketing strategy to promote their attractions. ©CC0 Creative Commons

" Through active location marketing and by using various channels, the cross-border commercial and economic area has been significantly strengthened. In addition, many other synergies have already been created, such as a uniform voucher system, the regional online marketplace, and the website with the calendar of all events happening in the area. Clearly, the foundation for successful co-growth has been laid. "

Elke Pflug PMBA - Managing Director

The two towns share more than a modifier and a river. Both suffered the negative effects of the recent economic downturn, which left their central business districts empty, kept tourists away, and led many residents to relocate. To reverse this trend, this EU-funded project developed a joint, cross-border marketing plan to highlight their attractiveness to tourists, and potential residents and investors.

Five focus areas

A key component to the initiative was establishing a cross-border administrative office and developing internal structures for the agency charged with designing and implementing the marketing strategy. The latter included coordinating the activities and interests of all participants, determining the internal work processes, and formalising the work.

Anchored by a website, the marketing strategy consists of five objectives:

  • urban branding (developing a common positioning for the cities)
  • real estate (analysing available properties and identifying infrastructure and urban improvement needs)
  • location advertising for the Braunau-Simbach shopping area (increasing the area’s purchasing power)
  • local online marketplace (increasing competitiveness by developing an online multichannel shopping system)
  • active location marketing (consolidating the economic stock and trade mix of the two cities).

Growing together 

To start the rebranding process, the project created the ‘growing together’ slogan – an identity that epitomises the many activities and initiatives on both sides of the Inn. This slogan is applied to all other marketing initiatives, including, for example, the ‘Brückenzehner’ initiative. 

Brückenzehner’ encourages citizens and visitors to shop on both sides of the river by merging the cities’ shopping voucher systems. The joint vouchers can be redeemed at more than 90 member companies of the Shopping in Braunau and Werbgemeinschaft Simbach organisations. 

To strengthen regional trade, the project launched the cross-border online marketplace. The platform provides small and medium-sized enterprises an easy opportunity to be represented online and to actively promote, offer, and sell their products and services.

Together, these initiatives will improve the economic, touristic, and urban planning of the two cities.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Cross-border city, tourism and location marketing Braunau-Simbach” is EUR 662 801, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 497 100 through the “Interreg V-A - Austria–Germany/Bavaria” Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Better public administration”.

Draft date

08/08/2019