Learn more about the brand

The Helsinki brand concept is used to build and strengthen the image of Helsinki both in Finland and abroad. The word brand becomes more understandable when it is replaced by the word reputation. Reputation lies at the heart of the city brand. Reputation creation requires more than marketing and communications, as reputation stems from actualities: actions, experiences, encounters and the true essence of the city and how it affects people.

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Splendour of Hanami in an urban environment  Photo: Juha Valkeajoki, Sherpa
Splendour of Hanami in an urban environment Photo: Juha Valkeajoki, Sherpa

Brand concept

The brand concept crystallises the Helsinki brand and provides answers to the following questions: 

  • What is our goal? 
  • What kind of brand do we want to be? 
  • What do we want our brand to be associated with?
  • How can we be recognised? 
  • How does the brand behave in a consistent and recognisable manner?

What is Helsinki famous for? 

The Helsinki brand cornerstones tell what Helsinki is famous for. The Helsinki brand exudes experiences and the uniqueness of Helsinki, but it also underlines the city’s framework of services and its role in solving global problems. Helsinki is:


In Helsinki we do our best to make you feel welcome.  We are a city of equal opportunities in which people can trust one another and have the freedom to express themselves.

Wildly urban

In Helsinki you have the space to breathe and recharge. It’s a city of contrasts where
both the urban pulse and​ the serenity of the wild nature​ are always near.​


In Helsinki you can sense the city's own original and sometimes even quirky atmosphere throughout the seasons.


Our strength is the persistence to create together impactful and sustainable growth and solutions for the benefit of the whole world.


We are building a compact and smart city that is easy to live in and visit, and where you can trust that things work smoothly.


In Helsinki, everyone has an equal opportunity for a goodsustainable way of living. Here the untamed nature meets the urban buzz, and the enthusiastic people with freedom to express themselves can live life to the fullest.

Helsinki – It's a good life

In Helsinki, we are building an even more functional city and more sustainable everyday life with collaboration, optimism and perseverance.

We are very fortunate in having

  • a place of freedom and equal opportunities where everyone can pursue their dreams and live their life as who they are. 
  • wonderful and delightful things in our lives that make everyday life less mundane and give us space to breathe and unwind.
  • an urban and pulsating city full of experiences and surrounded by flourishing nature.

What is a value proposition? 


We cannot know what makes Barbara, Timo, Ashur or 658 797 other people in Helsinki happy, but we can at least create settings for it. We are planning and developing a city where everyone can lead a good life; one that is free, true to their personality, safe and marked by the possibility to choose this and that instead of having to make either-or choices.

The value proposition sums up the whole brand concept

  • It gives direction and purpose for branding
  • It inspires and crystallises the Helsinki way of life on a deeper level
  • It holds an in-depth purpose

Use of the value proposition

  • The common thread in creative ideas
  • Title or part thereof
  • Appears in the body text
  • Crystallises the message 
  • As a continuum of the value proposition and brand concept, we can create a slogan or decide to use the value proposition as a slogan (at this point, we have not decided to use it as a slogan) 


What is Helsinki like?

Delightful partner

We grow, develop and encourage cooperation.

Gutsy solver

We actively make choices for a more sustainable everyday life.​

Bold optimist

We are a positive trailblazer that​ challenges others to act boldly too.​



How Helsinki speaks? 


We communicate in a clear  and compassionate manner.​We always keep in​
mind who is​ listening. ​


The way we talk is honest and transparent, which makes us easy to connect with. ​


Our colourful and diverse way of living and the love for our hometown can be apparent in the way we express our-selves. 

Presentation video of the Helsinki brand concept

Familiarise yourself with the City of Helsinki’s updated brand concept and use it to support your work. Helsinki’s brand concept brings together the kinds of images we want to be associated with the city, alongside the features of the city we wish to highlight. The video presents the value promise and cornerstones of the Helsinki brand, the Helsinki brand identity and the Helsinki tone of voice.

The video is subtitled in English. 

Summary of the brand concept Photo: hasan & partners
Summary of the brand concept Photo: hasan & partners

Brand attributes are characteristics of the brand that reflect the image of the brand. Therefore, brand attributes can be used in, among other things, image research.

Helsinki’s identified brand attributes:

  • free 
  • open
  • urban 
  • natural
  • extraordinary 
  • vibrant
  • sustainable 
  • humane
  • functional 
  • safe

Brand metrics and monitoring are part of Helsinki’s overall brand management. The development of the Helsinki brand is monitored through many different subareas and indicators. Brand monitoring provides tools for brand development. 

Brand metrics framework  

The following have been identified as suitable for the Helsinki brand to monitor and measure:

  • Awareness 
  • Image 
  • Consideration  
  • Recommendation 

Development of international reputation 

The international reputation of Helsinki is monitored through studies conducted with external research companies.  Helsinki investigated its international image and reputation status with a large-scale research analysis in 2020, and a similar study will be repeated in 2022–2023. The material consisted of, for example, international comparisons, social media content and international media hits. The analysis looked at the period of 2015–2020. In the future, monitoring is planned to be carried out approximately every other year.  

The study showed that Helsinki’s visibility in the global media has grown strongly over the past five years, but it is still lagging behind in comparison to many reference cities, such as Stockholm and Copenhagen. At the same time, Helsinki also has less prominent advocates. 

Helsinki’s reputation is also monitored through one-off studies involving different target groups. Helsinki has been examined, for example, as a travel destination with the research company Ipsos. The study found that the combination of nature, space and peace and quiet sets Helsinki apart.  

Helsinki is especially known for good quality of life, innovation and sustainable development. The city also gets a lot of positive feedback on being compact and safe and how easy it is to move around Helsinki on foot. 

There is nature, space and peace and quiet in Helsinki.  Photo: Julia Kivelä
There is nature, space and peace and quiet in Helsinki. Photo: Julia Kivelä