Case City of Heinola

A small town’s large brand renewal

Heinola is a scenic small town located in the Päijät-Häme region. Redland helped Heinola communicate their strengths by creating a new identity and message for the town. Simultaneously, the municipality became the first in Finland with a digital brand handbook.

Starting point

A new strategy was born in Heinola that aimed toward positive migration and strengthening the town’s economic structure. In addition to communication and brand work, an able partner was needed to help create a visual identity and promise to match this new strategy. How can Heinola’s strengths be communicated compellingly both internally and externally?


We began Heinola’s brand renewal by exploring what life in the town is like and how it differs from other places. We investigated this through resident polls, an event at the marketplace, and expert interviews, which collectively produced an excellent number of responses. These many different responses ultimately revealed a common thread, which now needed to be summarized verbally and visually.

A promise was made: “Small city, big life,” which communicates the idea of a great everyday in a comfortable environment that’s just the right size. The promise of a big life is backed up not only by people’s experiences, but also city happiness comparisons, in which Heinola ranks high. This promise and Heinola’s strengths were spelled out in brand work as elevator pitches aimed at different target groups, and an image to match the promise was also made.


The results of the brand work – promise and visual identity – were presented at an open resident and media event, where they were very well received. The city’s communication and marketing staff’s lives were made easier by assembling the generated materials into a digital brand handbook, which made materials and instructions easy to share, manage, and update. Take a look at Redland’s City of Heinola digital brand book.