According to the report, while the buzz and huge surge of excitement around the Games quickly dissipated, one year on the Olympics has left young people with a strong sense that London is a major presence on the global map and a centre for business innovation, investment and career opportunities.
Benchmarked against a similar study conducted in 2011 as preparation for the Olympic Games became more visible, the report highlights the continued feel-good factor.
Report author, Anne Collins, research director, Firefly Millward Brown, explains: “There’s a huge buzz about London – a result of the Olympics of course, but also as a result of increased focus on the city over the last couple of years, with the Royal Wedding, the Royal baby and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“It confirms that people have an insatiable appetite for London, which reached its peak at the time of the Olympics. The engaging and exciting aspects of the capital were magnified during that time, with even more to do socially and culturally, the opportunity to meet new people, and the whole of London looking at its aesthetic best. This sense of renewed optimism, pride and possibility is still going strong.”
According to Firefly Millward Brown, the brand and communications qualitative research consultancy who carried out the research, it has never been a better time for businesses, retailers, fashion designers and youth brands to be associated with Brand London and take advantage of the city’s higher profile. “London brands share a uniqueness of style, feel or approach,” according to Collins. “When buying these products, consumers, both inside and outside of the capital, feel they are buying part of London, buying a slice of its excitement, energy and creativity, and it’s infectious!”
One company, Adidas has witnessed the ‘Olympic effect’ first hand. Capitalising on its sponsorship of the Games and high-profile collaboration with Stella McCartney to design the Team GB kit, Adidas has become the new ‘king of cool’ in the eyes of young adults, stealing the crown from Nike who “owned” London 18 months ago.
The report references other retailers and designers perceived to have strong London connections – some mentioned in the previous 2011 study – including Top Shop, Rimmel, Vivienne Westwood, Rokit (associated with East London hipsters) and Whistles, which has significantly strengthened its links with London.
London is also seen as one of the best places to achieve career success and prosperity, but as young people have been born into ‘globalisation’, their personal ambitions also reach to other cities, including Sydney, Berlin, New York, San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro. They want success but also want to gain life experiences along the way.
Young people love the unique nature of London in terms of different nationalities, cultures, experiences, people and places. They embrace diversity and realise they can learn and be enriched by experiencing different cultures.
At the same time, there is increased attention on the physical space, rather than the digital space, with pride in iconic landmarks, like Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s, as well as individual areas of London that have their own unique sense of style and identity like energetic Brixton and the hipster vibe of East London.