Four Critical Changes in City Branding

To provide context we’ll start with developments that have completely upended everything we knew about marketing. First the arrival of the Internet and its rapid technological advances. Second is the rise of global branding. Consider how these two changes have helped redistribute the US economy: since 2000, small communities and airports (read, rural) have seen their citizen base and customer base dwindle as the best and brightest young people flee to larger cities where they find better jobs, more diversity, and more choices.

Place-Based Thanksgiving

In ramping up to thinking about all we have to be thankful for we drifted into a discussion of how Places are connected to the holidays.  There is the friend remembering how her car blew its engine on her way home from college.  She had the most wonderful dinner with a mechanic and his family.  The Place she wanted to be was Kansas City. The Place she got is one she’s never forgo

Five Big Results to Expect From Rebranding

What is the payoff for a city or other place-based entity that invests in branding?

Actually, before looking at the payoff, think about why you need branding?  After all, every city, airport and museum already has a brand. For better or worse, anyone who knows anything about your place has it pegged as ‘something’. The ‘something’ may create brand champions, disinterest or in some cases a perception that it should be avoided at all costs.

Webinar: Developing Strategic Plans for Smaller Cities

Many smaller cities across the nation are losing population. Watch this informative webinar to learn what you can do for you city.

How to Write a Strategic Plan for your City

The toughest part of writing any strategic plan is to avoid getting sucked into the swamp. You are writing a High Altitude plan, not a things-to-do tactical plan. Do not get mired in the details. It is not a summary of accomplishments nor is it a dream sheet. Constraints, reasons why we can’t do certain things, hurt feelings, bruised egos are all part of your reward for developing the plan. Never fear, be strong. There is a rainbow at the end of the process – an opportunity to move your city from a “We can’t do this because . . ?”, to “We can do this if we. . . ?” attitude. Accomplish this and you’ll earn the gratitude of multiple generations. You may also annoy some people.

How To Survive in the Airbnb World as a Hotel

Hotel problems are about to get bigger. Google recently announced it is testing a similar concept to Airbnb in several cities. And while this probably concerns the Airbnb folks, it is the conventional lodging operators that should be losing sleep.
Three million travelers in the past year rented other peoples’ homes instead of staying in a hotel. With an average stay of three days, that is nine million room nights and at an average cost of say, $86 per night, the tab is approaching $1B. And even with the global accommodations market exceeding $555-billion annually, this is beginning to look like real money.

The Importance of a Creative Brief for the Place-Based Brand

A creative brief defines the audience–who we are talking to. What problem does the product solve for the audience? Who the competition is. What is going to cause them to have an affection for the product? In branding place-based clients the creative brief helps the creative team discover how to sort through all the competing shareholder input.

City branding is different from Destination Marketing

Many smaller cities across the nation are losing their population. The twenty-five largest US cities on the other hand, are doing well, except for Detroit, and a few others with less dramatic problems. The next twenty-five rated by size are mostly doing well, in fact some of the fastest growing places like Austin and Raleigh are in this group. But for the rest of the country, the report is not so good.

Market to Wants, Not Needs

As a Marketing Manager, if you want your product to succeed, you have to “get inside a consumer’s head.” You have to dig deep, get to know everything about them, their “needs” but more importantly their “wants.” Find the problem they are having and and present your product as the solution, in other words use psychology to make them realize that they have a “want.”

The Genesis Path to more effective branding

Branding can be as frustrating and counterproductive as a hammer designed by a committee, or as simple and effective as a couple of smart people understanding how the customer comes to trust and prefer a company or product. Branding requires digging into the organization and either defining or re-enforcing the way the value of the enterprise is expressed.