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.

How to Get Stakeholder Support for City Branding

A strategic city branding project must reflect the cumulative personality of the community and in some cases, the county or region. It is crucial for branding success to have all stakeholders represented in the process and ensure their input is reflected in the brand. This involvement can be both rewarding and it can also lead to significant difficulties if stakeholders are not properly identified and managed throughout the process, such as delays in approvals and lack of support for the final recommendation.

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.

The case for better Airport Branding

If you are the Director of a small airport, either general aviation or with limited passenger service, located less than an hour’s drive from a major metro area, fortune is smiling on you. Your airport is on the cusp of a significant growth opportunity. I’ll hedge a bit here: a significant growth spurt is there for airports that understand this opportunity and plan for it.

You Built the Company. But to Keep Growing, Pick a Hat.

At some point, and maybe you’re there, you have to decide which job you want. Continuing to make all the decisions including areas you’ve handled by necessity, but deserve their own full time advocate will eventually choke the organization. The question that might make the difference between success and failure is what is your highest and best purpose? Is it strategically managing the company through its next growth cycle or developing the branding and marketing strategy?

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.”

Is it time for a new advertising agency?

Sometimes both agency and client are smart, focused and willing but simply no longer mesh. Sometimes the problems are not of the agency’s making. There are toxic client organizations just as there are bad agencies. Smart clients take a hard look at the environment they’re providing for their agencies before making a change.