Everyone knows who the “Windy City” is… and the “Big Apple.” If I mention I’m going to Baltimore, the first thing I hear is “try some Maryland crabcakes at Inner Harbor.” When I visited Miami earlier this year, the response was about the palm trees, cruise ships, and Miami Beach.
That immediate response is the first image that pops to mind and what is reinforced over and over by conversations, reactions and suggestions — providing the brand image for a city in a consumer’s mind, isn’t it?
Because I run a marketing firm north of Akron, it matters to me what people think of when they think of the brand of Cleveland, Akron and Northeast Ohio? I hope that they think of:
The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James. Green City on a Blue Lake. Football Hall of Fame. Amazing health care and area hospitals. Fabulous Art museums, galleries and artists like Don Drumm and Ryn Clarke. Outstanding higher education with 27 accredited colleges and universities. One of the most popular national parks in the USA.
It’s easy for me to feel defensive when I hear snide comments about the area from people who have never been here.
I get a little tired hearing jokes and negative stuff about Cleveland. Maybe its because I’m getting older, but I see a tremendous value here and it begins with the people.
There is much to celebrate here, like a graduation from any one of our world class educational institutes….. to the efforts of everyday people in creating social change……… fund raising for animal protections…. to the famous behind the scenes personalities, to the not so famous…. From the tried and true methodologies, to the innovators seeking solutions to the current problems. Its environmentalists, lobbyists, medical researchers to the doctors on the front lines among the average people that comprise Northeast Ohio.
Karen, obviously I agree. After living on the East coast for 11 years before returning to Ohio, it helped me to see the region with fresh eyes.
One of the things I treasure most is Lake Erie because it helps to define our region. The environmental lake management goes beyond controlling invasive weeds to address the pollution of the 70’s. Changes over the last 25 years have turned Lake Erie into a thing of beauty.
To me, Northeast Ohio means:
- strong work ethic
- quality of life
- beautiful change of seasons
- driving without the stress of traffic jams
How about you? How are you making a difference in the branding of your city or region? Do you consider yourself a brand ambassador when you travel or publish? I’d be interested to hear your comments.