Is your town a good brand?

Is your town a good brand?

You’ve heard of the iPod and Oprah and Las Vegas. But what about your town? How does it rate as a brand? Fast Company magazine, the unofficial monthly of the creative class, takes a look at the six trends influencing current brands as we evolve into the experience economy. Does your town rate?

1. Brands will be authentic: Does your town stand for something meaningful without selling out? Wilmington, NC has a prolific and highly respected film industry.

2. The experience will be the expression of the brand: Do people visit your town and return with friends? In fact, do they end up moving there?

3. Brands will be hard-wired in our brains: Studies show that brand loyalty runs deep. Perhaps that’s why old buildings and childhood memories often make us permanent residents.

4. The line between entertainment and brands will blur: Click , here, and here to get a visual idea.

5. Increasingly complex brands will require new organizational structures: Towns that utilize an advertising campaign to promote their town may be wasting dollars. Natural buzz, word of mouth, publicity, regional events and one-of-a-kind venues are more effective, more authentic and a marketing campaign unto itself.

6. Brands will create social and cultural values: Residents need the opportunity to define their place in their own terms, to contribute their own social and cultural values. It is this collective expression that turns a place into a destination; a CoolTown.

Tomorrow: What happens when you go beyond or transcend being a brand?