I have known and respected Andy Levine from Development Counsellors in New York City for a long time. I knew his father Ted, who started the business many years. Here are a couple useful insights Andy offers about place branding for economic development and tourism:
1. The calf rarely brands itself…One of his all-time favorite phrases. Essentially it recognizes that a community brand it built by what other credible sources (the media, industry experts, top site selection consultants, corporate executives with experience working in your community) say about your region – not what you say about yourself.
2. Aligning individual brands within a community (economic development, tourism, talent attraction and others) works. Creating a single, all-purpose brand for a community doesn’t work! But here’s Andy’s perspective…the needs and desires of the different target audiences (potential investors, leisure tourists, corporate meeting planners and individuals seeking to advance their quality of life) are so dramatically different it is next to impossible to find a “one size fits all” solution.
These are useful points for us to consider when we think about branding Ashtabula County.
Source: Andy Levine, Development Counsellors and Strengthing Brand America (Ed Burghard)