5 Tips for improving Jacksonville's Civic Brand

September 4, 2015 14 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

An interesting editorial by National Sign Plazas (NSP) highlighting 5 tips for cities like Jacksonville to improve their civic brand. Take a look and tell us if you agree with what NSP is selling?

Michigan or Ohio State? Coke or Pepsi? Just like a favorite sports team or brand of soda, most people feel very passionate about where they live and how their city is publicly portrayed. However, there are number of cities that could use a hand when it comes to maximizing the effectiveness of their civic brand. In order to help a city improve its community engagement, tourism, viability, livability and pride, there are a number of strategies and tactics that city planners should embrace and implement.

Understand your place brand.

How people feel about your city is the most influential piece of the civic branding puzzle. If your city is known for the maximum security prison that sits in close proximity to your city limits, than you have to understand that may be the first thing people think about your city. Your brand may be “that’s where the prison is.” Your brand position and targeted messages will fail to connect with your audience if you do not fully understand how citizens and tourists perceive your city.

Sell your city.

Your city is a product to be sold and your civic brand is your tag line. If you have been able to clearly understand your place brand, positive or negative, you will be able to own and alter that message. Remember that your civic brand is a product and in order to sell that product you must engage the “consumer” beyond your city limits. Look into why tourists come to your city and why they should or should not return. Having an understanding of your city’s strengths and weaknesses will definitely help when trying to market your city to the rest of the world.

Forget about your logo.

We often hear that cities are “completing their branding campaign” only to find out they have changed their logo and website home page. Civic branding is about moving an audience from one place/idea/concept to another. Unfortunately, your logo or collateral materials have very little to with this. If your civic brand is the tag line, than your physical environment is the actual product that citizens and tourists are going to consume.

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