The Jaxson

Urban Thinking => Analysis => Topic started by: Bill Hoff on February 14, 2019, 06:48:03 AM

Title: Cities and their Brands
Post by: Bill Hoff on February 14, 2019, 06:48:03 AM
Nice article on cities branding efforts. Can't help but read this & see Jacksonville as one that doesn't quite get in right.

It’s curious that while every company tries its hardest to convince you of how much different and better it is than every other company in its industry, every city tries its hardest to convince you it’s exactly the same as every other city that’s conventionally considered cool.

Look at any piece of city marketing material, from promo videos to airline magazine ad inserts. It’s amazing how so many of them rely on the same basic ingredients: hipster coffee shops, microbreweries, bike lanes, creative-class members, startups, intimations of a fashion scene, farm-to-table restaurants, new downtown streetcars, etc.

These are all good things, mind you: things cities should be happy to have. Some of them may even be modern necessities. But you can’t help but notice how few unique things about these cities manage to come through.


Full article:
https://www.citylab.com/perspective/2019/02/city-branding-traps-marketing-campaigns/582496/?
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 14, 2019, 09:15:14 AM
So, what would Jacksonville's brand be?
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: FlaBoy on February 14, 2019, 09:49:39 AM
So, what would Jacksonville's brand be?

Quote
Let’s celebrate Jacksonville’s music, arts, athletics and culture that have impacted our state and our country.

Jacksonville is James Weldon Johnson writing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Jacksonville is the Ritz Theatre, Ray Charles and the LaVilla music scene. Jacksonville is the Southern Rock genre that originated in this region making the band Lynyrd Skynyrd a household name, giving a start to the Allman Brothers, and inspiring countless country and rock artists that continue to cover “Free Bird” at their concerts.

With the recent deaths of so many well-known musicians, it is time to start a conversation about how to preserve and present this vital and interesting history of our city and region.

Jacksonville raised business leaders Charles Merrill, who founded Merrill Lynch, Louis Wolfson, Jessie Ball duPont and Ed Ball, all with complicated and fascinating stories.

Jacksonville is our naval history and servicemen and servicewomen.

There is so much that sets us apart: The Florida-Georgia football game (for which a museum should be open to the public regularly) and the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” that surrounds it that have been going on since 1933; the PGA Tour and The Players golf tournament, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the authentic culture of aquatic sports at our Beaches.

Our story also is riddled with problems, racism and epic failures. The full story always needs to be told. The scars define us as much as our triumphs.

There is no place in Florida that has as many historic neighborhoods and structures as Jacksonville. From Riverside to Avondale to the Beaches, and from San Marco to Downtown to Springfield, Jacksonville is unique in its historic stock of buildings...

It’s hard to imagine, but in 1901, this city burned to the ground in what is considered the largest urban fire in the history of the Southeast. Yet, literally from the ashes, Jacksonville rebuilt with its own style and character that is decidedly Southern but also Floridian.

In a time when so many of us have been displaced, or rebuilding, after Hurricane Irma, we can find inspiration in that bold past. Fifty years after consolidation, let’s be bold again in telling the story of our beautiful home and giving the world some Southern hospitality with a Florida flair.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/bold-beautiful-and-worth-preserving-lets-tell-jacksonvilles-stories
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: Captain Zissou on February 14, 2019, 09:55:56 AM
A historically progressive southern city with abundant natural beauty and resources with a deep history of southern rock, jazz, and delicious southern cooking.

Also a backwards government that would rather demolish than preserve, neglect than maintain, and build for automobiles over people.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: CityLife on February 14, 2019, 10:38:59 AM
If there is any unfulfilled niche in the state and region that Jax can stake a claim to, its music. Ray Charles, soul, jazz, founding home of Lynyrd Skynard and The Allman Brothers. Home of Gram Parsons, who somewhat invented modern country rock with the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers. Home of Pat Boone. Close to home of Tom Petty.

6 of the Top 100 of all time have strong ties to the Jax area. That’s 6% of the best modern artists from the entire world. Honestly, it’s probably the only thing that is exceptional that Jax has contributed to the world.

Rolling Stone Top Artists of All Time with ties to Jax
Ray Charles
Allman Brothers
The Byrds-Gram Parsons
Skynyrd
Gram Parsons solo
Tom Petty

And guess what? There is no Southern Music museum or Southern Music Hall of Fame...but yeah Jax, let’s build a mediocre aquarium, house an old military ship, or try to become a tech hub with minimal tech talent...
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: vicupstate on February 14, 2019, 10:48:18 AM
Jacksonville is probably the least-branded major city in the US.   

The link has essentially of what the brand should be, as opposed to what it is currently, which is no brand.
   
'decidedly Southern but also Floridian'

Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: pierre on February 14, 2019, 11:44:53 AM
I am amazed when I discover, through my work, that so many people know almost nothing about this city aside from our bad NFL team.

I talk to people all the time that don't even know we are on the ocean.

From the people I meet, and interact with I would describe our brand like this.

A sprawling mess of a town with a far away airport, chain restaurants and visitors wondering what there is to do.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: KenFSU on February 14, 2019, 01:07:28 PM
So, what would Jacksonville's brand be?

Quote
Let’s celebrate Jacksonville’s music, arts, athletics and culture that have impacted our state and our country.

Jacksonville is James Weldon Johnson writing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Jacksonville is the Ritz Theatre, Ray Charles and the LaVilla music scene. Jacksonville is the Southern Rock genre that originated in this region making the band Lynyrd Skynyrd a household name, giving a start to the Allman Brothers, and inspiring countless country and rock artists that continue to cover “Free Bird” at their concerts.

With the recent deaths of so many well-known musicians, it is time to start a conversation about how to preserve and present this vital and interesting history of our city and region.

Jacksonville raised business leaders Charles Merrill, who founded Merrill Lynch, Louis Wolfson, Jessie Ball duPont and Ed Ball, all with complicated and fascinating stories.

Jacksonville is our naval history and servicemen and servicewomen.

There is so much that sets us apart: The Florida-Georgia football game (for which a museum should be open to the public regularly) and the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” that surrounds it that have been going on since 1933; the PGA Tour and The Players golf tournament, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the authentic culture of aquatic sports at our Beaches.

Our story also is riddled with problems, racism and epic failures. The full story always needs to be told. The scars define us as much as our triumphs.

There is no place in Florida that has as many historic neighborhoods and structures as Jacksonville. From Riverside to Avondale to the Beaches, and from San Marco to Downtown to Springfield, Jacksonville is unique in its historic stock of buildings...

It’s hard to imagine, but in 1901, this city burned to the ground in what is considered the largest urban fire in the history of the Southeast. Yet, literally from the ashes, Jacksonville rebuilt with its own style and character that is decidedly Southern but also Floridian.

In a time when so many of us have been displaced, or rebuilding, after Hurricane Irma, we can find inspiration in that bold past. Fifty years after consolidation, let’s be bold again in telling the story of our beautiful home and giving the world some Southern hospitality with a Florida flair.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/bold-beautiful-and-worth-preserving-lets-tell-jacksonvilles-stories

^Amazing writing here, totally agree with it, but I think we're talking about two different things.

There's a fundamental difference between history and brand. All of what's described above has in some part contributed toward our current culture and identity as a city, but it's not going to move the needle in 2019 in terms of tourism, conventions, and relocation, which is the end-game of city branding. That's a long way off, and we need internal buy-in and championing of our history long before we'll ever gain external buy-in of Jacksonville as a genuine destination for Civil Righs tourism, or Southern Rock tourism, or whatever.

For now, from a bigger-picture marketing and external branding perspective, we should focus on what gives Jacksonville an authentic and competitive advantage over like or nearby competitors at this specific moment in time. Our combination of river and beaches is clearly near the very top of that list. And so is our quality and pace of life. Few other places in the region offer our combination of big city amenties and small city convenience.

Locals just love to trash the "It's Easier Here" campaign, but they fail to view it in the proper context. It was never for them. The campaign specifically targets cities like Atlanta, and Washington DC, and Chicago, and New York, where people are frustrated by the rat race, congestion, and high cost of everything. We're using the campaign and related content to honestly connect with these people and say - Hey, I know you're spending two hours in line at security at Hartsfield-Jackson every week, but we've got this beautiful, clean airport that is really easy to get in and out of. We've got amazing restaurants too, but you don't need to spend two hours in line to get a seat during season. You can park within a mile of our beaches, for free even. Our traffic is manageable relative other large metros. Our locals are friendly.

It's an authentic value prop, and from a branding perspective, despite the local negativity, the messaging clearly connects. Engagement with the ads has shown no sign of slowing down, and the hotes and airports have experienced record numbers (empirically driven by visitors from the above mentioned markets exposed to the campaign).

We absolutely, positively need to embrace our history internally, celebrate it, and learn from it. But from an external branding and marketing perspective, I just don't see the value in making it the thing that Jacksonville is known for. It's too nuanced and isn't going to drive bed taxes.

But, I do absolutely love what Lori Boyer has proposed for the riverfront. It's an amazing idea, and I think it's the perfect combination of branding and history. Line the Riverwalk with entertainment-based nodes that also convey stories of Jacksonville's history. It's a truly great way to educate both locals and visitors about our rich past while still being fun, exciting, and attractive on a brochure.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: Captain Zissou on February 14, 2019, 01:26:58 PM
Locals just love to trash the "It's Easier Here" campaign, but they fail to view it in the proper context. It was never for them.
Are you perhaps affiliated with one of the entities who helped create that campaign?
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: KenFSU on February 14, 2019, 01:30:32 PM
Locals just love to trash the "It's Easier Here" campaign, but they fail to view it in the proper context. It was never for them.
Are you perhaps affiliated with one of the entities who helped create that campaign?

Excuse me, I think I smell something burning in the oven...

 ;D
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: thelakelander on February 14, 2019, 02:17:26 PM
The main problem with "It's Easier Here" is it isn't.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: CG7 on February 14, 2019, 03:15:54 PM
With the things Ken was talking about, getting in and out of the airport, getting into the better restaurants, traffic congestion etc. it is easier here!
I take reps from all over the country to lunch and dinner meetings, and they are shocked when we walk into River & Post or Biscotti's etc.at noon and we are seated right away.
I had lunch with a rep from Atlanta last Wednesday, and she was raving about the airport the entire drive to the restaurant, and then couldn't believe how quickly we were seated and eating (River & Post)
I know I am much more narrowly focused than the average Jaxon (hardly ever leave Riverside/Avondale) But I have people from every corner of North America schedule their trips around being in town to have lunch or dinner with me in R/A.
So for people who do it right, it is easier here!
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: thelakelander on February 14, 2019, 03:32:35 PM
I'm a resident who spends more time out of town than in town these days. Atlanta is like five times larger than Jax. What that rep saw, he would have came way thinking the same thing in much smaller urban areas of similar size (ex. Grand Rapids, Louisville, etc.). I'm not sure, I'd call those things unique. That's an issue of scale.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: JaxJersey-licious on February 14, 2019, 11:06:23 PM
I think the issue is not so much how a city or region is branded but the extent that brand connects the area to the people. Many cities have features or historical anecdotes that make them stand out but in any case the key is getting the word out about your locale and its attributes.

A great example of this is this big marketing push here in New Jersey for Hampton Roads. It touts the regions beaches, dining options, multiple craft breweries, and ecotourism options. Jacksonville matches up with Hampton Roads on all of those factors however that ad push to the thousands of commuters in sight of them can make a huge difference in how someone identifies a city. 
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: CG7 on February 15, 2019, 01:24:44 PM
The rep saw the truth, just like the countless others from all over have.
The couple sitting beside my wife and I at dinner at Barrique last night were from Charlotte, and he brought his wife back with him because two weeks ago he was in town for business and someone took him and he knew she would love it. Oh, and she did.
So everyone continue to think R/A is just like everywhere else, and I will continue to know better.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: thelakelander on February 15, 2019, 01:31:29 PM
I like Riverside but I'm failing to see getting into a restaurant or recommending one when visiting is part of a brand or it being easier here.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: bl8jaxnative on February 18, 2019, 11:37:43 AM
There may be a few things going on here.

a) Is it really city branding?  Is what the author looking at intended to be city branding?  Or is it an extension of corporate recruiting.  When companies are recruiting a talent to move to their city, they're asking them to leave what they know behind.   

If Norfolk Southern is trying to convince a data anaylyst to move from Seattle to Atlanta or Amazon some logistics guru to it's new logistics HQ in Nashville, the point may be to show what's the same.


b) Group think.  Group think plagues all sorts of organizations.  And thanks to the internet the same group think ideas flow in real time.  In urban circles it's especially acute.  There are a a few vocal people with  with a faith-based belief on what makes a good city.     Throw a few of those zealots in the mix pushing for how important XYZ is and you're bound to get the same results. 

People don't like to rock the boat and avoid confrontation.  Next thing you know, the brochures have pictures of 27 year olds at the farmers market with their cruising bikes scooter sharing escooters drinking local beer kombucha chatting about where to get the best sea salt Timut peppercorns.


Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: Kerry on February 19, 2019, 11:08:04 AM
But we are "The bold new city of the South".  It is on our City seal and police cars.  Seriously, how can Jax even begin to brand itself when it can't even figure out what kind of city it wants to be.  Our City Council and Mayor proclaims we want a strong walkable urban core but then approves the exact opposite all the time.

A city is just a means to a way of life.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: Captain Zissou on February 19, 2019, 11:42:58 AM
But we are "The bold new city of the South".  It is on our City seal and police cars.

Really?  Just making things up for fun now?
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: jax_hwy_engineer on February 19, 2019, 12:39:11 PM
It's on the police cars because it's within the logo/shield of the JSO, but that phrase is not on the city seal.

"Bold New City of the South" has been around for quite a while, hasn't it?
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: thelakelander on February 19, 2019, 12:59:30 PM
That term came with consolidation.

(https://i1.wp.com/thecoastal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/bold-new-city.png?resize=498%2C570&ssl=1)

It's nearing 50 years of age now.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: pierre on February 19, 2019, 01:26:23 PM
I have seen that shot numerous times. I never stop laughing at the older guy in the bottom left.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: Captain Zissou on February 19, 2019, 01:29:57 PM
I have seen that shot numerous times. I never stop laughing at the older guy in the bottom left.
He was making sure she didn't fall....obviously.
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: MusicMan on February 19, 2019, 02:57:49 PM
Lots of good contributions in this thread. Speaking of a "Museum of Southern Rock" or something like that, hard to think of a better location than one of the empty spaces at The Landing.  Would generate some much needed foot traffic, and could also co-ordinate with a monthly live music event there...
Title: Re: Cities and their Brands
Post by: Kerry on February 19, 2019, 07:16:57 PM
But we are "The bold new city of the South".  It is on our City seal and police cars.

Really?  Just making things up for fun now?

My mistake - it isn't on the City Seal.