Trying to Fit In With the Cool Kids

This post from The Urbanophile explores the world of city branding, and argues that some cities are making the mistake of ignoring their own assets and focusing on trying to embrace the successful assets of others.

"The challenge for cities that currently have rather dowdy brand images is that they obsess over how over people see them. (Or even about how they think other people see them. For example, Indianapolis frequently says people used to call it "Naptown" and "India-No-Place", but I'm extremely skeptical that these ever had wide currency outside of Indy itself until the city started talking about them).

Seeing this negative brand image, they then look at what the cool cities are doing and say, 'If we want to be cool too, we'd better be like that.' In short, they think just like high school kids who want to be part of the popular clique. They fail to consider both that this attitude is itself adolescent, and that no matter what they do, they are highly unlikely to get into the club."

The post argues that some cities actively abandon what makes them unique in favor of what works for other cities, and that this is only hurting their marketing efforts.

Full Story: The Authentic City

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95