Across the board, developers think big. That big thinking is what drives success in businesses and communities, but not without the help of well-executed brand strategy.
For years, municipalities have used financial incentives as the primary tool for business development and economic growth. But where the growth actually comes from is residents, developers and business owners that believe a community brand is worth investing in. What defines your area and makes it unique is your opportunity to build a brand strategy that attracts developers and consumers who share that same vision.
Brand strategy is the new economic development and imperative for community development initiatives. Over the last decade, there has been a shift in what we ask from the places we live and work. We are asking for more than just nice neighborhoods and good schools. More than ever, residents consider the principles and promise of a community and how they fit into the story.
Real and perceived identity are built through a successful brand strategy that capitalizes on the strengths of the community. Here are some guiding words of wisdom:
- Don’t change your community. Redefine it. Tell your story so that it resonates with those who share your same vision and attracts businesses and residents that reinforce your brand.
- Listen and engage. Don’t look for solutions in a vacuum—do your research. Evaluate and identify always comes before create and assess (See our Playbook process).
- Build on your strengths. Creating your story has to start with honest introspection. What sets your community apart? Authenticity is important when building a brand.