Community branding has become the new economic development. Greater than the value of financial incentives, giving your city/town/community a brand that represents it’s values and beliefs will ultimately attract others to it. Community branding defines neighborhoods, revitalizes districts, packs restaurants, and creates an economic buzz. A community must give it’s businesses the support they need beyond grand opening day. What is going to drive people to that business once it’s open? What is going to create a sense of home? What is ultimately going to make that business a success? What is going to make your community a success? At Haven Creative, we’re lucky to get to play a role in helping guide communities through this process.
There has been a shift across all generations reprioritizing the role communities play in our lives. People are looking for more out of the places they live and work. Cities and towns that understand and tap into that have the ability to attract quality talent and businesses beyond what incentives alone ever could. The brand promise that these communities offer speaks to a growing audience looking for that, now that is economic development through community branding.
Unfortunately, many community leaders throughout the country still think that economic incentives are all that they have to offer businesses and developers. They bet it all on one project with hopes that it will trigger economic growth. They discount the most powerful tool of all, the brand – by definition, the characteristics that make an area unique and attract a community that shares that vision and set of beliefs.
Often when speaking with community leaders, the words “branding, logos, and taglines” can become daunting and overwhelming. However, branding isn’t just fabricating something out of nothing, it’s about pinpointing what truly makes an area unique, even if it hasn’t been defined yet. The brand is about creating a sense of place. It’s born once the values and vision for the community are formulated into a strategy and platform to attract others who share those same ideals.
The greatest cities in the world are collections of unique neighborhoods and districts. Even within the largest metro areas, this same priority shift is just as relevant. The most successful districts and communities across the country got there by investing in their brand and telling their story in a way that attracted others who share the same values.
At Haven Creative, we use our proprietary, 8 to Great Maven Method to develop brand platforms for communities. Discover how we can help your community tell its story here.