This newsletter shows how aligning your brand to your hometown can build an authentic brand.
It was the first time it ever happened. I boarded the subway – the Manhattan-bound A train — and I got stuck in the door. The conductor had closed the door on my leg. Now I’ve been riding the New York City subway for years, but I’d never been stuck in a subway door before. And much to my surprise, the conductor did not open the doors again right away.
Luckily, a fellow passenger pulled the door open a bit, and I managed to yank my leg out of the door and flop into a seat. I made sure I still had my shoe on, and then I noticed my leg felt funny. When I got off the train it felt like one leg was shorter than the other – but I was able to limp to my meeting, sit through a haze of pain, and stagger back to Brooklyn.
Only in New York
For better or for worse, getting stuck in a subway door is a uniquely New York City experience. While I was recuperating, it got me thinking about the connection between your brand and your location – your hometown. I use the term “hometown” because I am not talking about your address – but rather the emotional identity of your place.
Do you actively promote your hometown as part of your brand?
Gritty and great
Even if your hometown seems like a liability, it can still make you brand stronger. Look at Chrysler’s campaign with the tagline – “Imported from Detroit.” This is brilliant – Detroit’s gritty image lends authenticity to Chrysler’s brand, and makes the hometown connection something to be proud of.
Embrace your hometown and build an authentic brand
- Equity. Most places have been around longer than organizations. Your brand can build on decades of preexisting hometown identity
- Personality. A strong recognizable voice takes a lot to build. But your hometown already has a unique voice – try using it
- Buy local. By connecting your brand to your hometown you fulfill your audience’s desire to “buy local”. It helps humanize your organization and makes you part of the community
- Authenticity. This is most important of all. Organizations are abstractions – hometowns are “real”. A real sense of place delivers an authentic brand.
Why is authenticity important? It’s the handmaiden of trust. And trust? It’s the holy grail of branding.
Want to talk more about hometown branding? We are right here in Brooklyn USA – where we’ve been for 25 years!
FACT OF THE MONTH
The name “Crayola” means “Oily Chalk” in French from the combination of “craie” (chalk) and “oléagineuse” (oily)
LEVINSON BLOCK NEWS
We recently completed an annual report for Jewish Guild Healthcare. The theme, “Better lives, every day” was woven into a series of interviews we conducted with Guild clients and staff. The report is an important step in the Guild’s transition to a more personal, caring voice.