Last week I blogged about how Plymouth, England was at a pivotal point in its brand development where it had to get everyone on the same page. Plymouth seemed to be trying to rally key stakeholder support after the strategy was released to the public. In contrast, last week I received a copy of the brand video produced by Visit Mankato (MN) to support the release of their brand strategy. I was fortunate to work with Visit Mankato and many of its community and business leaders in defining their brand strategy and planning for its city-wide adoption.
Among other things, I was most impressed to see that the presenters are members of the Brand Advisory Committee, community leaders and other residents who had been on an eight month journey in the brand planning process. Integral to that process was encouraging community outreach, engagement, education and adoption of the brand.
We have learnt that communities that are most successful with their brand development are those that don’t wait until the end to generate support. Adoption and investment in the brand should be nurtured from the earliest stages. It is gratifying to see how some in Mankato, throughout the process, have transitioned from being healthy skeptics to avid brand champions. The cross-city partnerships that are forming to support the brand are already strengthening how Mankato presents itself in media communications, but is also resulting in enhancements to its trails and cultural programs, further underpinning the viability of the brand. Well done Mankato!
By the way, when will a newspaper get the message that a city’s brand strategy is much more than the logo? Despite the wide ranging elements to the strategy the headline to the article cannot get past the logo. I guess no matter how hard you work across a community, there’s always a few who are slow to get the full picture!