I’d love to have a dollar for every time I have heard a line like, “what we need is a slogan like ‘I Love NY’ or ‘Virginia is for Lovers”. These envious statements are usually coming from elected officials or government employees who are making their first foray into place branding. Slogan envy often takes a branding effort off the rails from the start and is rarely going to achieve success. They totally discount the research, analysis and engagement that has to go into defining a brand in the first place.
I was surprised to see Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's effort to rebrand the state start by taking to social media to ask for slogan suggestions. Ducey is the former Cold Stone Creamery CEO. Cold Stone has a strong brand identity that is driven by its excellent products and not a slogan. Actually, I'm not sure that it even has a slogan. The Phoenix Business Journal joined in the fun to assist the Governor by polling readers for suggestions. The Governor’s idea to wield a magic wand to uncover the State’s new slogan was met with the cynical response and humor that it deserved. I have many favorites from among the responses – none of which can be used to market the State.
It seems that a Scottsdale agency has been engaged to lead the re-branding effort. With a lack of awareness of branding and a tagline fixation being the leading causes of failure to place branding efforts, it might have helped the effort if the Governor had moved the focus off slogans and taglines from the start. But I guess they can be grateful that at least they weren’t fixated on logo envy. I guess there's time for that later.
Produced by: Total Destination Marketing
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