Fresno Attempts to Build a Brand From the Inside Out- Kinda


You may have read about the City of Fresno's latest attempt to "re-brand" itself. On the one-hand I applaud the decision makers for recognizing that any hope for developing a sustainable brand strategy needs to start internal. It sounds like Fresno realizes that it needs to engage its citizens first and get their buy-in.

That might be as far as I am willing to go in supporting the brand strategy, from what I know about the brand initiative. Why? Because it appears that like many other attempts (which usually fail) this one is focused too much on advertising and slogans. Fresno's new adopted slogan is "Be World-Class, Be Fresno." Hmmm, that doesn't do it for me.

I don't think World-Class when I hear or see the word Fresno. I think diversity, agriculture, California and other associations. I believe that every brand strategy needs to have some aspirational stretch to it, but not super aspirational, not in my lifetime stretch. I don't think this will be a sustainable brand strategy for Fresno. In the short-term it will kinda be successful. Too soon to tell whether Fresno will be able to recruit and retain brand champions.

A sustainable brand strategy is based on mission, core values and stakeholder engagement. Not just a slogan and an expensive ad campaign. What do you think are the keys to sustainability?

Rex Whisman

Brand Champions Blog

BrandED Consultants Group

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