Archive | Economic Development

Recent Presentations

From this past week’s Optimization Summit #optsum social media conference: How to Rock PR Coverage for Your Business or Brand. It was a two-hour workshop all about finding your stories and sharing them effectively. Enjoyed the audience’s involvement, questions and results. They were rocking their first pitchengine.com releases before the end of the workshop. And […]

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Four Things Cities and Businesses Need to do Today

If you’re a regular visitor, you know I tell the stories of businesses, brands, people and cities for a living. Recently, I went to Mandan, ND to meet with the city staff and leadership and to see the city firsthand so I could tell their story to the retail marketplace and help them attract new […]

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Changing Your City’s Logo

The challenge for cities isn’t whether or not their logo is memorable to their citizens because no matter how bad, it will be… water bills, public works trucks, the water tower, employee uniforms, city hall signage, etc. The challenge is what story does it tell outsiders – potential new residents, businesses, developers and so on. Businesses know that a logo is a visual part of the brand… the promise. A logo represents not just who you are, but what you’re offering. Too many city logos focus on where they’ve been… on the past. Take a look at your city (or your business) logo. If it showcases what people remember about your past, or what made you into the city you are now, it’s time to rethink your brand.

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Cautious Optimism Reigns at RECon

This year, the mood, pace and tone of RECon (the International Council of Shopping Centers annual Retail Convention in Las Vegas) is palpably different. Whatever the economists say, the winds have shifted in the development and tenanting side of retail. A few observations from days 1 and 2 of the show: People are dressed for […]

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Heading to Vegas, Leaving the High Heels at Home

Some of you know that about half of my consulting-side work is in economic development for cities and site owners. Mostly retail, but we also help cities attract new residential and industrial/office development as well. It’s work I love because if I do my job well, a corner of the world is a better place […]

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Is it still all about Location, Location, Location?

The mantra in real estate has always been, “Location, Location, Location!” Over the past year, since the advent of  location-based apps such as Foursquare and Gowalla, it’s seemed the plugged-in community has adopted the location motto as its own. Predictions were made, and disputed, about how important these apps could be. I resisted the allure […]

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They Buy Because We Use These > Brand Audit, Pt 2

By now, you’ve completed all the steps in part 1 (previous post) and have a mountain of data…. random bits of impersonal knowledge. Next, we need to add some human insight to the data, season with some business sense and a dash of intuition and we’ll develop actionable information. Talk to your customers. Especially your […]

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Pause For Station Break…

I was getting ready to write the second post in the DIY Brand Audit for Businesses post when I wondered… since the first one didn’t exactly generate conversations, comments, crazy sharing… maybe I’d better evaluate. I’m just wondering what you would like to see/hear/explore in this space. The blog is going to evolve in the […]

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How to Brand Places

What you say about your place is marketing. What people think about your place is branding. When I see a city manager’s business card produced in house and printed on donated paper at the least expensive price point possible, with a “logo” that consists of a divided shape of some sort with each quadrant filled by some hallmark of place history, I shudder. Again. What is the promise?

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