About Strengthening Brand America Project

CEO Letter


Ed Head Shot
Brand America is in trouble.

In simplest terms, a brand is a promise, it sets an expectation of a benefit. Brand America has always stood for the ability to achieve your personal dreams regardless of your current situation. If you worked hard enough, and took smart risks, you would be appropriately rewarded. In America, everyone is endowed with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, today the authenticity of the American Promise is in question. Many people around the world either misunderstand, or are misinformed about, what Americans believe makes our country great. Never before has Brand America been judged so harshly by so many.

Like all brands that suffer a loss of consumer confidence, Brand America is feeling the economic impact of a weakening competitive position. Foreign capital inflows into the United States are a critical component of a vibrant economy for all states. U.S. share of global foreign direct investment flows has dramatically declined over the last decade.

The Strengthening Brand America Project is about helping economic development professionals in every state better understand how to leverage the power of place branding as a strategy to better enable residents to achieve there American Dream and as a result become more globally competitive for capital investment. Successful reapplication of proven private sector branding principles to help locations attract and retain an increased share of capital investment will translate into faster economic recovery and accelerated job growth. In addition, it will positively impact the world’s perception of Brand America and reinforce the authenticity of the American Promise.

The goal of this website and The Burghard Group is to be the spark that reignites the passion in the global business community for Brand America. Not by simply teaching economic development professionals how to tell a better story; but, by convincing them to put residents ability to achieve their American Dream at the center of strategic decisions made on infrastructure investment and/or public policy.  This paradigm shift will help better deliver Brand America’s promise and allow the USA to be judged as the best value for capital investors. In doing so, we will take a giant leap forward in reestablishing the authenticity of the American Promise.

I would like to extend my personal gratitude to the Strategic Partners who have helped bring the vision of the Strengthening Brand America Project to life.  Since I am self-funding this project from my personal retirement account, without their pro bono help this website simply wouldn’t be possible.

In closing, thank you for visiting the website and for your on-going support of this initiative. I’d like to encourage you to join us on this journey and be an active learner. Please use this website as a resource to better understand place branding and the potential it holds for accelerating the economic growth and vitality of your location. Provide feedback along the way so we can ensure the information is meeting your needs and is presented in a manner that is easy to understand and to implement. Contribute your experience and thoughts whenever possible. In this way, we will improve our collective mastery of place branding (a.k.a. destination branding) and will in turn be Strengthening Brand America.

Edward Burghard
CEO and Manager, The Burghard Group

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