How Has The Strengthening Brand America Project Helped You?

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One of the most important ways for potential sponsors to evaluate the value of a website is to read what visitors think about it.  We have recently introduced a corporate sponsorship program to underwrite the on-going development of the Strengthening Brand America Project.  Sponsors care about ensuring the highest quality local economic development possible and are interested in sponsoring educational initiatives that actually make a difference.

Please Add A Comment With Your Answer To The Title Question – How Has The Strengthening Brand America Project Helped You?

By providing your perspective, you can help potential corporate sponsors evaluate whether the Strengthening Brand America Project will make their short list of initiatives they are willing to support.  Our intention is to suggest potential sponsors read the comments to this post as part of their consideration process before making a decision.  Consequently, what you say will matter to the success of the Program in 2013.

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42 Comments so far

  1. Malcolm Allan

    December 29, 2012

    As a place brand practitioner of twenty years I came across the Brand America project a couple of years ago and found that it confirmed many of my perceptions of the brand of the USA (tarnished but improving), my perceptions of the essence of place branding (it’s the place offer and the experience of being there) and it has broadened my understanding of what’s involved in place branding (experience masterplanning) and Placemaking and the challenges that place branders face in convincing national, state and local governments of the relevance and efficacy of best practice in the field to the challenges of rejuvenating failing cities and towns.

  2. David V Lippincott

    December 29, 2012

    The Brand American site has offered the most comprehensive and intelligent discussions not only about Branding but other helpful marketing discussions. The archives are rich in great material and best practices. I really appreciate the interchange of ideas.

  3. Katrina Lempenski

    December 29, 2012

    The SBA Project has provided a platform for knowledge sharing that is of the utmost quality. As a mid-level Economic Development professional, the level of expertise available on topics of importance such as self-branding, marketing strategies, and collaborative selling techniques would normally need to be sought within the walls of a business school. Luckily for me, SBA’s content within these key areas is publicly available and thoughtfully delivered. In addition to content that is clearly backed by experienced practitioners, the project has provided me with sound recommendations on resources that are reputable and influential.

    One of the greatest impacts the SBA Project has made personally, is to act as a guide around the process of self-branding and defining one’s personal leadership brand. The recommended reading and insight available on this topic has allowed me to begin the significant process of effectively marketing myself. Having the ability to learn from leaders in the field through featured whitepapers and guest blog posts, is one of the many example of how instrumental a tool this Project has been for my professional development.

  4. James Glover

    December 31, 2012

    Having the opportunity to work with many rural economic development managers, I know that it’s very challenging for these individuals to attract and retain new businesses and human capital. Many of these managers lack a true understanding of community branding and the importance to have a strong recognized brand when recruiting. Strengthening Brand America is a fantastic resources for economic development leaders to use to enhance their branding knowledge and strategy.

  5. Dave Quinn

    December 31, 2012

    Strengthening Brand America continues to lead the discussion on the importance of branding your community for economic development. With limited time and resources, economic developers can use the SBA project for clear and concise information on how to brand effectively. I read the post often to ensure I am staying up to date on topics and trends affecting economic development and brand marketing.

  6. Bill Baker

    January 1, 2013

    I have long admired Malcolm’s contribution to the branding and marketing of communities as a true thought-leader. Malcolm started as a city planner and this provides an interesting perspective to place branding. I started reading this paper a few weeks ago and again Mal is at the forefront of thinking relating to cities aligning with their brands.

  7. yuien chin

    January 2, 2013

    I have just discovered your page and will continue to read not only for the practical advice but for confirmation of perceptions and clarity of some issues we are struggling with as we create a destination page for our area. Thank you, I look forward to your articles.

  8. Rope Roberts

    January 3, 2013

    SBA has provided me an avenue to understanding the national efforts to grow the American brand. It is a good source of examples of manufacturing moving back into or developing from within America that I use for speeches to educate others to this growing (but not fast enough) trend. I see it first hand in my state (Georgia) but am always looking for other trends and why they are occuring. Keep it up, Ed!

  9. Jonas Arjes

    January 3, 2013

    SBA has been a useful source of information and tools in our efforts to launch a high performing public private partnership for economic development. More often than not I am able to garner something from an article that is relevant to a project, task or program I am working on that day or week. Thank you, and keep up the great work!

  10. Linda DiMario

    January 3, 2013

    The Strengthening Brand America project emerged to coincide with the Brand USA initiative…and not a moment too soon. Our country’s challenge has always been how to position our diverse experiences in a coherent way to influence customer behaviors around the globe. This challenge cannot be met with a marketing campaign alone. Rallying the country’s DMOs and states to recognize the value of a consistently executed ground game that encompasses the quality of the actual customer touchpoints and delivery systems is at the core of this on-going discussion blog.

    As one of the other comments mentions, the discussions almost always confirm those basic “truths” we branders and marketers know to be fundamental to an authentic brand with the capacity to resonate and build traction. And this emphasis is valuable if we are to make progress.

  11. Franklin Wallbrown

    January 4, 2013

    It had given me valuable insight on branding, and America’s worth.

  12. Chris Manheim

    January 7, 2013

    The site has provided me with valuable insights into branding as it relates to economic development. Of course, my market niche is now more about Workforce Development and how it relates to Economic Development, but the insights are still very useful.

  13. Al Jones

    January 7, 2013

    What I like about Ed Burghard’s content on branding is the uniquely rich practical and research background he brings to it, a depth unique in economic development and site marketing as well as extremely rare in marketing & advertising/public relations in general. Charlatans are especially drawn to “branding” since measuring results is tough and shallow, flashy presentations are so easy to do.

    Most of the branding experts I run across are barely at what Procter & Gamble had learned about branding a full century ago and that billions of dollars in pioneering consumer and business research and then endless testing in the field with actual decisions and purchases beyond “brand awareness”.

    That’s Procter & Gamble knowledge base that Ed learned in and draws from as a researcher and practitioner, well it’s the difference between relying on a heart surgeon and someone who took a short CPR course in saving a heart attack victim (or a dying community.)

    His blog delivers truly useful content and actual insights that help anyone without training in the subject but are sophisticated enough to be useful to old hands like myself too, a very challenging task for any writer. It’s a significant contribution.

  14. Michael Stumpf

    January 7, 2013

    At the local level the issue of branding usually means little more than a tag line and a logo. Strengthening Brand America is helping to educate and raise the bar with regard to what can be done to create a true and meaningful brand.

  15. Z. Joe Kulenovic

    January 7, 2013

    The topics addressed here greatly transcend just “branding”. It is truly a multifaceted economic development blog from which I have learned a lot, and engaged in a productive exchange of ideas with colleagues from all over the US – and beyond. Thank you for engaging us in a conversation that needs to be taking place, especially in the complex times in which we live.

  16. Eric Voyles

    January 7, 2013

    I have enjoyed the content provided from the Strengthening Brand America Project, and found it useful. I use the content as a third party source for supporting my views on branding and place-making when engaging national, state and local governments as well as colleagues when debating needed and appropriate actions to advance our program of work.

    It is a valuable tool..

  17. Gregorio Padilla

    January 8, 2013

    As an economic developer, keeping up to date with the latest marketing practices and analytics is critical to driving my success. The Strengthening Brand America site provides a wealth of knowledge to keep developers well informed about important shifts in development marketing practices as well as strengthening yourself as a developer. This site proves to be an invaluable tool to all ranges of economic developers.

  18. Michael B.

    January 9, 2013

    The Strengthening Brand America project shows the practical economic and social benefits of the “place branding” concept. As a Canadian it’s fascinating to follow the discussions generated by the very well written and thought provoking articles. Brand America has a few challenges to overcome but definitively a lot of potential.

  19. Ed Roach

    January 9, 2013

    The Strengthening Brand America Project has developed into a fantastic resource for ED issues (especially branding). I have repeatedly browsed its pages in search of relevant answers to branding questions.

    Ed has become a trusted expert in my tool box. Because of SBA’s reach, I also enjoy reading other readers comments and input. I’ve been a fan since its inception.

  20. Sean Duggan

    January 9, 2013

    As an investment promotion and location development specialist, I am always keen to learn what other people and places are doing in the location brand management area. I’ve found the material on the Burghard site and the work relating to Brand America illuminating and thought provoking. It has helped me refine some of my own approaches to promotion and rasied the profile of location brand in my work.
    More than than, Brand America has highlighted for me that even well known and apparently strong locations like the USA need consistent work to refine their own positioning – a critical lesson in itself.
    I will continue to monitor developments closely!

  21. Steve Massa

    January 17, 2013

    Following SBA has proven to be a valuable strategic tool for economic developer professionals. Don’t be fooled into reading the posts without studying the comments. The comments provide the juiciest insights and will help you focus your efforts while expand your network.

  22. Dara Barwick

    January 21, 2013

    SBA speaks my language in community and economic development. The articles and tools are great, thought-provoking exercises and help me in my strategy and organization consulting business. I appreciate Ed’s hard work and contributions to America’s brand.

  23. Barb Pierce

    January 30, 2013

    As an economic developer I have found the Strengthening Brand America site provides a great deal of info on economic development data, articles, trends etc., that I have found helpful and enjoy sharing with my board and colleagues. Keep up the good work!

  24. Fred Burkhardt

    February 2, 2013

    This is a website that both myself and my colleagues find a must read. Simply put, it keeps us in touch with information and points of view that we might not otherwise find.

  25. Dan Meges

    February 6, 2013

    My background is in economic research and analysis, and it is this type of rigorous economic work that is backbone of our firm. However, our quantitative strength and data-driven insight is at best half of the process in an effort to assist a community in its goals of growing, diversifying, and strengthening its local economy. By itself, in many cases economic analysis is the sound of one hand clapping.

    SBA provides an invaluable resource as to practical ideas, time-tested strategies, and simple, straightforward check-lists on how to convey insights and messages about a community’s strengths, assets, and values. SBA has allowed me to bring to bear a more holistic framework for several client engagements as well as to provide “food for thought” as we transition the results of our analysis to a client’s leadership team responsible for messaging, branding, and marketing.

    SBA is also conducting some unique and interesting research regarding defining and measuring factors relating to the quality of life in a community and the role and function of non-traditional factors in the site-selection process. As a result, I read the blog regularly to keep abreast of SBA’s innovative thinking.

  26. Akos Kovach

    February 13, 2013

    We are impressed with your detailed knowledge and background study, we plan to keep you in the loop of the burgeoning areas in our region that would benefit from your expertise.
    Thank you, A’kos Kovach

  27. Caroline Dye

    February 15, 2013

    I have just found this website and enjoyed reading it for its many pearls of wisdom and pragmatism. Although I’m from across the “pond” so many of the issues you face are the same here in the UK . It’s great to find a forum where we can share the questions and the answers to these challenges.

  28. Larry Burkhardt

    February 15, 2013

    With the responsibility for constructing a regional economic development organization in an area where none has existed, I have distinct challenges trying to identify a brand that will resonate with my 60 units of government.

    The discussions that I have followed over the past months through the Brand America site have assisted in addressing the charge of putting forward a brand that is effective while at the same time transcending the parochial realities associated with marketing multiple jurisdictions.

    In particular, I have been interested in discussions that relate to clarity of purpose, and addressing the customer effectively.

  29. Rollie Cole

    March 2, 2013

    I have almost ZERO interest in a “Brand for America,” because for me the unit of analysis (the nation) is too large. YET — the site and the discussions it engenders have been extremely valuable to me and to my work with much smaller units of analysis. For me, it has been “Strengthening American BrandS,” and I am very grateful and look forward to much more value to come.
    Rollie Cole, PhD, JD
    Founder, Fertile Ground for Startups, Small Firms, and Nonprofits
    “Think Small to Grow Big”

  30. muriel eason

    March 2, 2013

    I’m Chairman of a community development corporation in a rural mountain town in SW Colorado. One of the things our community clearly lacks is a brand identity. So we haven’t been able to develop a self-identity that can be used to guide new growth and economic development. If you don’t know who you are then any growth looks good, which leads to sprawl and lack of cohesiveness in the community. I have found much good information on this blog about what others have done and how to go about developing a community brand.

  31. Stephen Roulac

    March 2, 2013

    Place is so very important, yet, as Charles Lamb trenchantly observed three centuries ago, hardly ever thought about. While interest in and discussion about place are increasing, the Strengthening Brand America Project is a forum for discussions that might not otherwise occur.

  32. Susan Day Fuller

    March 3, 2013

    I am an independent consultant in very rural Northern New York State who has been trying for several years to get the region to understand, identify, and commit to a regional brand. Now that Gov Cuomo is taking a regional approach to NYS economic development and grant funding, and a global marketplace, a regional brand is more important than ever. I find Strengthening Brand America an extremely useful resource for access to initiatives and activities that support my ‘vision,’ and help me communicate that.

    Also, since I am no longer part of a corporate or government ‘world’ where someone else pays for access to the types of resources and information on SBA, it’s great to keep in the know, without making my small company bankrupt.

  33. Judi Keller

    March 4, 2013

    Ed Burghard and Strengthening Brand America always offers me useful content. There are topics covered that fleshout some rusty areas for me and muscles that haven’t been flexed enough. There are some ideas presented that cause me to have the “aha” moment. Ed Burghard is a trusted brand himself and because of his knowledge base and guidence of this Strengthening Brand America site, it will be a resource I recommend to others.

  34. Gary F. Thompson, CPA

    April 1, 2013

    As a regional partner for the JobsOhio network our organization is responsible for business attraction in a 17 county region of northwest Ohio. Mr. Ed Burghard and the Strengthening Brand America Project has helped our organization by providing educational services, marketing strategies, and insightful best practices to all of the local economic development professionals in our area. We often ask Mr. Burghard to present on a number of topics and the sessions are always very well attended. Mr. Burghard has helped our economic development professionals, elected officials, and appointed officials understand what a brand is, the importance of branding, how to differentiate from your competition, and the role everyone plays in branding. Ultimately, the Project’s contribution to our region has made us more successful in attracting and retaining businesses to our region.

  35. Kevin Wilkins

    April 11, 2013

    Discovery of this resource is really helpful in formulating a pragmatic and credible case for a comprehensive branding effort.
    Every community I have worked with has been challenged with consensus on an amalgamated identity that has an ability to resonate with a targeted audience as well as be embraced by the place it is intended to represent.

  36. [...] you found the eBook to be a helpful service, please leave a comment on this blog post. It is a collection of comments that illustrate how the Strengthening Brand America Program is [...]

  37. Mercedes Leon

    April 21, 2013

    Very interesting, encouraging and really providing valuable hints to learn how to be a great leader under any situation. Thanks a lot for sharing and all the best to you.

  38. Bill Baker

    November 5, 2013

    Ed, Thanks for the continuing flow of stimulating material. The whole area of place branding is in its formative stages. Important to this evolution is the merging of the best and most appropriate concepts from the world of consumer goods branding with the special conditions that we are confronted with in place branding. Your ideas are an important contribution to this process. I know that our work is more robust because of your articles and blogs. We’re looking forward to more.

  39. […]   […]

  40. Blake Christian, CPA

    December 23, 2013

    Excellent content Ed. Worth reading, saving and sharing. My father worked his entire career at P&G and they were a class act every step of the way, including after he passed away.

    I very much appreciate your high quality branding information you consistently share here.

    Sincere thanks and Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays.

  41. Leigh Smith

    December 26, 2013

    Ed, LOVED reading your Compendium of Leadership Lessons! After spending most of my adult life with P&G, it is a wonderful collection of messages shared on a regular basis. It was not until “retiring” from P&G that I realized what a gift P&G had given me. It is a company built by great leaders who are determined to create an environment where “ordinary” people have the opportunity to become great leaders. I have such admiration for the people I was fortunate to work with and to the leaders that saw potential in me and encouraged me to be better.

    I will recommend this to anyone who needs a crash course on leadership! It is very thought provoking and I thank you for taking the time to put it together!

  42. Edward

    December 26, 2013

    Leigh – Thanks! The more we can help people be better leaders, the more successful they will be. Touching lives, improving life :-)

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