The end of a month is always a time when I review the performance statistics for the Strengthening Brand America Project. I approach it with a mixture of both apprehension and excitement. Apprehension in case the data suggests a slip in interest. And, with excitement because I am always curious to see which topics garnered the greatest visitor attention that month.
As a reminder, the Strengthening Brand America Project is a community of practice. It is focused on creating an educational experience. The goal is to connect private sector marketers with economic development professionals to explore the reapplication of proven product and corporate branding principles to the branding of communities for capital attraction, retention and expansion.
The underlying hypothesis is that by making local communities more globally competitive for capital investment, in aggregate our Nation becomes more competitive.
I want to thank everybody who has participated to date and would like to encourage you, the reader, to help share the link to the Strengthening Brand America Project with your network. The more people participate, the richer the educational experience. As a community of practice, we are wiser than any one of us alone.
I thought you might like to see the visits data from the start of the Project through the end of March 2012. I am genuinely appreciative of the interest and support, and believe the trend is heading in the right direction. But, I also know there is a long way to go before the vision of positively impacting our Nation’s competitiveness is realized. Your continued support in participating and helping to create awareness is important.
Top 5 Blog Posts in March
New eBook on Strategic Planning – This free eBook provides a perspective on how to create effective strategic plans to guide local community development. Strategic planning is a cornerstone of good branding. The eBook discusses it in the context of the emerging shale energy industry. But, any community interested in accelerating economic growth can use the process described. I have received a number of positive emails about this eBook. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check it out. If you like the eBook, please share it with your local economic development professional team and elected officials.
Interview with Bob Skaggs, President and CEO of NiSource – I am working to create a series of interviews with executives across a wide range of industries. The better economic development professionals understand the needs of business executives, the better choices they can make to improve their community’s business climate. NiSource is deeply involved in the emerging shale energy industry, and industry that has important implications on our Nation’s ability to move toward energy independence.
Is Advertising a Waste of Money? – This discussion argues investing in advertising without a sound strategic rationale is always a poor branding decision. “Don’t blame the tool, blame the fool.” The comments from readers of this post are excellent and well worth the time to review.
The Only Limits Are Those of Vision – This post explores the need for brand builders to be able to articulate a brand vision and then accept the responsibility to consistently communicate that vision across all organizations involved in bringing it to life. The better people understand what you are trying to achieve, the better they will be able to support your brand.
Improve Your Communication Skills – Having a great idea is only half the equation for success. You also have to be able to communicate the idea in a way that others are compelled to support it. This post provides some important tips on how to create a winning presentation for your proposal. This is a key skill for any brand builder who wants to be successful.
The Strengthening Brand America Project needs your on-going support in order to achieve its goal. There are three easy ways to help –
- Become a member. It is free to be a member. You will receive a monthly newsletter that keeps you informed on the Project. The plan is to build a sufficient member base that we can negotiate discounts on relevant services and make them available on a “members only” basis. The companies I have talked to so far have all asked for a membership number to determine if it is worth their effort to offer a discount. Consider becoming a member and help us provide this value added service. It is easy, just click HERE.
- Share the Website – Since the information is provided free, there is no money to advertise the website so word-of-mouth is critically important to build awareness. It would be great if you would share the Strengthening Brand America website link with people in your network that would find the information relevant.
- Share Your Knowledge – The value in a community of practice is to learn from as many people as possible. Every perspective helps add value. When you read a post that you find interesting, take an extra second to leave a comment. You can share your experience, raise a question, make an observation or even simply share a link to an article you feel is relevant.
I am very excited about some enhancements to the Project we are working on for 2012. I am also excited about a series of posts I am planning to write that will share my personal observations about China. I’ll be visiting the country later this year.
Once again, thank you for your on-going participation and willingness to share the Project with your network. Leave a comment, I’d like to hear from you.