Brand Transformation for Relevance—And How To Do It
The path of transformation
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” — Joseph Campbell
Finding your true north: The way to make your way along the path of emotional transformation toward purpose parallels the classic story of the hero’s journey. It is a path of what Carl Jung called individualization or becoming oneself. Or, in an organizational setting, finding your purpose—your true north. The process by which this occurs is called differentiation and has as a goal of the development of the individual or organizational personality, the discovery, and acceptance of one’s true purpose. The path is often summarized as having seven distinct, but overlapping, stages.
The brand new path to purpose: Now, we are at a point in our journey where we need to look at just how we’re supposed to be able to make this transition to purposeful and sustainable transformation. Use this seven-step path to guide you and your organization through this transition.
Below you’ll find the steps in the order you’ll take them. For each step, you’ll see the name of the state associated with that step, the quality you should be experiencing during that particular stage of transition, and the activity you’ll associate with that step. Read More
In our blog series on "Will Your City Be DOA in the 21st Century" explored branding as a strategy for sustainability and, even better, thrivability for local goverments. We keep getting questions about this, so we're going to unpack that idea.
Why is branding, and specifically place branding, so important? And just exactly what is it? And lastly, how do you start the process?
Branding is important because your town is in competition with hundreds, if not thousands of other local governments for highly talented and resourceful residents, businesses and organizations. You want the economic engine of the 21st century – “that creative class of people” as Richard Florida has called them – to come live, stay and grow their families and businesses in your town. Branding is the emotional magnet that will draw them to you, and keep them there.
A brand is a living, breathing relationship that is forever changing between your stakeholders and the focus of that relationship: your civic brand, which is a clearly defined and identified entity with an associated promise of value, purpose and values. Read More
Walking y/our talk
We’re practicing what we preach… what we wrote about in our 4-part DOA series is now being testing in real-time in real world circumstances. No posturing and pontificating professors here.
As luck would have it, one of us (Whitney) had a devastating direct experience of a community arriving DOA in the 21st century. Actually, his community isn’t DOA – but is on serious life support and will be in ER for a long time to come. Whitney and his wife has a country home in Anderson Springs, CA. He will be forever grateful that his is one of the few that escaped destruction.
On September 12th a raging forest inferno, called the Valley Fire, (the fastest moving and third worst fire in CA history) swept through Anderson Springs in Lake County like a blowtorch. 90% of homes were destroyed leaving less than 20 structures standing, 1,000 residents displaced and 2 dead. An absolutely horrible way to be thrust into thinking about rebuilding, revitalizing and becoming a sustainable community. Read More
This is the wrap to our four-part series on the future of local governments in the USA. To recap, we outlined some driving forces of change, aspects of civic well-being, and then brought it together under the umbrella of place branding. As you’ll recall, we suggested three major steps to take in our first article:
1. Putting someone in charge of strategic planning, branding and innovation
2. Develop a plan for consolidation of services as revenues collapse
3. Make continuous sustainability your central policy goal Read More
If you’re following us, this is the third in a series of four on the future viability of local governments. We led off with some dire predictions based on long-term trends we see – it wasn’t a pretty picture. Based on feedback from that, we next jumped into a discussion of civic well-being as a potential mitigating force. Now we turn to branding your city. If you have the civic well-being angle covered, how do you communicate that? That’s where branding comes in.
What is a brand?
A brand is a living, breathing relationship that is forever changing between your stakeholders and the focus of that relationship: your civic brand, which is a clearly defined and identified entity with an associated promise of value, purpose and values. In other words, a brand is what “they,” your stakeholders, say it is – NOT what you say it is. A brand is the sum of all that you do and don’t do as experienced and interpreted by others. In your case, it is the shared experience of the place you are stewards of and the people who congregate there. Read More
We’ve received much positive feedback on our original Op-ed on the major challenges facing local governments in the early 21st century. Folks have asked us to expand on our stratagems on how to keep these oncoming forces of change at bay. You can make these forces work for you – not against you – if you have a strategy. Our intent is to help you craft that strategy.
So, we’ve decided to drill down on a couple of major issues and help point the way towards a sustainable pathway for civic development. First, we want to explore civic engagement and life satisfaction as an overarching public goal, and then link that to the development of your city’s brand. As we shift to a post-industrial capitalist society, there is perhaps no better venue to express having ‘well-being’ as the primary motivating public policy goal. Read More