Wednesday, November 04, 2009

In 36 Months, Durham Brand Makes Mark With Residents and Non-residents Statewide

Exceeding all expectations and just 36 months since launch, scientific surveys show that 83% of Durham residents and 2.3 million adults, or 30% of all adults statewide recognize the overarching or umbrella brand for all of Durham. The brand is a distillation of Durham’s character and personality that can give all messengers a consistent and compelling voice. The benchmarking is done with a scientific survey by Nano Phrades.

I give credit for this to three things:

  1. The two-year, community-driven process that revealed the traits, values and strengths that both residents and external audiences attributed to Durham.

  2. Thousands of Durham messenger organizations and equal numbers of individuals who have adopted the brand on websites, in public comments, editorials and thousands of other applications.

  3. Bill Baker, author of a book on destination branding for communities that was written up in the Journal of Brand Management this month, who notes that DCVB did its job as Durham’s marketing agency and the organization on point to promote and defend the Durham brand.

    Bill states that “the huge difference is the way in which DCVB has stayed on course, and used the brand as a unifying force for the community” has played a role.

It takes years though to fully deploy and leverage a brand effectively, especially a community brand. But the first requirement for a brand is the distillation and that has to be organic, almost temporal or no amount of money and time will make a brand work.

To celebrate the Durham brand’s 3 year anniversary and to turn more attention to the enduring elements of the brand, DCVB has used the values, emotional benefits and core strengths of Durham’s personality and charter to create a new mini-poster.

Branding of course is just one element of an effective blend of marketing strategies. I am pleased though that DCVB has been part of a turnaround over the past 20 years and now twice this decade, Durham has been surveyed by North Carolina adults as having the most positive image among the State’s 5 largest cities.

By the way, the “Durham Is…” poster can be purchased for $2.95 which includes shipping and handling at or by dropping by the Official Durham Visitor Information Center in Downtown Durham.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is an article in the Nov issue of MPI's magazine on authenticity in destination breanding. I have not read it yet..Corey should have a copy. Lenore