Choosing a new place to live or do business can be a very involved process for many Americans. Much like choosing a consumer product, factors such as amenities, schools, parks, civic services and host of other attributes often play into the decision making process when someone is relocating. Because of this, many cities need to have a sound strategic plan as to how they are going to attract new residents and effectively build new communities. As you plan to promote your city to new residents and business owners, consider the following:

Develop a branding strategy – Having a sound strategy in place no only helps your city understand its own current identity, it also allows the city to chart a course for future growth. This is important because if a city were targeting tourism or industrial growth, each segment would require a separate type of branding message to achieve its goal. An effective brand highlights what a city currently is and what it wants to become.

Market your city like a product – It is important to consider your city as a tangible product and have the marketing strategy to back it up. All successful products have a strong and very recognizable brand and your city and/or community is no different. A strong civic brand will help increase visitors and drive residential growth. In order to implement a strong civic brand, work with your PIO and CVB in order to create unique selling points and messaging that will align with visitors and citizens, alike.

Stand out from the crowd – A potential resident or business owner can live or do business just about anywhere, which is why it is so important for a city to create a unique brand. Effective civic branding amplifies a city’s uniqueness to visitors and citizens. It is also a great advertising tool to attract people and future investments to your city. Work with your city management team to identify key differentiators that will help your city stand apart from its competition.

New businesses = new people – Businesses that are considering relocating or expanding are looking for a city that has strong identity. Uniquely branded cities become attractive to corporate decision makers not only as a new potential home for their business, but also for all for the employees that make up the company.

While developing a successful civic brand can be a challenge, a bit of planning and strategic execution can go a long way. If you’d like more information on how to develop a civic brand in order to drive economic development, feel free to contact us at or call (888) 982-1234.