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How to Brand Your Community

Ed Burghard explains place branding for economic developers.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
2 min read
How to Brand Your Community
Photo by Monica Bourgeau / Unsplash

If you're stuck continuing to describe your community as a "great place to live, work, and play", read on:


Today's issue is brought to you by LocalIntel.

Ed Burghard was a marketing director with Proctor and Gamble for nearly three decades.

His last assignment there was to create and launch a company to help brand the state of Ohio for capital investment attraction. He was an “executive on loan” and worked closely with the Ohio Governor’s Office and Department of Development to fulfill the mission.

But even with all that experience in marketing and branding, he still remembers the first time he was asked, "What is a brand?"

He was giving a lecture to an audience of roughly 50 economic development professionals and business leaders.

To say he was dumbstruck by the question is an understatement.

At that moment he realized that in all of his years as a P&G brand builder, the question had never come up. As a consequence, when it was raised, he had no answer that would be satisfactory to this audience.

Of course, he did what every speaker would do when faced with a deceptively simple question that had no easy answer: He quickly obfuscated, and fell back on marketing jargon to explain the concept.

But after the lecture, he went home and got to work.

This one seemingly simple question led Burghard to write the book Building Brands: What Really Matters.

The answer, it turns out, is that a brand is a promise.


Building Brands: What Really Matters

If you are an economic development professional tasked with leading a place branding exercise, buy this book for each of your board members so you can set appropriate expectations from the start.

Building Brands: What Really Matters also includes bonus chapters specifically focused on place branding.

If you just want to read the book yourself, it is free to download through Kindle Unlimited.

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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Director of Economic Development for Galveston County, Texas.


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