Outsourcing the D Brand: Necessary?

On February 1, 2008 the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau will be hosting the D Brand Summit. Detroit like any other commodity is being taken over by branding and marketing companies. This is not new to the revitalization of cities in the states or around the world. Does Detroit need professionals stepping in for the revitalization of this area? Are these companies adequately representing the city? The D Brand Summit will be featuring those who are working on Detroit’s campaign. Discussion will surround tourism and what the D brand can do for individual companies and organizations in the city and its surrounding areas.

3 Comments so far

  1. Kim (unregistered) on January 29th, 2008 @ 9:37 am

    I think that Detroit is one place where we need outsiders to remind us that we have significant assets and that in many ways, we are not unlike other cities. Further, that our differences are our brand and are the things we should be proud of. Having spent some quality time sharing our city with a branding professional myself, I discovered some new observations about Detroit that were worth considering as fascinating and marketable.

    The key example that comes to mind is the extreme dichotomy in Detroit between rich and poor, beautiful and ugly, successful and unsuccessful. Detroiters spend a lot of time beating up on Detroit for these examples. However, is it really something to be ashamed of or is it something we can build on. Where we have voids, there is much opportunity. Out of that opportunity we have created not just examples of positive outcomes but extreme positive out comes i.e. automotive innovation, Motown, techno music, fine art, medical innovation, tech companies etc. Outsiders get this more than many Detroiters.

    It will be good for local businesses to learn what makes Detroit such a great place for outsiders to visit and how important sharing the brand is to get this message out. I think the D Brand Summit will produce a sense of pride in local business owners. Unfortunately, I figure the only businesses who will attend this conference will be the ones who need this experience the least in that they might have already bought into the idea that Detroit is a great place to visit and in which to live.

    (I refer to Detroit as the D Brand considers it – what we used to call metro-Detroit and metro-Detroiters are Detroit and Detroiters under the D Brand) :-)

  2. Mary Jamison (unregistered) on January 29th, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

    I agree with what you said about so many people beating up on Detroit. They should attempt to turn that negative thinking around to do something positive that will help the image of Detroit. If the people would just get involved with some organization that is helping Detroit, or stretch out on their own and do something themselves. I found that I don’t have a lot of time to work with organizations so I started a blog showing some positive things about how Detroit is becoming revitalized and how it will turn things around.

  3. Mollika* (unregistered) on January 29th, 2008 @ 10:34 pm

    Kim and Mary, thank you for your comments.

    Kim, I agree that it is refreshing to have outsiders reinforce that our love is not blind. I have had the pleasure of poking around Detroit’s techno scene and it is amazing how many people travel in for shows. I wish we could have a techno museum to accompany our Motown Museum.

    My main concern, and reason for excitement, with the branding effort is overcoming the city/suburbs distinction and owning the Detroiter title. Now that I am working in the suburbs, it is painfully stinging to hear how averse some non-city dwellers wish to distance themselves from the city. I do hope this is the first step to changing this mindset. Uniting and rallying around the city is beneficial for everyone in and around the city.

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