The North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s new list of priority projects includes a proposal for the state to invest $2.6 million in an effort to help “brand” the seven-county region. Here’s what the plan has to say:
“This project will create a regional brand that communicated the unique identity of the seven county region, attracting new visitors, residents, entrepreneurs, and investment, and opening new access to markets for the region’s businesses and organizations.”
We’ve debated this before here on the In Box, whether the Adirondack-North Country has (or needs) a recognizable brand, and what it might take to create one.
Which brings us, finally, to this morning’s Morning Read. On the Adirondack Almanack, Kimberly Rielly, director of communications for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, has an interesting essay questioning the value or viability of all this.
If we, as marketers, “owned” everything inside the [Adirondack] blue line, we could force everyone to adhere to the Adirondacks’ brand guidelines, and police all use of the approved logo and messaging that reflects the customer experience.
But this isn’t Disney World. The Adirondack region as a whole is only treated as one entity from a regulatory standpoint; by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA).
Otherwise, it is, indeed fragmented into separate delineations for counties, and various New York State agencies with multiple regions, including DEC, DOT, Parks and Recreation, ESD, etc.
It’s an interesting, thorny question. Vermont, New York City, and Hawaii are all pretty fragmented places, yet they have successfully crafted brands which seem to boost their profile. So what makes us so different?
Read Rielly’s essay here and chime in below. What do you think? Do you hope an intensive branding effort gets off the ground? Or, as Rielly suggests, should we “continue to promote our destinations as we have been”?