Say Something Good — Reader Posts

I’m going to highlight two comments on the post Say Something Good.
First, Mayor Thane provides an overview of the marketing process (bolds are my highlights):

ZONE 5 – BRANDING AND MESSAGING STRATEGY

Brand Development, Positioning and Messaging
As we see it, there is a need to define the Amsterdam “brand”. Every business or organizational entity has a brand identity, and given the level of competition in today’s business environment, Amsterdam needs a point of differentiation that speaks to its strengths and assets, as well as builds upon the values of the city. The goal of a successful brand is to increase awareness among the city’s target audiences–prospective companies and individuals and referral sources. The development of the brand is therefore a key component in the creation of any marketing materials, and will become the foundation for all of Amsterdam’s future marketing and communication efforts.

Fast Track Input Sessions
We will begin by meeting with the city’s key team members to “fast‐track” their experience and knowledge in each of the city’s services and practice areas to obtain consensus on objectives and priorities. We will conduct a SWOT assessment (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) of the city, and determine the needs and wants of your various target audiences. The intersection of these concepts is the opportunity area for the city. From this foundation, we can begin to develop effective marketing and web messaging.

Competitive Audit
An important part in shaping a brand and developing effective marketing communications is to identify and understand the competition inhabiting the same market space we are trying to reach. We propose to audit competing regions/cities with the same services and sectors as Amsterdam to learn more about how they portray their own brands, learn about the business issues they’re addressing, and how they speak about themselves. This data will be critical for us as we work to differentiate your brand from its competitors.

Branding Deliverables
With the results of the competitive audit in mind, we propose to conduct a branding exercise with key staff to uncover the brand “essence” of the city. For example, components that help make up Amsterdam’s brand essence include; the city’s culture, its approach to promoting itself and it’s value proposition to the prospective company or organization. From this exercise, we will develop statements that will position the city in each of its target markets. The branding exercise will focus our tactical thinking and ensure that all marketing materials and activities are consistent with the development of the brand as it relates to each industry sector, with the ultimate goal of promoting the city to prospective clients and the public.

Final deliverable is a brand and messaging guideline, including:

Identification and prioritization of target audiences (prospective companies, residential prospects, the media, etc.)
• An understanding of their unique needs and wants
• Key, compelling messages for each

This phase will also provide a strong platform for the web development project, by efficiently informing navigation and structure as well as content.

Branding Strategy for the City, Urban Renewal, AIDA and Empire Zone

Before we can begin to develop tactical materials, we need to establish a brand hierarchy and the new brand look and feel for the city and its affiliated entities. We anticipate that the City and these departments will require logotypes to be revised or developed for each. Together, we will establish the relationship of these organizations to the city and develop appropriate brands with graphic standards for each. As a part of this, we will work with the city to first examine whom it is that you’re trying to reach. There are several combinations of audiences: potential companies, referral sources, the local community, the media and prospects (in various fields). The new brands need to be relevant to all of these. Based on initial research and interviews, our team will develop a matrix to organize and determine messaging strategies for each of these segments.

Develop the New Brand Positioning Statement
Think of a positioning statement as a summary of your mission, vision, principles and policies–with one key distinction–the positioning statement is truly differentiating. This statement is something that no other area can say. We frequently use the positioning statement as a “testing tool” for all future communications as well as business decisions. “Is this on‐brand?” During this step, we will develop the positioning statement for the city, including the attributes and characteristics of the brand. This statement will help position Amsterdam as the parent organization which administers and “owns” the services and sites that the organization has responsibility over. The positioning statement will be further distilled and delivered in the form of a tagline–something that is clear, easier to use (from a marketing perspective) and shorter to say. A tagline can be a powerful “rallying cry” for employees as well as a call to action for prospects.

Messaging Strategies
Our next step is the development of messaging strategies to determine how we should speak to the city’s audience segments including: Nanoelectronics, Biomass, Biofuels and Aerospace, as well as the audiences including Semiconductor Manufacturers and Semiconductor Supply Chain companies. These messaging strategies should support and position Amsterdam, and promote the services offered, as well as the city’s assets, features and benefits. We will identify the emotional connection and compelling messages for each as it relates to the specific assets you should promote. These strategies will guide development of concise and effective copy to be utilized across all collateral, from web site and video to printed pieces.
Second, nygirl highlights a key point:
Let’s not just sell what we are, but what we want to be. I think this is an underlying problem here in Amsterdam — we can’t look down the road at the future, can’t see the big picture (you can apply this to many issues — WEM being one). However you want to phrase it, we need to move towards something — instead of trying to stay one step ahead of what we’ve become.

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