Should local governments brand their city or towns?

How should a city's brand be created?

Open brand
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87 votes tallied
Vote by the people
6 votes
Naturally through behavior
11 votes
Architected through a creative process
21 votes
By an agency
1 vote
Issue a request for proposal
48 votes

Do governments care about branding? You bet they do. With today's economic climate, governments are looking for ways to get an economic edge and create jobs. One of the ways to get ahead today is to create a perception or a promise that the locale is business-friendly, innovative, creative, and high-tech.

The city, town, or region you live in might already have a great brand. Or maybe it doesn't have one at all.  What does a brand mean to a city? And who should lead the effort to discover what a city's could promise its' citizens, businesses, and organizations?

There are two definitions I was taught to use when I think of branding:

  1. A brand is a promise.
  2. A brand is what your customers (citizens) say it is.

There are several avenues of discussion on this topic. First, in our poll today: How should a city's brand be created? Add any additional thoughts you have on that topic in the comments.

Second, does your city or town already have a brand? What is it? What does it mean to you? And more importantly, do you believe it? How did it happen? What are some of the key things that citizens, organizations, businesses, or government do to 'live the brand' as we like to say at Red Hat.

About the author

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets - Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager for He primarily works with the DevOps Team and Open Organization community. He is the author of The foundation for an open source city and has been with Red Hat since 2003. Follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets for a fun and shareable feed of his open source (and other)... more about Jason Hibbets