Should local governments brand their city or towns?

How should a city's brand be created?

Open brand
Image by :

Vote by the people
7% (6 votes)
Naturally through behavior
13% (11 votes)
Architected through a creative process
24% (21 votes)
By an agency
1% (1 vote)
Issue a request for proposal
55% (48 votes)
Total votes: 87

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.

4135 reads

About the author

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets - Jason Hibbets is a senior community evangelist in Corporate Marketing at Red Hat where he is a community manager for He has been with Red Hat since 2003 and is the author of The foundation for an open source city. Prior roles include senior marketing specialist, project manager, Red Hat Knowledgebase maintainer, and support engineer. Follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets

What is open government (promo)

How changed the way the US DoD develops software