If there’s a city that is the butt of more jokes than Cleveland, I don’t know it. From burning waters (yep, that really happened–a long time ago) to crash-and-burn sports teams, my native city could use a re-brand. Or, so say the branders.
In this digital age, when we worry about our personal brand–imagine our grandparents pausing to consider what message they were sending with a profile pic?!–cities and states are also fighting to be presented in the best light.
Branding is such a big deal that Ohio’s Governor Kasich proclaimed that “Rust Belt” sends the wrong message; he likes “Tech Belt” for Ohio. So far that moniker hasn’t stuck.
My native place is rusty; its past is a bit sullied. Cleveland’s the opposite of slick: a brander’s nightmare. But we’ve been through the wringer (time and again) and come out tougher. Remember the “Cleveland: You Gotta Be Tough” t-shirts? The fact that native Clevelanders can wear defeat as a badge of pride, and laugh off the past while striving for a shinier future–that’s what makes me proud of my hometown.
Would you re-brand your hometown? Give it a catchy slogan? What would it be?
As the Cleveland Indians prepare for a postseason run as defending American League champions, fans are showing their support by purchasing T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Defend Together.”