Thoughts on Houston's newest brand: The City With No LimitsRecently the Greater Houston Partnership rolled out its newest marketing campaign for Houston, "The City With No Limits", with broad coverage in the Chronicle, CultureMap, and HBJ. What makes this campaign different from previous ones is that its core mission is different: instead of the usual GHCVB campaign trying to attract tourists, this one is designed to convince people, especially young college grads and professionals, that Houston has a great quality of life. It also marks a new direction for the Partnership, which will now go beyond trying to attract jobs and economic development to attracting talent to fill those jobs. I strongly agree with both of those new directions.
"While the Convention and Visitors Bureau targets convention and tourist business, the Partnership's campaign is designed to get people to move here, Harvey said."I really like a lot of things about this campaign:
- The clever inverted H logo:
- The excellent and energetic Houston Best Day of My Life video (scroll down)
- The overall message about our identity: "Key message points focus on the area’s confidence, ambition, supportive nature, harmonious spirit, openness and forward-looking perspective, according to GHP."
- They seem to be following a bit of my advice targeting college campuses.
City branding and identity are topics I've covered quite a bit in this blog, including:
- Why brand a city?
- Houston's branding history and some strategic thoughts where I discuss the GHCVB vs. GHP problem, brands I've proposed, and how we have the distinctive positioning of offering the "best of both worlds" between a big, multi-ethnic, international city with great amenities, culture, and opportunities while also being affordable and fast-growing with a feeling of community (the "big small town" label people often use describing Houston).
- Previous branding/identity ideas I've put out for discussion:
- Houspitality: I still really believe in this one and think it could be very complementarily integrated with the No Limits campaign.
- Houston: (Galactic Hub), Global Village, American Dream, Texas Spirit
- "Houston, Texas - Problem Solved" based on the well-known Apollo 13 quote, "Houston, we have a problem..."
- "Engineering City", or "Engineering World Headquarters", or "Engineering Hub/City/Capital of the Americas"
- "Tropical Texas"
- "Open City of Opportunity" or "Texas' Open City of Global Opportunity" (more), summing up our friendliness, hospitality, entrepreneurial energy, minimal regulations (including no zoning), open-mindedness, diversity, affordability, social mobility, optimism, and charity (especially after Katrina).
UPDATE: Christopher Andrews has some good thoughts on it too over at his blog.