Look to economic development first

Many community and destination branding efforts are centered on economic development - creating new jobs, better salaries, new investment, a better environment, and more distribution of wealth.

Most cities or regions that have great identity, pride and consensus of direction are economically successful. These things - identity, pride and consensus - grow organically from economic success. Creating identity, pride and consensus within a city that is economically depressed is hard to do if nothing is materially improved. Think of the brand promise and the need to deliver tangible experiences.

At GDS we focus on tangible destination successes with the understanding that the happiness and pride of citizens arise from the economic health and improved environment of their area.

When investors come to town, they stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, shop, walk around the community, and perhaps explore around the region. The questions in their minds are: "Is this a place I want to live?" "Can I attract managers and employees to live here?" "Is this a good place to raise a family?"  As a first time visitor, they are going to size up your community. Only then will they decide to invest, to relocate and to live in your community, region, state, or province.