Detroit as a Brand
Aidan Lewis’ article, Detroit: The branding of a bankrupt city picks up on how companies are using the name of the city to sell their products.
“It stands for a brand of determination and a general refusal to quit.”
Tim Calkins, from the Kellogg School of Management quoted in the article, stated that:
“If you associate yourself with Detroit, you’re associating yourself with a struggle, with managing through difficult times…[Your brand] becomes a brand you want to root for, and a brand you hope will be successful”
Well known US brands such as Chrysler, Shynola and Carhartt are using this as their USP. Chrysler’s 2011 Super Bowl advertisement ended with the slogan ‘Imported from Detroit’. Shynola’s ‘made in Detroit’ appeals to those wanting to help the city’s renaissance.
Interestingly the article closes on Detroit’s masculine appeal. Scott Galloway of the Stern Business School comments:
“Associating with a product that makes you feel manly or masculine is an incredible asset, and right now there is no more macho city than Detroit.”
Although interestingly you can by Sippy Cups and Bibs with ‘Imported from Detroit’ via Chrysler/Carhartt’s ifdstore.
Detroit will certainly a city to watch over the years. If such a renaissance does come into full fruition it will hopefully tap into it’s other cultural exports asides from the manufacturing industry – music being the most obvious. However, I hope this doesn’t turn into some nostalgic theme park longing for the past.