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Attention Cities: Focus on What Makes You Distinct!

by | Sep 29, 2014 | Government Entities

164299542_200_133There’s no place on earth quite like New York City or Las Vegas.

While numerous chambers of commerce and convention and visitors bureaus have aimed to increase tourism via marketing videos, after a while, they’ve all started to look quite generic.

Instead of taking a cookie cutter, “conventional cool” approach, citing your best coffee shops, bike lanes, trendy fashion boutiques, startups, microbreweries and more, why not try something that sets your city apart?

Being distinctive is important. As Harvard business professor Michael Porter puts it, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique matrix of value.”

Cities fall into the conventional cool trap for a lot of reasons. Part of it is the play-it-safe mentality or struggling to identify their uniqueness.

A city that’s getting it right is Nashville. The Music City could have turned its back on country, but it didn’t – it embraced country music as core to its current and future identity. It even updated the scene for the 21st century.

Rather than rejecting their actual selves, cities need to embrace, but certainly update, who they are.

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