In Philadelphia, we worry about the “brand” of the city. We want to come up with a clever phrase that will make the world think about, remember and revere Philadelphia.
A lot of people think a brand is the logo, or the color palette you use, but it’s really a feeling. The best brands encapsulate the feeling that a product or organization provide to the audience. It’s a feeling that begins inside the organization responsible for the product. That feeling can’t be made up. Your ad agency can’t create it out of thin air. The best brands are The Truth.
Over the years, there have been numerous efforts to brand the city and the region – some good, some bad. However, it’s fair to say that none of them have really caught the attention of the general public (at least not since they came up with City of Brotherly Love.
Like it or not, Philadelphia’s brand is defined by its history – more than anything, most of America thinks of this town as the Cradle of Liberty. This certainly isn’t a bad thing to be, but it isn’t exactly forward-thinking, either. The brand is also defined by our sports teams, their traditional lack of success, and the way we react to that lack of success.
But now comes a branding opportunity on the Big Stage. Phillies. Yankees. The World Series. Last year, when the Phillies beat Tampa Bay for the Championship, most of America yawned. But now, everyone will be watching because the Yankees are, well, the Yankees.
The Fightin’s are definitely underdogs, but these Phillies ain’t no Rocky Balboa upstart. They’re damn good.
Philadelphians are head over heels in love with the Phils, not just because they win, but because of the way they play and the way they stick together. Because of the way Charlie hung with Lidge. Because of the way the players live in and embrace the city.
Everybody in the area has an electric feeling about what the Phillies are doing, best captured in the great Phillies mash up that glorified Jimmy Rollins’ clutch NLCS Game 4 winner.
So the stage is huge. The opposition is mighty. The world is watching. When America tunes in, Philadelphia will look beautiful. Citizens Bank Park will be electric. People out there will see what’s going on here.
Of course, this is just the opportunity. To take advantage of the opportunity, the Phillies need to beat the Yankees. They need to win.
If they can do that, then Philadelphia can claim a new brand: Champions.
Because the best brands tell the truth.