By Jami Miedema

Earlier this month, I was made aware of a beneficial website for economic development professionals – Strengthening Brand America. This educational site, created by The Burghard Group, aims to help economic development organizations leverage product and corporate branding principles to create strong, competitive community images. As the website states, “The competition for capital investment is becoming less between states, and more often versus other countries.” That is why ensuring the health of Brand America through thriving local communities is so important for sustainable economic growth.

This website serves as a forum where individuals from both the private sector and economic development community can come together to educate themselves about place branding and discuss community image issues. For example, Place BrandAid is a page on the site that is an effort to help communities affected by the BP oil spill. This help is in the form of collective input about how these communities can reverse the damage the spill has had on their images. Perhaps, your community is facing challenges where an objective, outside party’s wisdom could help you discover new avenues to finding a solution. Or, maybe your community has a success story that could help other areas tackle similar problems. Strengthening Brand America is a fantastic resource to start a dialogue to get help and information about building up Brand America one community at a time.

Another great feature of the website is the Expert Interviews section. This contains over two dozen interviews with professionals who provide insight into place branding matters. The site also contains white papers, academic papers, recommended reading suggestions, and links to relevant resources. If you have knowledge to share or a story to tell, visit Strengthening Brand America’s blog or contact The Burghard Group. Your input can make a difference!