It’s been crazy at Brand Acceleration. Between numerous economic development conferences and client trips, I’ve personally visited eleven states in the last couple of months. Our team seems to constantly be heading off in different directions. I guess that’s the blessing and curse of being a very busy branding and marketing communications firm.
One of the other blessings is the pleasure of seeing so many friends along the way. Clients, business colleagues, and acquaintances, all of them friends, make a heavy travel schedule quite nice.
One such friend, and one of my industry mentors, is Ed Burghard. A longtime marketer and brand professional at consumer products company Procter & Gamble, where he was recognized as one of the top three global marketers, Ed has since turned his focus on the public sector. In 2009, he established the Strengthening BrandAmerica Project, an effort to improve the competitiveness of states and communities.
While attending the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference in Philadelphia, I had a nice discussion with Ed about the subject of community branding. It’s a subject near and dear to each of us. I am particularly impressed with his passion for using economic development as a tool to help people find and live the American Dream. He has a unique ability to articulate the linear connections between public policy, community development, marketing, employer investment, jobs, and a robust quality of life.
A prolific writer on the subjects of marketing and place branding, Ed’s social media and blog posts are at the top of my reading list. A great staring point, for anyone wishing to tap into his wisdom, is his web site, StregtheningBrandAmerica.com.
Recently, I was honored to be recognized by Ed as a place branding expert who “gets it.” While it’s always a thrill to know my many years of work and study are not overlooked, I want Ed to know that much of my depth of knowledge can be attributed to him.
Also, while at IEDC, I had the pleasure of connecting with Brand Acceleration advisers Jay Garner, Cecilia Harry, and Chris Manheim, friends who help me and my company to improve and better serve our clients. I’m just sorry advisers Ronnie Bryant and Eric Canada weren’t there.
In the midst of a very busy time and a hurried life, it’s a real blessing to have such wonderful friends to help me smell the roses.
I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share your thoughts and personal experiences below.