"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it."
Margaret Fuller (1810 - 1850)

Our Speakers


Don McEachern
President & CEO

Don McEachern, CEO of North Star Destination Strategies, is genuinely passionate about communities. He understands the emotional connection people have to the place where they live, work, grow up and raise children.





Community Branding 101

What’s the difference between marketing peas and marketing communities? The peas don’t care what you say about them. This funny, engaging talk uses real life case studies to help listeners understand community branding. What it is. How it works. Why research and strategy are critical. Why focusing on just a logo and line is selling your community short. And how to do community branding right so you only have to do it once.

Riveting research: A fresh perspective

Riveting research is not an oxymoron; the right research can change your life . . . not to mention lay a strong, defendable foundation for your community brand. Learn how elevating research from a dry collection of facts to a fascinating plot line, can help every community tell its story in way that appeals to consumers. Consumer profiling, consumer perception, economic landscape, labor market analysis and economic impact analysis will be covered.

Regional ED branding: Can't we all get along?

For every regional economic development partnership that is clicking along on all collaborative cylinders, there are two stalled at the idea of how to convince competitive communities and organizations to work together. This session explores how the process of branding – which by design pulls everyone together to speak in one voice – can create trust and transform the mindset of regional stakeholders from competitive to collaborative.

The next move: Putting your brand to work

So you’ve got a shiny new brand. Now what? This hands-on strategic session takes you step by step through the process of gaining advocacy and funding for brand integration, organizing the implementation effort, getting businesses on board, and wildly imaginative ways to implement the brand in your infrastructure, citizenship, government, tourism and economic development efforts, merchandise and more.

Community-wide or sector specific?

One size fits all isn’t an attitude that works with city or place branding. The primary economic driver in some cities is tourism, so it makes sense for a tourism brand to lead the way. In some places a community-wide brand is a better fit. While some communities should start with economic development. This session explores the criteria that determine what type of brand is in your community’s best interest.

Logo or No Go?

Many equate community branding with a logo and strapline. (“Branding? Like ‘Coke is it.’ Right?) This entertaining session puts the logo and strapline in perspective relative to a community brand. Specific topics include the history of logo development, a review of successful logos and lines, interactive discussion of what makes a successful logo and line, benefits of safe vs. edgy, and creating a brand from an existing logo and line.

Past Events

Wisconsin Economic Developers Association Annual Conference

Madison, WI
Using Your Brand to Get the Talk Right on the Street

American Planning Association Annual Conference

Chicago, IL
Marketing to Rebuild Market Demand

Florida Mayors Mean Business Annual Summit

Orlando, FL
Florida: The Perfect Climate for Business

Florida City/County Management Association Annual Conference

Orlando, FL
Economic Development Branding: Getting the Talk Right on the Street

Economic Developers of North Dakota Summer Conference

Fargo, ND
Getting the Talk Right on the Street: Community Branding

Public Relations Society of America Webinar

Online Webinar
Community Branding: How Research Can Lead to a New Identity

3CMA Annual Conference

Scottsdale, AZ
Community Branding: How Research Can Lead to a New Identity

ICMA Annual Conference

Boston, MA
Using Your Brand to Get the Talk Right on the Street
President & CEO