3 Messages That Will Never Differentiate Your Community

They may be true, but they’re not distinct. After two decades of visiting communities around the country, here are the three answers we hear most often when we ask, “what makes your community special?”

Our People Make the Difference.
Small Town Charm. Big City Amenities.
A Great Place to Live, Work & Play.

Today, no community can build a meaningful, ownable reputation on these claims. Again, the claims may be true, so how do you make them compelling and differentiating? You peel away the layers of the onion with more questions – like these:

What is it about your people that is distinct and advantageous?
In Fayetteville/Cumberland County, North Carolina our immersion and research uncovered that the people of the region exhibited inimitable levels of readiness, service and generosity – which led to their Can Do Carolina positioning.

What is the matchless character of your community’s lifestyle?
In the smaller, easygoing community of Lake Bluff, Illinois along Chicago’s prestigious North Shore, we learned that the special difference was a more unpretentious kind of charm and character, all within the desirability of the North Shore. The insights led to their North Shore Life. Lake Bluff Style. positioning.

What is the common thread between how people live, work and play in your community?
In Johnson City, Tennessee, the answer was simple for this beautiful place on Tennessee’s eastern edge: a passion for the outdoors was equal to their hardworking, industrious, self-reliant nature. That insight led to the Go. All. Out. positioning that captured their difference with authenticity and excitement.

If you think of these three messages when you think of your community, that’s a start – but we’ll need to dig deeper to make the message truly distinct in the marketplace and ownable by you alone. That’s what our process is all about.