Wednesday - December 12, 2018
State Launches Wants Your Help With Branding
Written by Bruce Ferrell   
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 07:05

RALEIGH – The state’s Commerce department wants some help to better sell the state to potential businesses. The N.C. Department of Commerce invites North Carolinians to share ideas and creative expressions demonstrating what North Carolina means to them as the department develops what it calls a new brand for marketing the state.

The Brand North Carolina Project is being conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise (KIPE) and sponsored by the Department of Commerce.

"The state’s need for one overarching brand was identified by the North Carolina Economic Development Board" said NC Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker in a press release, referring to the strategic jobs plan the board recently released. "The best branding programs are grounded in the reality of a product, or a place. Who better to ask what North Carolina stands for than the people who live and work here?"

The project underway at KIPE will compile basic research findings, core concepts, and examples of creative expression for the statewide brand. This bank of creative ideas and knowledge will serve as a source of insights for further brand development work.

"We are pleased that Secretary Decker asked the University to assist with the state branding program," said University of North Carolina President Tom Ross. "With leadership from UNC-Chapel Hill and the active participation of students on our 17 campuses and people all across our state, we can help define our state’s future image. In many ways, our students are North Carolina’s future, so we are delighted they were able to participate in this important effort."

At the heart of The Brand North Carolina Project are two contests designed to engage people across the state in the effort to define a brand for North Carolina.

First is a creative expression contest open to all North Carolinians capturing "What NC Means to You". The contest seeks submissions that answer this question using any type of creative expression including but not limited to photography, poetry, song, dance, prose, video, art, or sculpture. For example, participants can submit a photograph or create a dance that represents to them the values, culture, and community of North Carolina.

The second contest is a "case competition" to make the business case for the brand. Using a tool familiar to MBA programs and other business students, student teams will tackle the marketing issues around the brand and compete with teams from across the state to recommend brand positioning, the unique and credible benefits that should be featured, and other factors common in brand development programs.

Another way to participate is an opinion survey identifying the core values North Carolinians deem most important. In brand development, defining core values is often a step taken to ensure branding messages accurately reflect the characteristics of the entity being branded. The KIPE team will compile the survey data and conduct some market research as well, in an effort to understand current perceptions of North Carolina.

Finally, KIPE is recruiting volunteer Brand Ambassadors across the state to help spread the word about the project to friends, colleagues, networks, and communities. People are encouraged to go to register as a possible Brand Ambassador volunteer.

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