Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Event City

Just a reminder: We do requests!

Oshkosh's latest attempt at rebranding itself has brought on the usual griping in the NW comment section, angst from elsewhere and some good-natured ribbing.

Companies rebrand themselves all the time and, like it or not, cities now have to market themselves in similar ways. (Hell, individuals now have to market themselves like businesses these days.) Oshkosh was long overdue for a marketing revamp and this explanation as to why is about as good as it gets:
Hielsberg said On the Water, while accurate, does not distinguish Oshkosh from any of the myriad other cities in Wisconsin that are also on the water. She described the old slogan as describing an attribute of the community, but not what can set Oshkosh apart from others.
Cities have been branding themselves for centuries now (a fact Ron Johnson recently learned with his inaccurate Greenland comments), and it's an almost essential process these days. Milwaukee recently redubbed itself the City of Festivals, a far more inviting and all-encompassing moniker than the Brew Town or Beer City nicknames of old, which made it sound like a destination for drunks and little more. There's no reason why Oshkosh shouldn't update it's profile to the rest of the world.

The name itself -- Wisconsin's Event City -- is undoubtedly the source of a lot of the consternation over the rebranding process. It's so simple that most people probably look at it and think to themselves, "Well, I could have come up with that --- where's my $40,000!" Alas, it's not that easy. In fact, the brand's simplicity is good thing and the city should be very happy the results, which are infinitely more agreeable than the disastrous rebranding effort by the state Department of Tourism last year.

The best part about any rebranding effort is that it's as much about a city's aspirations as it is about the image a city wants to project to the world -- and offering to be a hospitable destination to the rest of the state is not a bad niche to fill.

4 comments:

CJ said...

Oshkosh, Water City

Event City-
EAA, Country USA, Life Fest, Miss Wisconsin Pageant, Winnebago County Fair, Irish Fest, Dragon Boat Races, soon to be Octoberfest, Waterfest, Sawdust Days, Cabela’s National Team Championship and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Lake Winnebago Central Division Qualifier Fishing Tournaments...

Anyone else have a main event?

OSNW3 said...

Event City!

Polly said...

Because we are not simply about "events." Let the CVB have their "event city" cute slogan. Why should we all be drug down into being a commodity instead of a community?

It is sad and pathetic. Oh, and expensive when the city has to redo EVERYTHING that says "Oshkosh On The Water."

So CJ - I am actually sad to see you liking this.

I will bet money it last less than two years, if it gets done at all.

CJ said...

Polly- I do think Water City or something about water would be more appropriate and be a better fit for the city. Particularly with the long awaited start on the construction of the riverwalk. It really makes me wonder what the thought process was going into this and coming up with Event City, especially after the GOF dropped off.

What I don't understand is why the city went into this rebranding process without holding some type of local contest. I've found that some of the best ideas, slogans and logos come from within the community and surrounding areas. Winner gets a key to the city, Chamber dollars, 15 minutes of fame, a seat in the 4th of July parade, maybe even on the firetruck, etc.... You get the idea. (Look to the Milw. Brewers logo for an example)

With that given, if this is going to be our city slogan and we're going to embrace it, we better be able to "sell" it. That short list that I made, and I mean short, does not quite qualify us at this time.

I know that the written word does not always come across the way intended. Please don't try to read more into it than what was there.

With all the flooding we've been experiencing, Oshkosh IN The Water is my personal slogan. ;o)