Government branding in virtual environments

uncle-sam-wants-you I attended another branding-in-virtual-environments-sponsored presentation last week, this one focusing on governments.

When we think of governments we usually think of federal levels such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany etc. Governments have learned that they are a “brand” to their consumers, their citizens. Two US government brands are TAX (Internal Revenue Service) and MAIL (Post Office). By definition a good brand has a simple marketing message leading to a desired simple action. For the IRS the action is, “Pay your taxes;” for the Post Office it is, “Use us to mail your stuff.” In the last few decades, the US Post Office has cleaned up its brand to compete with third parties such as UPS and FedEx. The IRS seems due for its own brand makeover.

But government branding includes local as well as federal. For example, US states have brands: when you read these license plate slogans, what state names pop to mind? Heart of Dixie, The Last Frontier, Grand Canyon State, Sunshine State, Peach State, Aloha State, Land of Lincoln, Bluegrass State, Bayou State, 10,000 Lakes, Show-Me State, Big Sky Country, Cornhusker State, The Empire State, Birthplace of Aviation, Keystone State, The Lone Star State, Green Mountains State, Mountain State, America’s Dairyland.

An example of memorable city branding is that for Las Vegas: What happens Here, Stays Here. For New York City we have, The Big Apple. Most city brands are not so well known but are still striking. My favorites include, Home of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and Spinach Capital. But I digress… the speaker DID address government branding in virtual environments, citing barriers and barrier breakers, with examples. Take a look at the slides and transcript!

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