Does the Pittsburgh Region need a "brand?"
This has led to renewed calls to define a clear "brand" for southwestern Pennsylvania. To many, this means a slogan or simple statement about what the region is or wants to be. Yet several efforts have been made in the past to come up with such a slogan or statement, and all have failed. Is Pittsburgh's problem that it doesn't have a slogan? Or is the problem that we think we need one in order to do effective marketing?
Does Seattle have a slogan? Does Austin have a slogan? Does Boston? Does anyone really think that Manhattan is a worldwide center of commerce because of "I Love New York?"
Pittsburgh has a unique combination of strengths that can't be easily summarized in a few words. So let's stop wasting time and money trying to figure out what the words are. They don't exist.
Let's start focusing on the real goal, which is telling businesses, young people, and tourists about all of the aspects of the region that they will be interested in. Some will care more than others about our strengths in innovation and technology. Some will care more than others about our high quality of life. But all will certainly be interested to know that Pittsburgh has all of those things. And once they know, they will be more likely to want to make Pittsburgh their home.
How do we get out the message about how great the Pittsburgh Region is? While advertisements are nice, personal endorsements are better. If we believe in the region, then each of us should make it our personal goal to sell it to someone else.