Beverly Hills – The Brand

by Brad VanAuken, BrandForward, Inc.

The city of Beverly Hills, CA is launching its own line of perfumes as a first step in turning its trademarked shield logo into a brand. See Beverly Hills Perfume for details.

I think it is an interesting concept for a city to reinforce is most powerful positive associations by launching related products under its name and logo. If done properly, it could help reinforce what the city stands for and what makes it different.

While this may not work for the majority of municipalities, I could see it working in a number of instances:

Woodstock (NY) – tie-die clothing
Lake Placid (NY) – winter sportswear or ski equipment
Las Vegas (NV) – traveling shows
New Orleans (LA) – Cajun foods
Cambridge (MA) – study guides (similar to CliffsNotes) or college test preparation services
Nashville (TN) – country music record label (some already exist)
Kansas City (MO) – barbeque sauce (some already exist)
Fargo (ND) – ice cream bars
Scottsdale (AZ) – golf equipment
Orlando (FL) – national theme park chain
San Jose (CA) – national computer consulting franchise
Aspen (CO) – upscale ski clothing
Sedona (AZ) – New Age products

The trick would be to find products that reinforce the intended positive associations. For instance, while Fargo could license its name to ice cream bars, maybe it wants to leave that honor to International Falls, MN or some other extreme northern municipality. This could be a whole new line of branding – creating municipality brands under which nationally (or globally) distributed products and services are offered.

Can you think of any other municipality/product combinations that are ripe for brand licensing?

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