Another View: Brandathon proves cooperation can improve region

You may like “In Season” for the region’s slogan or you may not. After all, such things are subjective. Either way, it is only an underlying element of a broader brand platform, not a brand itself, (“  ‘In Season’ rings flat as regional brand,” Editorials, July 4).

To illustrate, consider the tagline “Giant Together.” This is not the San Francisco Giants’ brand. It’s a rallying cry. It supports the team’s brand with a specific purpose over a duration of time.

The Brandathon effort brought roughly 500 people together – many from the region’s top marketing and ad firms – to develop language and visual concepts that describe the region’s attributes.

“In Season,” or variations of it, consistently emerged as the top choice and later earned the most votes through social media.

The Brandathon notion was sparked in Philadelphia during the Metro Chamber’s Study Mission, but the desire to establish an identity dates back decades. With many attempts over many years, traditional approaches and committee-driven efforts, none took hold.

Next Economy – a regional plan for economic growth – recognized that identity of place is important in the economic development equation, but it was Philadelphia that inspired us to stop waiting for dollars or other organizations.

So a handful of leaders organized a grass-roots effort. We knew the approach might draw criticism and that it could produce nontraditional results. That’s exactly why it made sense.

Business as usual is not how things are getting done. If we relied on business as usual there would be no iconic arena for the region, no Sacramento Republic with thousands of fans, and no dinner on the Tower Bridge linking a region in a celebration of food and agriculture.

It’s disappointing that a recent Bee editorial called out “In Season” not for its ability to inspire a movement where the region becomes recognized for its virtues, but as a slogan worthy of ridicule. It’s unfortunate that the editorial staff chose not to participate in this open process, only to weigh in with criticism after the fact.

Nonetheless, we now have a platform to tell the world our story, and “In Season” is our first rallying cry. See the team’s vision for how it can take hold:

Brandathon proved our region holds a deep desire to be considered in a new way. The real story is that amazing things happen when people are willing to lend their time and talent, and to work together to make their region a better place.