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Idaho is a Brand?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It seems anything can be a brand these days, from products to people and services to states. That’s right; states. Whether it’s good or bad, brands can take on numerous forms as long as there is something to support the idea, like a state. Idaho, New Hampshire, Florida are all now considered brands. It’s partly ridiculous in theory and thought, but really quite unique and interesting when the definition of “brand” is dissected.

In the last five years, each state has taken on its own identity when it comes to branding. It is common knowledge that each state has certain attributes to offer, but these were never really discussed or “branded” in the past. New York is known for the big city, Florida for its beaches, and Idaho (of course) for its potatoes. These bits of information were passed on informally without any real thought around creating brands. And then someone figured out that each of these 50 states deserved more attention because these pieces of geography were actually brands.

Whether by riding the train, watching TV, or listening to the radio, any resident can see the debut of these brands. Each is very specific and talks less about the known and more about those little state secrets and what makes each brand differentiated. It could be geography, food, or even the people. The purpose is the same: to drive awareness of these state brands and ultimately increase tourism. And placement is important. Instead of only pushing the brand to those that know it best (those that live in the state), the brands are located within other states hoping to increase awareness.

Although none of these brand tactics are revolutionary, the idea that states can be brands is definitely different. It takes down any barriers of what can be a brand and what cannot. Brands are now anything that can be marketed as something with specific attributes to specific customers and that provides value. So in hindsight, maybe states as brands aren't as shocking, and Idaho was just waiting for the world to accept it as a brand.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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