From Queens: The Brand Residents Don't Buy

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What is Branding?

Branding is the act of taking an object or concept, or in this case, a city, and identifying it with a specific image in order to market it. Branding became a major marketing strategy for corporations in the 1960s as they began to realize how important image and "brand value" are in selling a product. Successful branders like Nike and Coca Cola have created a brand so recognizable that it is known throughout the world regardless of language or culture. In essence a brand is a very well constructed symbol that often becomes more important in selling than the actual product. Following the example of corporate branding, urban branding - the branding of countries, cities, and neighborhoods as a way of selling them through tourism, real estate, government, or media- shortly developed as well (Greenberg, 32).

When you think of Queens, what comes to mind? Mets fans might associate Queens with Citi Field; parents with young children might think of the New York Hall of Science; suburbanites may see the borough as working-class and crime-ridden. The way people view Queens is based on the marketing strategies and branding efforts employed to sell Queens as a desirable place for investment by businesses, residents, and the municipal government. For more on the different strategies of branding please click on: Media Branding in Advertising from Real Estate to Tourism, Media Branding in TV, Magazines, Comics, and Music, and Municipal Government's Redevelopment and Marketing Strategies. Our goal is to explore how different types of urban branding shaped the image of the borough of Queens that we know today.

We studied the branding of Queens by looking at two different perspectives. First we looked at the local government and the media's role in branding, as well as how the branding of Queens is different in Comparison to other Boroughs. This gave us an understanding of how Queens fits into the overall branding of New York City. In addition to finding out how the local government and media brand Queens, we compared how the branding correlates or conflicts with the Residents' Views. By interviewing residents from different neighborhoods we were able to better discern how the government's brand contradicts the city's need for its immigrant workforce, which is very much situated in Queens, by not prioritizing their needs.

The 7 train that runs through many neighborhoods in Queens.

To learn more about Branding Queens, please click next. To move on to the next topic, click on Governmental Programs vs Residential Needs.

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Greenberg, Miriam. Branding New York: How a City in Crisis was Sold to the World. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print.