Imagine a dilapidated town with abandoned homes and storefronts, less on the scale of a Detroit and more like an Irish Mayberry. Now imagine that same town with beautifully painted scenes of cobblers and bakers on walls and windows. Click here to see the pictures.
That’s what the town of Bushmills, famous for its Irish whiskey, did to temper the rural blight that had set in. Residents even ponied up additional funds and worked cooperatively with town officials.
Apparently, it’s more than just that, because it’s working. Two long vacant buildings have now been leased and there appears to be a renewal taking foot.
That got me thinking about other “brands” that have polished their own patina in an attempt to invigorate what had withered. Why are some of these rebranding efforts successful (e.g. Holiday Inn) and others fail (K-mart)? What can we learn from the Bushmills of the world for our own brands and how it informs the way we polish and re-position our own stories?
My sense is that one must visualize a brand’s value clearly, compellingly and persistently in order for that brand to be subsumed by those engaged with it. One must show what’s possible before what’s possible can be seen.
I’d welcome your thoughts.