The marketing of Colorado: Everything old is new again
Here in Colorado, it's our nature to fight for the state we love — and to get quite cranky when we see something that we don't think does this state justice.
For the past year, Colorado chief marketing officer Aaron Kennedy has led an all-Colorado crew on what's been billed as the most ambitious branding effort ever undertaken by a state, with dozens of experts volunteering their time and talents to the project and the Colorado Tourism Office being volunteered to pay $800,000 for research — not just in the state, but around the world. The result of all this work was revealed last week during the "Global Unveiling of the Colorado Brand Identity" at the Colorado Innovation Summit — right before the presentation of the "Glorious Failure" Innovation Prize. And no, the prize didn't go to the new brand.
See also: Waving the flag for Colorado art
That brand plays off Colorado's green-and-white, mountain-silhouette license-plate design (but just barely), putting it in what looks like a hazardous-waste triangle. It's been dubbed "The Peak," but the response has been decidedly flat. The professed goal was to come up with a "brand created by Colorado to unite Colorado" — tough timing, considering that ten counties are talking about seceding and others are in the middle of a rancorous recall.
And the slogan that goes with that logo? "It's Our Nature."
Didn't the talented folks working on the most ambitious state effort ever have access to Google? A Florida store called It's Our Nature has a major Internet presence, and Portland, Oregon — whose official slogan appears to be "Making a great place" — recently did an entire It's Our Nature campaign. And then there's outdoor giant Cabela's, whose "It's in your nature" slogan is all over the place. Including Colorado.
Some creative and/or commercial overlap is almost impossible to avoid, of course, but Cabela's just opened two much-ballyhooed new stores in the metro area, and the Cabela's slogan has been pretty impossible to avoid, too. The company has even loaded the Internet with "It's in your nature" anthem videos.
Here's brandcolorado.gov's explanation of the tagline: "'It's our nature' is at the heart of Colorado's new brand. Serving as the tagline, these three words symbolize the duality of our state — awe-inspiring scenery and life-loving people. It connects adventure with entrepreneurship, beauty with happiness and fresh air with creativity."
When Utah — one of the states that Colorado competes with, especially when it comes to outdoor activities involving, you know, nature — discovered that its proposed slogan was too close to Colorado Sky Country's "Enter a Higher State," it went back to the drawing board.
It's our nature to suggest that Colorado do the same.
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