Pride is a powerful economic development tool (Part 2)
There are underlying fundamentals, recipes of sorts, to follow in order to achieve success either in stocks, baking a cake or in creating pride. My endless searches have uncovered three pieces that must be present in order for pride to exist and be contagious.
Establish a Look or Style.
People are inherently visual. They love pictures, icons, logos, fonts and names on backs of jerseys. It helps establish pride if there is a consistent look that matches the team or cities unique nature. Without a look or style, it’s difficult to gather momentum and create the pride. We see this with a team jersey and players names and numbers. These symbols become a simple visual representation of what makes their team, city or product different and unique.
Determine a simple message that can appeal to a large audience
Messaging must be clear and concise in order for pride to take hold. Getting into the details and behind the scenes isn’t very inspiring and can confuse at best and turn people away at worst. Think of some famous messages. University of Florida’s is “Gator Nation” and has a gator chomp arm movement. Nike’s is “Just Do It”. Braveheart summed his message up in one simple word…”FREEEEDDDDOOOMMMM”. All of these help create the rallying cry or the inspirational message for the fans to follow.
Focus on the USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition and Unique Sense of Place).
Whether you have a unique selling proposition or unique sense of place, it all goes back to what makes your place or package different that separates it from the rest. Stadiums have begun developing placemaking in their design. Locally this can be seen in Daytona Rising and One Daytona. Some of their refocus is on placemaking and making the experience unique through great design and a one of a kind setting. Calling different areas neighborhoods and a redesign on how to help fans interact with each other better are ways in which this area will have a unique sense of place. This too is designed into successful public spaces. Bryant Park in New York pioneered the idea of placemaking with the way they created intimate spaces and designed their large park space into smaller “living rooms” to encourage more social interaction. This unique design has improved both usage and pride in the park over the past few decades. This unique placemaking has even led Bank of America’s headquarters, who relocated adjacent to Bryant Park to alter the address to read 1 Bryant Park rather than the actual street address.
These three pieces listed above can be applied to sports team, our favorite product and even our favorite city. It helps people identify and associate with a concept that the user/buyer/resident something to believe in, spend money on and give. How much is pride worth…it’s hard to quantify. I can say that if I had to pick between two teams or cities without knowing much about them, I’d always pick the one where the pride was the strongest.