NeighborWorks Week: What’s your neighborhood brand?
By George S. Burgan, Director of Communications & Technology
Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership
Discussions of brand management and identity are usually reserved for the corporate setting. But did you know that your neighborhood has a brand? Whether formally adopted or branded over time, your neighborhood has likely made an impression on those who have visited. Working to reshape perceptions and address negative issues is essential to strengthening neighborhood demand and quality of life.
Saturday, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) welcomed 70 resident leaders from metro neighborhoods struggling with housing recovery to learn about loan modification programs, property law, code enforcement, and neighborhood branding.
“What would be the first three themes that come to someone’s mind when hearing the name of your neighborhood?” asked Marcia Nedland, a consultant with NeighborWorks America. “Those three themes ARE your brand.”
Attendees learned the elements of a brand statement, the value of branding the neighborhood with an official logo, positioning strategies, combatting negative perceptions with new messages, and creating signature events.
Branding is about the experience people have with your “product” – in this case, the neighborhood. When branding your neighborhood’s strengths – history, charm, diversity, arts and culture – be sure to build events and happenings around those strengths, Nedland reminded neighborhood leaders.
Attendees also saw numerous successful neighborhood branding examples from around the nation, as well as two Atlanta examples – Inman Park and Adair Park. Derrick Duckworth, Realtor and founder of “Committed to Communities” shared his concept of engaging an entire neighborhood in “selling” the community.
“Our model engages a broad spectrum of players. We ask agents, brokers and lenders to join us in hosting an open house event. We engage the local neighborhood association and all the residents,” explained Duckworth. “Neighborhood residents are always excited to be a part of the process, because they benefit by having fewer empty homes. It reduces crime, improves neighborhood home values and stabilizes neighborhoods.”
The event kicked off a week-long, nation-wide celebration of neighborhood revitalization activities nationally recognized as NeighborWorks® Week (June 6-14). Resident leaders from Atlanta and Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb, Douglas, Gwinnett and Fulton counties participated in three interactive sessions.
“NeighborWorks Week is when NeighborWorks organizations like ANDP showcase what they do best – work with residents, volunteers, civic and business leaders to promote strong, stable, and healthy communities,” said Donald Phoenix, Regional Vice President of NeighborWorks America.
During NeighborWorks Week, ANDP and other NeighborWorks organizations across the country will mobilize tens of thousands of residents, business people and government officials in a week of neighborhood change and awareness.
ANDP is part of the national NeighborWorks network, an affiliation of more than 245 nonprofit organizations located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In 2014, the NeighborWorks network helped 300,000 individuals and families with affordable housing and counseling. The NeighborWorks network was founded and is supported by NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities.
To learn more about neighborhood branding and marketing, see the special series created by NeighborWorks America here.
For a full recap of Saturday’s “NeighborWorks Week: Empowering Neighborhood Leaders to Impact Housing Recovery,”visit www.andpi.org.