City develops local 'brand' in effort to unify its global identity

Successful tourism messages have not translated into business and investment.

Pat Loeb
August 30, 2018 - 4:41 pm



PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — How would you sum up the city of Philadelphia? That's the task the city is taking on with a project to develop a "global identity." 

There have been many attempts over the years, like "The City That Loves You Back" or "Here for the Making."

But Commerce Department Chief of Staff Sylvie Gallier Howard said its global identity won't be a simple tagline but a collection of messages, graphics, pictures and facts around a unified theme, which any of the 20 or so organizations that promote Philadelphia will use.

"It's a way to speak to the world about how great our city is and how well we're doing and not just where we are today but where we're going in the future," she said.

Gallier Howard noted the tourism messages have been very successful, but they haven't translated into other essential areas.

"We're not doing this successfully in terms of business and in terms of investment," she added. "It's confusing to the external market."

After participating in the Brookings Institution's Global Cities Initiative, department officials concluded a unified message would help correct some misperceptions.

"A lot of the world and a lot of people in the U.S. think of Philadelphia in terms of its past and having been a struggling city," she said. "We're really not known for innovation and we're really not known as a place to invest."

Gallier Howard noted the Amazon bid was a test run at branding and the "Philly Delivers" message is a stand-in while the city develops something more thoughtful.

"We really want to make sure it's informed by a lot of research and data," she said. The city has hired the Brownstein Group to do that, and it hopes for a roll out next year.