Before the brand burns, let’s make sure it’s the one we want in Northern Nevada
Body language. Body language is the gestural embodiment of the unspoken word that can enunciate through silent loudness what audio sound cannot always decipher. The same can be said for the written word, or maybe three words. Three words like, “Greater Reno-Tahoe,” for instance. Three words – each worth about $133,333 – and campaign that cost $400,000. Oh, alrighty then, I’ll include four more words: “Welcome to Can Do.” OK, so that is seven words at about $57,143 each.
In case you haven’t heard, “Greater Reno-Tahoe: Welcome to Can Do” is the proposed regional business brand by the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) that will slip into the driver’s seat as “Northern Nevada” is ejected into the starry desert night. So I guess that means EDAWN’s full name will now become, “Economic Development Authority of Greater Reno-Tahoe.” Oui? Non? Try to create a memorable acronym out of that one!
Well, I have about 400,000 questions. Let me begin with, where is the heritage of Carson City in all of this? Isn’t Carson City the proud capital of the state of Nevada? Have we allowed a survey to erase the historical and futuristic significance of Carson City in how we market our area? Have we forgotten that Carson City is 149 years old, and is iconoclastic of the Old West? Carson City’s natural resources were also intrinsic to the wealth and thriving progression of the West. Have we lost our own pride and reason for why we live here ourselves, so much to the point of us actually buying into the ignorant words of those surveyed? Are we now ashamed of Carson City?
I’m not suggesting that reference to Carson City be squeezed in the new brand, but why single out Reno and Tahoe? Why wouldn’t “Northern Nevada” work as an all-inclusive branding reference?
To be fair, I agree that Northern Nevada needs to be branded. In equal fairness, I respect any organization that doesn’t sit still and continues to look at ways to improve the area in which we live. And as far as “Can Do” goes, I can’t do. I mean, I can count $400,000 dollars, but I really don’t know what “Can Do” means and how it relates to branding. “Welcome to Can Do?” Because I cannot identify the correlation of that caboose end of the slogan to the objective of the brand, it just sounds too much like “Kathmandu” to me.
Body language? Figuratively speaking, the body language of “Greater Reno-Tahoe” speaks to a dismissal of all that is in-between. To me, that’s like snooty acquaintances not introducing you to their rich friends at a dinner party because the glitter of your apparel just doesn’t sparkle as much as Mr. Reno and Mrs. Tahoe. So maybe Mr. Carson should give the snoots a boot and introduce himself. Or is this our geographic version of saying, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” so we can appease the hypocrites who body slam our area, but wouldn’t think twice about gambling here.
According to what I hear, the out-of-state survey that was conducted revealed that many people did not know Carson City, and only knew Reno for its casinos and the satirical TV show, “Reno 911.” Really?! My God, how horrible? Casinos, gambling, “Reno 911!” Lions, and tigers, and bears. Oh my! And sinful? Let’s all offer ourselves to the purgatorial fire swells of a sacrificial funeral pyre.
Who is this $400,000 piece of paper trying to reach? We are told that tourism is not at the center of the campaign’s target. If indeed it’s the future resident we are trying to reach, why hide from what has made our area interesting? Besides that, what’s wrong with casinos? Many cities and states not even known for gambling have given in to its revenue-generating pleasures.
People who claim that all they know of our area are the casinos, brothels, and “Reno 911,” maybe never intended or will ever consider moving here to begin with. And when searching for quality life, there is a neat little utility that came out a little bit ago called a computer. I know some people haven’t heard of it. It’s sort of under the radar, but it’s kinda cool. You look up things, it gives you information. Can’t wait until it breaks out to the mainstream.
I didn’t know what Carson City and Reno were all about before we moved here, but my family and I made it a point to find out. With most people, unless you have currency falling from your pants pockets, it all starts with a job search. Then follow the questions and information. And, yes, Carson City and Northern Nevada have a hell of a lot more to them than just casinos and sand. It is a rarity called community. Community. And though I have lived here for five years, and not a lifetime, I care about this area. My family and I love the people here. We love the sense of being here. We love the quaintness and the peacefulness. We want to protect what we love about it.
As far as the lure of manufacturers is concerned, I agree unconditionally with EDAWN. We must always be in the perpetual motion of attracting companies with high-paying jobs. Seems to me, though, the fact that Northern Nevada has gained an enormity of national popularity as a growing area (despite the ignorance pleaded by some recently surveyed), should naturally draw manufacturers.
Believe me, I’m all for branding. But like any rancher branding cattle, we better make sure the brand we choose is the one we want to live with for a while before the branding iron burns its mark.
• John DiMambro is publisher of the Nevada Appeal. Write to him at email@example.com.