For those of you who know the hometown of our headquarters (we have a satellite office in New York), you may only know Greensboro as a sleepy Southern town. Maybe you know it as the site of the Woolworth civil rights boycott in the 60’s. Maybe you don’t know us at all. But Greensboro will surprise you. Greensboro branding has taken a turn for the better.
This is not because Greensboro (and Greensboro branding efforts) is home to Michelin-starred restaurants, famous microbreweries or wine tours. But to those of us who are students of branding, Greensboro might just be a case in point.
The revolution in downtown Greensboro started as an evolution after years of urban blight and suburban flight. It started with a few restaurants and an old and restored movie palace (The Carolina Theater). About 10 years ago, the changes accelerated and, in many ways, it was punctuated by one of the finest regional legitimate theatres in the mid-Atlantic region — The Triad Stage (an integral part of Greensboro branding).
I could go on and on about the successful campaign to build a gem of a baseball stadium and a renewal of the city’s businesses, but I think a lot of the credit belongs to an organization called Downtown Greensboro.
These folks have, for the most part, successfully navigated the political landmines found in any civic organization and have kept their focus on the future. You can find a common vision of what can be and what should be in their policies, ideas and activities. Their clarion voice is felt in every aspect of Greensboro and their web site is more than just a local business listing.
It’s a good sign when a city decides to rebrand and refocus its vision on development and growth without the sprawl that punctuates most downtowns in transition. For a branding firm like Stealing Share who sees the world in global terms, Greensboro is more than just home. It’s a case study in real time.