The Twin Cities brand: There's work to do

  • Article by: Steve Berg
  • Updated: July 27, 2013 - 6:09 PM

A competitive metro area must build its brand. We're just getting started.

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gowcatsJul. 27, 13 5:56 PM

I think he forgot one. "Elites extract billions of dollars from taxpayers to fund their pet projects (Vikings, Twins, Saints, Wild, Guthrie, Mayo, etc)." In particular, their skill in working behind closed doors and evading inconveniences such as voter referendums is nothing but brilliant. I give it a strong A.

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scottkyJul. 27, 13 6:15 PM

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Promote the cold, people who are genuinely interested will do their own research and not be swayed by this type of advertising campaign. Educuation - HAve you looked at MPLS/St Paul schools - rated as some of the poorest performing in the state. As for commericialization, at some point when the idea is made it needs to be placed into production, and Minnesota is not known for its hospitality for business start-ups. Mass Transit - really? This interacts with the commericialization mentioned before - the last time I checked you cannot transport goods or provide many if not most services via mass transit. Regional assets - I love how all of those listed are in Minneapolis, and a passing slam at the rest of the state. How is Minneapolis' record on water pollution? I bet that record makes the rest of the state look pristine.

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scottkyJul. 27, 13 6:17 PM

Strib - Can you please stop with the Spoonbridge and Cherry bit? Its almost as old as the picture of Wendell Anderson holding the fish for the Time magazine cover.

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pumiceJul. 27, 13 6:41 PM

What an outstanding evaluation of the metro area--warts and all. The slogan Mr. Berg suggests ("MSP: A city by nature") is perfect! Let's git 'er done, girls and boys--overcome janteloven, remove the warts, and blow that Viking horn until everyone knows about our renewed "strong brand and image;" ... our "culture of excellence in education, health and quality of life;" ... our reviving "spirit of innovation and risk-taking;" ... our budding "connective infrastructure;" our "commitment to preserving and regenerating regional assets;" and our willingness to "striv[e] for openness and social equity." It’s a good list. My own take is that we measure up pretty well on most items, and that the pursuit of cool is a little like trying too hard to be funny; the harder you try, the more ridiculous you look. Still, there’s something to be said for laying the platform upon which magical things can happen — or may be already happening, as in some artsy districts of Minneapolis. It’s clear that we must work harder than our rivals because we have two extra hurdles to leap over: an exaggerated reputation for bad weather and an unfortunate cultural trait that Scandinavians call janteloven

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william16Jul. 27, 13 7:42 PM

Surprisingly, this article says nothing about the direct connection between the quality of a city's governance and its brand. Lofty attributes like "a lively spirit of innovation and risk-taking" don't happen in a vacuum, but rather occur through a variety of private/public collaborations to remove barriers and spark visions to improve overall civic life. And efforts like these begin at a city's top. It's how New York City, under Michael Bloomberg's administration, has reinvented itself into one of the nation's most attractive cities, while Detroit, under such incompetent/criminal mayors as Coleman Young and Kwame Kilpatrick, is a bankrupt shell of its former self. Much of the Twin Cities' brand struggles can be traced to the historic rivalries and parochialism of Mpls and St. Paul, as well as years of leaders in these cities who have been, at best, average.

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april24Jul. 27, 13 9:10 PM

I truly believe the reason that we've become known simply as "Minnesota" is because our sports teams have used the state instead of the city name. Honestly, when else do you think of "Cleveland, Houston or San Antonio" unless you see references to their sports teams. They are used in the media much more than any general news that may have occurred in those cities. Sadly, this shows the power sports have and how little people are really aware of places outside their home.

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myob_STJul. 27, 1310:16 PM

We have the problem of being a metropolitan area with two downtowns, instead of one central urban area. That means that our freeways and mass transit are more complicated that one centralized downtown - and it's harder to fix, given that our two major cities are in two separate counties, on opposite sides of America's major river. Truth be told, it's amazing we function as well as we do.

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jeffthompsonJul. 27, 1310:51 PM

One of the unfortunate aspects of our region is the large portion of our population that actually strives to "retreat." A letter writer in this very comment section is fixated on the public funds that went to pay for the Guthrie and the various state of the art stadiums in the area. Can you imagine the Twin Cities without them? Unfortunately, a lot of people can, which means they want to compete with the Fargos and Omahas of the world, not the Denver's and Seattles.

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pumiceJul. 27, 1311:24 PM

Oops! Bad job of editing. Ignore the last half of 6:41 p.m. (Or read this version.)

What an outstanding evaluation of the metro area--warts and all. Let's git 'er done, girls and boys--overcome janteloven, remove the warts, and blow that Viking horn until everyone knows about "MSP: A city by nature;" ... our "culture of excellence in education, health and quality of life;" ... our reviving "spirit of innovation and risk-taking;" ... our budding "connective infrastructure;" our "commitment to preserving and regenerating regional assets;" and our willingness to "striv[e] for openness and social equity."

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aarghmebuckoJul. 28, 13 8:30 AM

MSP is an airport code, not the name for a brand. Nor does "Twin Cities" work well since there are dozens of other twins cities out there. Minneapolis is the obvious brand. Sorry St. Paul.

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