Posted: March 5, 2014, 2:33 p.m.
by Stefanie Dunlap.
Let’s say you go to a restaurant and you have impeccable service, amazing food and a great overall experience. What do you do next? You tell all your friends about the remarkable experience that you had. The restaurant relies on its incomparable food and service to gain repeat customers and to help the word spread.
Much like a restaurant gains your loyalty, states use the same type of branding to build a fan base.
Every state is known for something. If not, the state’s lack of identity plays into its brand (or lack thereof) even more. Most people do not think about each state having its own brand. Of the 50 states, Texas is one of the most well-known.
Texas is probably also one of the more disliked states. In a recent poll by Business Insider, Texas was rated Americans’ least favorite state. Although it has a bad reputation for being one of the more arrogant states, Texas is known for doing everything bigger and better.
The reason behind the distaste toward the second-largest state by population and area is difficult to understand. From a public relations point of view, Texas is the epitome of how a company should effectively brand itself. People not only talk about the greatness of this state within the Texas borders, but they also spread the word around the nation and the world.
“Everything is bigger in Texas” is the state’s tagline, seen on T-shirts and coffee mugs at every gas station and souvenir shop from Houston to El Paso. Texas has branded itself as being better than the rest; therefore, it is considered the best to more than 26 million Texans, as well as others who have a Lone Star State addiction.
Texas has one of the most recognizable state shapes and flags. If you were to see the shape of Wyoming, you could easily mistake it for Colorado or even New Mexico. With the shape of Texas, there is no confusion.
The flag is also known throughout the U.S., which is a feat in itself, because there are very few state flags that are recognizable to those outside of the state. The flag and shape of Texas are both components of the Texas brand. They serve as logos or identifiers for the brand and reinforce the Texas image.
So why dislike a state that has branded itself so effectively? Well, that’s like asking, why do I hate the girl who is a better volleyball player than I am? It’s because other states lack a recognizable brand. The tagline and state flag are only the beginning of all the images that pop into your head when the word “Texas” is mentioned.
If you are from the South and hear someone say, “Montana,” what will you think of? The only thing that crossed my mind is Hannah Montana; otherwise, I am out of ideas. That is exactly what you do not want to happen when someone mentions your brand name. You want a flood of words and pictures that are associated with that brand to consume your thoughts.
Texas’s success as a brand becomes more evident through companies using the admiration Texans have with their state as a way to connect with a huge consumer base. For example, Ford and Chevrolet have specific Texas edition trucks, only available in Texas. These special edition trucks provide an exclusivity that Texans are obviously drawn to.
Large companies are finding it beneficial to connect to Texas consumers, showing that Texas may not be as overrated as you thought. The saying that there can “never be bad publicity” may hold true for Texas, because whether you love it or hate it, Texas is definitely being talked about.