The Before: What is this all about?

1 . What
I put myself forward to perform a cardio check-up on NYC as a brand. Everyone is willing to wear the t-shirt with the “I love NY” brand, so let’s look at this from the other side: is New York willing to love us back? Are the ambassadors of this brand (meaning the people, companies and brands of NYC) willing to embrace such an emotional approach and “give back” in order to contribute to the city’s awareness and good reputation, and more, to the goal of enticing 50 million tourists annually by 2015?

2 . Why
Because it’s clear nowadays that the image, reputation and brand values of a city, and especially the way it is perceived externally, can impact its success, development, its population, offers and opportunities.

Such a powerful and high impact brand as New York must appeal to the global audience via innovative approaches. This project aims to create a compelling experience that will empower the city with competitive advantages and help people understand it from a different angle, reinforcing their role as true brand ambassadors. Researching and working as a Country Brand Consultant myself, I consider this as a fresh approach to help renew New York’s vibrancy to the world.

3 . When
I would be landing in New York on the 1st of March 2009 and leaving on the 31st.

4 . Who
This is a private project of Patrícia Soares da Costa , a Portuguese Country Brand Consultant working for Bloom Consulting in Madrid, Spain. Previously worked with Wolff Olins in London and Rio de Janeiro, with Mybrand in Lisbon and São Paulo, and with The Brand Union (former Enterprise IG) in Madrid.

5 . How can you, your company, your brand, help or participate
Creativity is key. The purpose is to get a taste of New York from a different perspective, and broadcast it. So think of whatever special or unusual places, events or experiences you have access to, and invite me along, to visit, to have lunch, for a coffee, and share a story with me. Below you can find a sample list of what kind of offers people have already proposed.

6 . What’s in it for you, your company, your brand
You want to participate because you want New York to look good and get talked about, and because you want to be part of showing fresh perspectives of the city, especially in times of such change and turmoil. You will be rewarded not only with publicity on the website, but also with a special “Donor card” that will identify you as a true NY Brand Ambassador.

Via the website, you can then expect people to learn about you, your company, your services, or your brand. Extensive press coverage for this project has already been guaranteed.

All of the experiences, sensations and flavors will be recorded through text, photos and video. The official blog ( will continuously report the month-long event. Also, some of the contributions currently proposed involve prominent advertising space, with several brands in advanced negotiations about getting involved.

7 . Gains for NYC
Unique photo and video coverage of the city and its pulse, approaching the familiar and not-so-familiar from lively new angles with a refreshing, intimate approach; it will receive heightened press coverage and media recognition.

Increased brand domestic support by getting in touch with the needstates of the brand endorsers and taking the pulse of the brand ambassadors, empowering potential flagship brands or persons, also expanding brand awareness externally.

Work documents that will contain the gathered information, research and analysis on the city’s rhythm, with main conclusions, recommendations and findings, identifying main strategic opportunities and key information to be considered for new proposed activities; updated research and findings on the City’s capabilities, flow and performances, and also on current trends.

8 . F.A.Q.
Do you need to be a New Yorker to participate?
No, you just have to live or be represented in NYC and be interested in promoting the city’s image.

What if several people propose to offer the same experience?
Diversity is a priority on this project. If this were to occur, we might end up joining a group of people in the same activity and even promote networking among New Yorkers. There will be no simple repetition of experiences.

How much will it cost to participate?
Participation is free, and any goods and services offered will not be sold to any third party.

9 . How you can contribute
You can start now by promoting the project amongst your contacts, and return with feedback, advice, suggestions, and contacts that might be interested in the project.

An invitation to have lunch at your company, or at your grandmother’s house, or for a cocktail at a must-know spot, or to a unusual restaurant, or to Sunday brunch because your friends have some great stories, a picnic in the Central Park.

Perhaps you have a spare ticket to a show, or a spare pass to your gym. You m ight invite me to a fitness evaluation because you’re a doctor, or to a piano lesson because you’re a teacher, or even to tag along on your salsa lesson.

A pair of shoes from your brand might help with all the walking that will be done over the month, or maybe you want to offer products or services from your brand on a trial basis.

You could offer advertising space in your magazine or website to raise awareness of the project, or space that I can trade with brands or companies to get them involved, perhaps you’ll give the project coverage on your blog, or even a sit-in on your radio talk show.

A manicure in your salon or a game of Mahjong in Chinatown, a ride in your classic car or an insider’s tour of a museum, gallery or landmark, the access to the rooftop of your building because of the unusual view. You could even offer office space or use of the printer and copy machines to help with the logistics.

10 . NYC is the capital city of the world… or is it?
There are new approaches to naming a city as “the capital city of the world”. Before, people would worry about real estate, financial data, number of inhabitants, etc, but now lots of other aspects are valued: art, music, events, people, fashion, urban planning, the cultural melting pot… even what’s evaluated as quality of life now includes a lot of new factors. In people’s minds, New York is a perennial capital city, an urban classic. What about the eternal rivalry between New York and London? With the organization of the 2012 Olympic Games, all the eyes will be looking at London.

Witness recent coverage:
“New York has the nostalgia, London the future. New York defines the metropolitan, London the cosmopolitan.” - Times Online

“Cities vie for Coolness: will London move ahead of front-runner New York to become the coolest city of the 21st Century? The unofficial battle for the title World Capital of Cool is about to resume. There are only two big beasts in the jungle: New York, once the undisputed champion, and London, seen by many as rapidly closing the gap." - The Guardian

“If Paris was the capital of the nineteenth century and New York of the twentieth, London is shaping up to be the capital of the 21st. It is not Britain and the United States that have a special relationship, it is London and New York - and it is that of wayward siblings, blood brothers who can’t stop wrestling for the top prize.” - New York Magazine

“The results of a study from a collaboration of New York and London Universities analyses what may not be a competition, but London and New York are compared with striking results. More dramatic differences were expected, but they really are neck and neck. The bigger concern is that these two cities not rest on their laurels: What happens to the two cities in the next five years will be really crucial. While New York did do better in certain categories, overall, the two cities have striking similarity.” - NY Sun

“London is set to overtake New York as the capital city of the 21st century. Says who? Well, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for one. Speaking at New York City Hall in January, the mayor cited a report by the consultancy McKinsey, which found London snapping at the heels of New York. If that isn't enough to make proud New Yorkers a tad nervous, New York magazine ought to do it. Its cover story? London - The Other New York.“ - ABC News

It’s time to take the pulse of NYC and show the world the Big Apple’s big heart.


Anonymous said...

Wow! That's a brilliant project! Unfortunately I'm in no way affiliated with NY but I wish you all the luck with your project and be sure to have me as a frequent visitor on this blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm very interested in your project, but like the previous comment I don't have any affiliation with NYC.

I will however help in anyway possible.

Unknown said...

As an Urban Designer I say: New York City is not just a city. NYC is also many cities overlapped in the same territory and at the same time spread all over the world. The parameters that apply to the multiplication range from the season, to the many private networks or to each neighborhood boundaries or even to the subway map. I only live in NYC for 5 years but so much has already happen that I can consider myself married to this city.
This city is so alive, so flexible. It gives back in the same right proportion as it receives. Careful high dreams, open minds and open hearts - this city will take over you and drive high speed until you lose your breath.
From what I see around me, I can tell that the city is very generous to the ones who stay through the crisis, along the years. For someone who is coming as a tourist just for a week, or a month, the city will give back as well in the same proportion of each person effort to engage.
Your project interests me very much because it is fun and I wonder how you, with your background, will organize so much information to a mainly European public. Is this only going to last one month - March? As I mention above, the city changes with the seasons – SUMMER is definitely the time when NYC mostly gives back. It will be unfair for the City which establishes a whole “give back” season, to have a give back check up, off season. You will exclude: streets invaded with restaurants; wonderful picnics all over the parks; free performances (Shakespeare in the park, Jazz in the park, Metropolitan Opera in the park, Monday Movies in Brian Park, Dance at Lincoln Center, Movies in the top of skyscrapers, etc); PS1 Summer rave party; Museum mile; Summer mood – outside, outgoing, easy to make friends; etc.
If March is all you have, I recommend: sunset in LIC park along the river overlooking United Nations – first stop of the 7 train in Queens (LIC is my new neighborhood!); 5pm Cocktail at Rainbow room (Rockefeller center, with front view to Empire State Building); Staten Island Ferry (free, wait for warmer day with no wind); Burger at Boat Basin (maybe they are open only in the weekend before Summer – this is a sublime Urban Design point coming from 79th Street and going down around the roundabout); the Met (always donation!); Columbia campus (generous space hunted by brilliant minds); Central Park around The Lake (Romantic!); Mary Crisis, a bar with a piano where everybody sings Broadway Musicals; dog’s play dates and mom’s group meet ups. Welcome and have fun! You may contact me – maybe I could join you some afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Patricia! So I was just browsing and I was literally about to send you a link to an article entitled Obama re-brands america...and then I scroll down and I see that YOU had already left a comment! Qué risa! Hope you're staying warm in NYC, let me know if you need my help with the page!

Sinapse said...

I'm IN LOVE with NY. E aposto que vais encontrar muitas mais pessoas como eu!

Vens ao encontro de star-trackers, na 4a-feira?