I was in LA last week, staying on Sunset Blvd aka The Sunset Strip. It's a jamming place filled with bars, restaurants, clubs, and hotels. Oh yeah, and a Starbucks or two.
I immediately noticed these signs on the street lights that said "The Street that Rock Built". It got me thinking ... this street is a brand!
They've branded the Sunset Blvd so that people know what it's all about and why they should go there. It's a destination for people looking for a certain kind of thing. To fulfill a certain kind of need. Sounds like a brand to me. And it's also a way to screen out newcomers ... you wouldn't open up a daycare center on "The Street That Rock Built".
LA is also home to Rodeo Drive - another great "brand". You certainly wouldn't see a Payless Shoe Store on one of the most exclusive fashion streets in the world, although I wouldn't be surprised to see a plastic surgeon office above one of the store fronts.
There are a number of "branded" streets in New York:
- 7th Avenue is "Fashion Avenue", home to many of the country's fashion houses
- Wall Street
- Broadway is "The Great White Way"
- 42nd Street used to mean one thing (toot toot, hey, beep beep) but now it's evolved to be more like a Disney World
Chicago has Michigan Avenue and "The Miracle Mile." We know what's there.
Miami has Ocean Drive, one of my favorites in the world and the symbol of Miami night life and beach culture.
Philadephia's South Street even had a song written about it: "where do all the hippees meet, South Street South Street."
This is a fun little marketing thing that I hadn't thought of before: even a street can be a brand. I guess we can thank Main Street for starting the trend.
Do you have a branded street in your city ... what's your experience? Jim.