Monday, April 11

Branding a Street

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.


  1. Via Montenapoleone in Milan! full of fashion brand stores like Armani and so on!

  2. Hoboken: Sinatra Drive (perfect!) and Maxwell Place (the former site of the Maxwell House Coffee factory and the reason you could smell coffee 24/7 throughout the town when I was a kid)

    Also in LA: Abbott Kinney Blvd in the heart of Venice and I think PCH has also established itself in this category.

  3. Jim -

    We've got the Vine Street district in Kansas City (i.e., "12th Street and Vine" from one version of "Kansas City").

    I'm in the process of doing a post on a block in Kansas City I've branded my "Creative Block" - 63rd Street between Wornall and Brookside Boulevard. There are a bunch of fun shops where I go for creative inspiration.

    BTW - So funny you mention "South Street." I'd heard it in one of the stores on my "Creative Block" playing behind a video I shot. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out the words from the video to download it. We heard it recently at the grocery store, got a better listen, and now have it on my iPod!