Letter: Our branding deserves better

Chad Cooper

“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job.’” That’s a line from the film “Whiplash.” It speaks to a spirit of excellence and against the drudge of mediocrity.

Unfortunately, it appears many of our city leaders don’t adhere to this mind-set. The new campaign and branding for the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is a glaring example. That organization is now called GO Cedar Rapids. A consultation firm and a survey informed the new direction.

I understand that a campaign like this needs to appeal to as many people as possible in order to promote tourism. But that doesn’t mean that the message and tone should shoot for the lowest common denominator. We can aim higher. Let’s truly champion this city. I have a deep connection with Cedar Rapids. I was born, raised, and continue to call it my home. I purchased a house just outside of NewBo in 2012, when that neighborhood was nothing more than a fledgling concept. But I saw the potential. The developments in recent years have been inspiring. That’s why when it comes to branding, we deserve so much more.

While I’m sure the unveiling event was a lot of fun, I don’t think it signified a bold new direction for how we’ll brand this city. I think it was more about people patting themselves on the back and saying “good job.” But should “good job” ever be good enough?

Chad Cooper

Cedar Rapids

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