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Posted: January 08, 2013

Time for a brand new brand

How bout "Colorado: You'll need a car."

David Sneed

Our meanderingly named governor has convened a panel to rebrand Colorado. We should do the same for Denver since the current: Denver, Would you like to rent a bike? isn’t cutting it. At least it beats last year’s Denver: It’s better than Cleveland!

As a good American (the kind that answers a question I haven’t been asked), I’d like to make a suggestion to this probably thoughtful committee.

I read a marketing book once that said to find words or expressions that have multiple meanings. In that vein, I nominate Colorado: Strike Out! There’s a certain kind of beauty in having one pithy expression that describes our baseball team, highway etiquette, downtown singles bars and the proximity of wilderness exploration. 

A couple of more freebies:

  • Denver: Spread Out
  • Colorado: Higher

You’re right, they’re too ambiguous. We need marketing that talks more to the specifics of the Mile High City. What about: Denver, Now with regular crosswalks? Or: Denver: We have an IKEA?

Hey, they’re just ideas, okay? We’re spitballing here – whatever that means.

Those of us who live here know how good we have it, but we need to educate the Coasters. How about this one: Colorado, It’s warmer than you think! Or, Colorado, Just left of the middle!  That last one will be a hit with geographers and very soft Republicans.

Or one of these:

  • Leave Early
  • You’ll need a car
  • Everyone has a dog
  • You’ll have to wait for breakfast

Does no one remember how to cook eggs? We have something like three restaurants per person, but there’s still a wait on Sunday morning. How can that be? A lot of you must be eating twice, if my math is correct.

The rebranding task force may take a different route, one that speaks to the intangibles of Colorado. I think that may be the way to go. How about:

  • Hippie-free since ‘73
  • We’re gonna’ have a spaceport
  • After NY and LA, but before Wichita
  • Now with TWO horses

I know, those are a little misleading and/or mean. We still have hippies, but at least most of the trees are gone. Colorado: Do you like beetles?

And for those of you punctuation nerds counting, one more colon will set a world record for CPA (colons per article).

Colorado is a regular nest for entrepreneurs, so maybe we should have a slogan that shouts that from the mountain. What about something like Colorado: Let us sell you something? Or maybe Colorado: Don’t be a Gaylord.

I don’t know where to go with this, but we really should think about our future tourist-bringing-in since the skiing may not be around forever – and Lord knows we won’t get them here with our beaches or Titanic tie-ins.

Our future depends on some good ideas so I’d like to ask for your help. Please use the comments to submit your idea on a marketing slogan for either Denver or the state itself. Or, if you know of any other cities in Colorado, feel free to include them as well. Like that one…is it out West maybe...Grand something? It’s on the way to Moab.

Happy New Year!

David Sneed is the owner of Alpine Fence Company,and the author of" Everyone Has A Boss– The Two Hour Guide to Being the Most Valuable Employee at Any Company." As a Marine, father, employee and boss, David has learned how to help others succeed. He teaches the benefits of a strong work ethic to entry and mid-level employees. Contact him at

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Readers Respond

What about, "Now Higher than Ever!" By Eb on 2013 01 17
David, Full circle seems fair. Didn't you mention double entendre in your primary post? Well back to work. Top of the day to all and thanks for the fun! PZ By Penelope Zeller on 2013 01 10
Corology - heh, heh... sounds like a medical procedure for geriatics! Although Colorado is known as one of the "Silver Belt" states.... By Penelope Zeller on 2013 01 10
Arizodiac is strange. Colostrology? By David on 2013 01 10
Part 2 For instance. Arizona has an interesting ad campaign airing on TV now - Arizodiac. Interesting AND a bit confusing... I really cannot determine exactly who the target market is - new age, tourists or retirees looking to relocate. It certainly isn't geared to economic development or jobs. I think they glommed on to a catchy phrase but did not bother to season and set the identity for today's markets. In the end, I am not motivated to visit Arizona because of the advertising. I sincerely hope that we develop a message that is appropriate to the times and a clearly defined target market. Having a deep knowledge of the state's history and an understanding of how our pioneer spirit settled and shaped what we are today will be helpful. At least Arizona got that part right with "Arizodiac". By Penelope Zeller on 2013 01 10
Part 1 Makes me laugh. Grew up with 'Colorful Colorado', 'tis a privilege to live in Colorado', Denver,Cowtown and Proud, Denver; a mile higher, Boulder granola land,, Native, Semi-Native, Pueeeblo, by the Reeever, any variation of John Denver songs and sayings, Aurora.. wait, nothing to say there!, and the list goes on... Some more obscure catch phrases include: Colorado; everything but the ocean, High altitude = cheaper drinking, Colorado; clutter boot capitol, Road Trip Heaven, even the old folks are young and vibrant, and my own: Colorado: Collaborative Competition at it's best. I guess the idea of updating our wondrous state's branded identity really depends on the target market. Are we seeking to attract people to live here? Is it to imply tourism? Agriculture? The mountains? Who, what, and why must also include the length of time that we expect the phrase to be relevant. By Penelope Zeller on 2013 01 10
Colorado: Where natives are scarce. Be a pseudo native. Colorado: Where the air is thin and beer is fat (Fat Tire) Colorado: Where you can get a life. By Laura Roybal on 2013 01 09
Colorado: Sunnier than Seattle....Colorado: Have a "fracking" good time. By Tony on 2013 01 09
Colorado: is that an official bike race, or just a Sunday morning? Colorado: cat lovers need not apply Denver: we're currently compensating for our dubious culinary past. Denver: bigger than Boise, less hipster than Portland. Denver: home to the most gastropubs per capita Colorado: our wines make great household cleaners. Denver: our skyline has one unique feature...dammit-all. Denver: where you can get culture with a side of vertigo Colorado: Thirsty yet? Colorado: go ahead, challenge a local to a drinking contest, suckah! Colorado: what the heck is that smell? (Greeley, I70 east, highway 58 Golden) And finally: Colorado: well it was sunny yesterday, I swear. (When out-of-town guests visit) By Laura C. Newman on 2013 01 08
Colorado: Life in HD When I recently returned from a trip to the east coast, I just noticed that everything just seemed sharper here: The air, the sun, the trees, the water , the mountains. And its not just the natural elements - our people are unusually smart, aware, entrepreneurial, and athletic. We like to live adventurously. By Scott Rodwin on 2013 01 08
IT HAPPENS IN COLORADO is good. By David Sneed on 2013 01 08
I think we should stop trying to be everything to everyone. The brand will always leave something important out. Why don't we capitalize on who we are - no matter what you think that might be. So my suggestion is: It happens in Colorado! Let them decide what "IT" means. By the way - anyone can make suggestions to the branding team. I've sent this spitball their way.... By H Sanchez on 2013 01 08
Check back in a bit, I think we're missing the concluding paragraphs. By David Sneed on 2013 01 08
Hey David, Happy & lucky 2013 to you! I'm sure you actually do know, but for those not in the know - spitballing - to toss ideas around with no expectation of them coming to pass. And, I can get you a good deal on the domain name - which also seemed like a good idea at the time. By C LeBlanc on 2013 01 08
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