Friday, June 8, 2012

National Goverors Association Presents New Engines of Growth: Part 2, Enhancing Competition

This is the second in a series of posts discussing a study released in May 2012 by the National Governors Association titled "New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture and Design".

The report makes the argument that arts, culture, and design can assist states with economic growth because they can:

1. Provide a fast-growth, dynamic industry cluster
2. Help mature industries become more competitive
3. Provide the critical ingredients for innovative places
4. Catalyze community revitalization; and
5. Deliver a better-prepared workforce.

My first post discussed The Industry Cluster, and I showed how the newly formed networking group The Ashland Arts Alliance serves to solve many of the issues raised in forming and accelerating the growth of a creative industry cluster. 

I'll now move on to number 2, and talk about how arts, culture, and design can help mature industries become more competitive.

The chapter begins:

States have several efforts under way focusing on industry renewal and retool- ing that connect well with arts, culture, and design. Those efforts also provide an important opportunity to further cooperation between economic development and arts and cultural agencies. One such effort concerns manufacturing, with states (including eight states participating in an NGA Center for Best Practices policy academy) focused on how to integrate inventing, designing, and producing high-value-added products into existing and emerging manufacturing industries. Another effort concerns tourism. The Western Governors’ Association 2011–2012 initiative focuses on ways to strengthen the Western economy by promoting growth of the outdoor recreation and tourism sectors.

In many industries, producing the most important new products and services depends on maintaining the worldwide technological lead. But that kind of leadership also depends on deeply creative individuals who can imagine how people can use things that have never been available before and who can create ingenious marketing and sales campaigns, write books, design cars, and imagine new kinds of software that will capture people’s imagination and become indispensable to millions.

Ok, sounds like some pretty lofty goals, eh? How does this fit into small town America?  Well lets start with marketing campaigns. We have a new pizza shop in town, called Gold Coast Pizza. They opened in November, and the owners, Ken and Karen Russell, are from Oregon. Their pizza is a speciality item.. specifically, it is west coast style pizza.

Being half Sicilian and growing up in Brooklyn, I have some pretty pre-conceived notions of what pizza is supposed to be. And this ain't it. However, I'm always one for trying new things, and the fact is that their pizza is pretty darned good! Now to me, it doesn't come close to a genuine New York style pizza, but my wife thinks it is the best pizza she's ever had.

I told Karen that they should have a presence at the Ashland Strawberry Faire, where the organizers projections were for up to 40,000 people. I came up with an idea. Since their logo is a silhouette of a covered wagon, and they have photos from the California gold rush on their walls, I would create the character of an old prospector, and hand out coupons.

I came up with a repeatable schtick:

"The name's Gold. Gilbert Gold. And I've struck gold! Gold Coast Pizza that is. Extraordinary Inducements. But one pizza at full price, get another half off. You've got sixty days to stake your claim!"

I based the coupon design on an old advertisement I found for steam ship transport to the west coast:

I had a harmonica with me and sang the song "Oh My Darling, Clementine". It begins "In a cavern, in a canyon, excavating for a mine, 'twas a miner, forty-niner, and his daughter Clementine" I don't have an exact count, but I'd estimate I handed out about 1,000 coupons at the fair. People loved the character. There were two main reactions to Gold Coast Pizza; either people had never heard of it, or they had tried it and loved it.

I've also done creative marketing campaigns for my haunted attractions, and even gave a presentation to a marketing class at a local high school school a couple of years ago on the use of Alternate Reality Marketing Campaigns.

Speaking of haunted attractions, this is certainly related to tourism. The Halloween industry has been growing steadily over the years, and currently generates seasonal money second only to Christmas. Theme parks got on the haunted attraction bandwagon around the year 2000. Thousands upon thousands of Halloween enthusiasts visit haunted attractions each year. Spooky World, a private haunted attraction in New England, grew to do two million dollars in ticket sales each season!

And speaking of Christmas, I do that too:

Father Christmas

Father Christmas and Pesci the Elf

My Dad started this wen he was 6 years old. I made many of the buildings.

As for manufacturing, how about designing a fountain with one of the world's leading fountain engineering firms? In 2006, I worked with Richmond sculptor Tom Wright to create the first in the world fountain of its kind, in conjunction with Kusser Fountainworks:

Fountain comes in at about 4:45 on the following video:

And I'm just one guy. Imagine a collective of individuals dedicated to doing things that have never been done before. Dedicated to seeing the world in new ways. People who dream of things that never were, and say "why not?"

No comments:

Post a Comment