State of the Brand – California
Ten-second take on topic de jour.
Too many people, billion dollar deficit, primary destination for immigrants worldwide, record number of foreclosures, perpetual threat of major devastating earthquake, parking lot freeways – and now firestorms. California may be the land of plenty, especially abundant sunshine, but when do issues created by too many people offset year-round perfect weather. High population densities are common the world over, but in America the independent spirit of Manifest Destiny still drives many to own as much space as fiscally possible – or not, depending on the terms of one’s mortgage.
As a kid growing up on the Upper Great Plains, California was this mythic place where people went to seek fame and fortune. Many people have relatives who left for greener pastures back in the 40s and 50s. Many stayed and prospered. Times were simpler then.
More recently people took their college degrees out west, only to return when their lives produced children. Most folks become circumspect when it comes to raising their kids. Decisions that were once cavalier, drop by the wayside when deciding where the little ones will be raised and educated. “Back home” suddenly moves from the quaint category to “a great place to raise kids” or simply, home – and everything associated with home.
California is home to more people than any other state. It will likely remain so. But, just as economic circumstances have resulted in out-migration from other states in the past, California may lose some of its best and brightest to places whose brand is either untarnished, or on the ascent.
Everyday, all fifty states’ brands are in play. Their governors, or chief brand officers, attempt to manage perceptions about their states as best they can, but sometimes Mother Nature intervenes and overwhelms the efforts of people – even too many people.