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Nov 20, 201812:04 PMInside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Colorado’s state brand has some deep Badger roots

(page 2 of 2)

It turns out that Coloradans think of themselves as hard-working, hard-playing, and symbolic of the New West. “Colorado is the state where you can live the life you want … It’s our nature,” became an underlying theme.

Today, Colorado is one of the nation’s leading states in “net migration,” meaning the sum of how many people move into a state versus moving out. Different rankings place it first or second among the 50 states in important categories, such as labor supply, education, business climate, and more.

What does Wisconsin, where Kennedy cut his teeth trying to keep his State Street store afloat (literally, following a late 1990s flood), need to do to reinforce its brand?

Kennedy ticked off a handful of factors: education to develop and attract talent, nurture the health of Main Streets, unite behind a compelling message, create a more vibrant entrepreneurial system, and cultivate innovation and technology. That’s not a super-secret formula, but one that takes work to see it through. Wisconsin has a start with its “Think Make Happen” campaign, even if more input is needed.

Wisconsin doesn’t have mountains, a giant airport, or legal pot, but it does have lakes, diverse industry, an attractive lifestyle, and more. It just needs to do a better job telling the world what it already knows about itself.

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About This Blog

Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.

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