Today's post is perhaps less about Texas travel, and more about Texas pride.
I was thumbing through the current issue of Entrepreneur Magazine when I saw this commentary on "branding" Texas. Branding, in this context, is a marketing term that refers to the identity or personality of a product, company or, in this case, a state. The article lists events from over the past century that have contributed to the way people perceive the Lone Star state.
While the list does contain some pivotal events that have shaped our state, I'm not sure it it really defines the brand of Texas. At the end, I list a few things I think are key to what makes us "Texas". I'd love to hear what you think too:
Whether you love, hate or hail from the Lone Star State, there's no denying that Texas has a distinct identity and personality–keys to a thriving brand. Here, we track its boot-shape footprints through the years.
According to Texans, the world's first rodeo takes place in Pecos (disputing Coloradans, who say their state held one 14 years earlier). The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is now the largest rodeo in the world.
Blue Bell Creameries, manufacturer of the second-best-selling ice cream in the U.S., is founded. Blue Bell ice cream has been served aboard the International Space Station and at Camp David.
Director and screenwriter Wes Anderson is born (and subsequently, so is hipster culture) in Houston.
The Enron scandal breaks in October; the Houston-based energy company files for bankruptcy at the end of the year. Don't mess with Texas–or your company's accounting books.
Former Texas governor George "Dubya" Bush is elected president. During his eight years of service, we are introduced to a new word (nucular)–and years of Saturday Night Live fodder to come.
Dallas, the world's oiliest soap opera, premieres and becomes America's guilty pleasure. J.R.'s 10-gallon hat is even in the Smithsonian. A remake is set to air on TNT this summer.
Foursquare debuts at Austin's SXSW Interactive (the multimedia component of the annual music festival founded in 1987). Now everyone knows where everyone is. All the time.
As of last year, 51 Fortune 500 companies called Texas home. Only New York and California have more.
Texas governor Rick Perry competes as a Republican presidential candidate, once again proving that everything is bigger in Texas, especially the hair.
It's an interesting list, but I'm not sure it really gives a full picture of the Texas brand. Here are a few things I would add: American pride with a Tex-Mex flair; rich history and urban sophistication; Gulf Coast beaches and Hill Country; Cowboys with a hard edge and a soft heart.
What do you think defines Texas?