Defining the Texas “Brand”

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. 
 
 
1883
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.
 
1907
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.
 
1969
Director and screenwriter Wes Anderson is born (and subsequently, so is hipster culture) in Houston.
 
2001
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.
 
2000
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.
 
1978
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.
 
2009
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.
 
2011
As of last year, 51 Fortune 500 companies called Texas home. Only New York and California have more.
 
2012
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?

This article has 6 comments

  1. Dexter Reply

    Interesting article, but I don’t think Fortune 500 companies and Creameries and Foursquare define us Texans at all! We are a people with an unique attitude: hard workin’ and hard playin’. Your brand -cowboys with a hard edge and soft heart – is a much better brand than Entrepeneur magazine’s version.

  2. Vik Reply

    Funny Bob!
    Anyways, I’ve been living in Texas (Shamrock) all my life, but I do travel a lot, and people in other states definitely have their own opinion of what makes a Texan a Texan! Most mention cowboys, Food and drink, and music. Works for me!

  3. Bob Reply

    Sorry Vik, I forgot to mention having a big old dog in the back of the pickup truck, too!

  4. JJ Reply

    Whatever it is, we are proud to be it! You hear lots of other folks hating where they live. You won’t find a Texan doing that, I don’t think.

  5. Travelin' Man Reply

    I think ya’ll have really nailed the Texas brand much better than the magazine article! Thanks for weighing in.

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