Around Town

What is Charlotte’s brand? It’s a bit ambiguous.

Pop quiz: What is Charlotte’s brand?

Pop quiz answer: “Charlotte’s Got A Lot.”

Speaking of “a lot,” the Observer reported on a lot of comments in regards to that brand after Charlotte officials visited Nashville, Tenn., for a Charlotte Chamber trip. Nashville is known as the “Music City.” Charlotte’s branding is a bit more ambiguous.

//><!--The question Charlotte officials are asking is, what element of the city could a brand more specifically focus on? Banking? Health care? Property tax?//--><!

“Charlotte’s brand perception is not as singular,” said Ronnie Bryant, CEO of Charlotte Regional Partnership, during that trip.

Other iconic brands we’re up against: “Virginia is for Lovers.” “I Love NY.” “Only Vegas.”


Laura White, director of communications at Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), said it was selected in 2008. The phrasing came from “a community-wide branding initiative” that included community stakeholders, she said. The aim was to promote Charlotte’s profile as a destination, to boost economic development.

The brand was initially marketed outside of the Charlotte region to reach prospective visitors.

In the past three years, White said, the VFR (“visiting friends and relatives”) demographic came into view. These people comprise nearly half of the population that surges into Charlotte on an annual basis.

As a result, CRVA has been more heavily marketing that “Charlotte’s Got A Lot” brand within the city so residents “are armed with events and and happenings” when the VFRs arrive. (Or invade.)

Pop quiz: What is the only other destination brand for Charlotte?

Pop quiz answer: “Charlotte USA.”

This one came from Charlotte Regional Partnership in 2000. About 12 organizations — including The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Center City Partners and the former Visitors Bureau — formed the Charlotte Branding Initiative Working Community to brainstorm this tagline. It was ultimately created by Luquire George Andrews.

“‘Charlotte USA’ basically indicates our 16-county region that we cover,” said Sam Boykin, director of communications and public relations at Charlotte Regional Partnership. “It sent a more powerful message. It gave us sort of a convenient shorthand.”

Next up

The Observer reported that Charlotte Regional Partnership, the Charlotte Chamber, CRVA and Charlotte Center City Partners have started talks on how to best brand Charlotte.

Update pending. While you wait, quiz yourself on these taglines seen in Charlotte:

(1) Tagline: “Together we’ll go far.”

Answer: Click here.

(2) Tagline: “Life is why.”

Answer: Click here.

(3) Tagline: “Life’s better when we’re connected.”

Answer: Click here.

(4) Tagline: “Together as one.”

Answer: Click here.

(5) Tagline: “Get Charlotte Smart, Fast.”

Answer: Click here.

If you didn’t get that last one right, go buy some flashcards.

Katie Toussaint
Katie Toussaint @katietoussaint