Out of the Wreckage Comes Detroit … the Brand

Saturday, July 6, 2013
Posted in category Detroit

It’s interesting to note how Detroit has become a hot-selling brand as the national and international media have become so closely focused on what is taking place here. Laura Berman of the Detroit News recently wrote about this, and she notes that:

For years, “Detroit” has been a slur of a city name. Out of the wreckage of what was once the city’s most notorious neighborhood, it’s beginning to stand for something else.

Detroit is a hot item, and “Detroit” labeled goods are selling like crazy in and out of the city. Stores such as The Detroit Shoppe are popping up in the ‘burbs, luring once apprehensive suburbanites into the city to see what the fuss is all about. Each time I walk into stores selling the local flavor, they are packed to the gills with youngsters who are inspired by the new, hip Detroit, as well as older folks who reminisce on the likes of local landmarks such as Faygo Pop, Vernor’s, Motown music, Better Made potato chips, Cass Corridor, and our famous coney island digs.



In 2012, Forbes published a piece from filmmaker Eric Proulx about the Detroit brand, and he had this to say about his time spent here:

I’ve spent the better part of two years traveling to The Motor City to film “Lemonade: Detroit,” allowing myself to be absorbed by its zeitgeist, trying to find stories of reinvention that accurately reflect its brand . . . A brand I could have never fully – nor even partially – grasped without the first hand experience of being there.

There are anecdotes of promise everywhere you look that belie what you think you know. I couldn’t begin to list even a tiny fraction of what makes Detroit’s brand so resilient, so proud, so inspiring.

These are sage words from an outsider who took the time to come here and experience Detroit rather than regurgitate the predictable perception spin created by the sensationalist media that circle the streets of Detroit like hungry hawks looking for fresh carnage. Maybe that’s why entrepreneur Ted Serbinski wrote a story for Crain’s Detroit Business about why he moved from San Francisco to Detroit, a city he calls the “ultimate entrepreneurial playground” with the “perfect storm of economical drivers.”

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2 Responses to Out of the Wreckage Comes Detroit … the Brand

  1. Wade says:

    July 7th, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I’ve never been to Detroit, but when I think of Detroit 3 things come to mind: Motown, Stroh’s, and Henry Ford…and I have a hard time getting the Kid Rock/Uncle Kracker tune “If Heaven ain’t a lot like Detroit” out of my mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq5BtFYuxL8 (warning, this has a few f-bombs in it)

  2. jeannie queenie says:

    July 7th, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Along the vein of Detroit’s renewal, found this piece to be rather interesting in it’s summary of where Detroit should go…in short, downsize the sucker for the auto industry is never coming back. Level hugh swaths of the city..and bring in small businesses by the dozens. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/detroits-recovery-plan-has-implications-for-all-of-america/2013/06/23/b92a9586-d9e2-11e2-9df4-895344c13c30_story.html

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