Sunday, June 13, 2010

Live Free, New Hampshire

Today's front page of the Boston Globe has an article on the branding of New Hampshire (featuring photos of Portsmouth, naturally). Since our big stone face fell down, apparently there have been some problems coming up with icons and slogans that capture capture the essence of New Hampshire.

Vermont has its cows, farmers, and hippies. Maine has the coastline and Lobsters. Massachusetts has it's history and dynasties. New Hampshire has a little of all of that, but less that is distinctly its own. When the West Wing was on the air New Hampshire native President Bartlet was always in search of New Hampshire maple syrup. We can relate.

The Floridian firm that has been tasked with the re-branding effort is steering clear of the state slogan: Live Free or Die. "We're not touching that." And that is why they fail.

The one thing that unifies us as a state is our willingness to deploy our motto at every opportunity and for every purpose. It's an echo of our patriotic past and present. We're a state with no sales tax, no income tax, no motorcycle helmets, gay marriage and plenty of firearms and fireworks. We have beautiful mountains, trails, ski slopes, and historical areas. And we have industry and entrepreneurial spirit. There's opportunity here. People have the means to enjoy it all and there's much to enjoy. New Hampshire is also famous for its importance in primary politics. But its citizens are fundamentally skeptical and unpredictable.

Our independence is our unifying theme.

Live free, New Hampshire. There is no alternative.

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