Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Building a Brand for the Mass Tech Sector

The Communications Working Group of the Massachusetts Information Technology Collaborative has been working with EchoDitto and FORGE Worldwide to clarify and unify the Massachusetts tech sector and to establish a working brand vocabulary for the sector and the region.

The objectives of this branding exercise include:
- Establishing Massachusetts as the leading region for the tech sector, nationally and globally;
- Fostering and promoting a culture of innovation and collaboration;
- Clarifying and articulating the region's unique strengths and resources;
- Communicating the business advantages of creating, relocating, and/or maintaining a tech enterprise in the region;
- Providing coherence and unification for the sector; and
- Creating a dynamic brand that lives and breathes with its community

A key stage in shaping the brand (how the sector looks, feels, sounds, is perceived) is the seemingly simple exercise of defining the most significant and compelling traits of the sector and the region -- also known as the Brand Pillars.

Through interviews, focus group sessions, and primary and secondary research, the Communications Working Group has identified six brand pillars that can be used to further shape and articulate a brand for the Mass tech sector, all of which communicate the advantages of developing and growing a technology business in Massachusetts.

The Mass Tech Sector brand pillars include:

- INGENUITY: A culture of innovation enriched by 10,342 technology companies and evident in the number of patents issued to Massachusetts enterprises each year. In fact, Massachusetts boasts more patents per capita than anywhere else in the world.

- EDUCATION AND RESEARCH: Over 100 academic and research institutions, including Harvard, MIT, unrivaled medical centers, and thought leaders respected worldwide.

- FUNDING: Extensive capital and equity investment opportunities, making Massachusetts the #1 state in venture capital available per capita.

- TALENT: A skilled workforce at all levels, highlighted by the continual stream of approximately 84,000 Massachusetts graduates who enter the workforce each year.

- SUPPORT: Strong government and peer support, with technology collaboratives for regional and cluster growth; support of superior public education; investment in university research centers; investment and R&D tax credits; academic and business partnerships; and more.

- LIFESTYLE: A unique, four-season lifestyle that is modern yet traditional; cultural, yet athletic; urban, yet natural -- in short, quintessentially New England.

The IT Collaborative invites you to share your thoughts around these Brand Pillars. Do you agree? Disagree? How have you seen the Pillars' role in shaping the Mass tech sector? Please share your comments and ideas at http://innovate.masstech.org/pillars/pillar/.

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