REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

Branding the neighborhood, Hon Baltimore restaurant owner Denise Whiting did not invent the pink flamingo yard ornament or the beehive hairdo, nor did she coin the salutation “Hon.” But she has taken all of these Baltimore traditions and associated them with the neighborhood of Hampden. When Whiting opened Café Hon on “The Avenue” in Hampden, she encouraged other restaurant and shop owners to take the chance on the area, too. Whiting even createdHonFest, a huge two-day summer festival that celebrates Baltimore’s colorful customs. And now, Hampden is well known as a fun, kitschy place to eat, drink, and shop. At first, it may seem counter-intuitive to call attention to the cheesy and maybe outdated traditions and events that make your institution different, but the point is to stand out from your competitors. Emphasizing your homey, familiar side might just win the hearts of your audience.

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