Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Brooklyn brand proceeds, to gin

Marty Markowitz, in his State of the Borough address Thursday, had a section about the Brooklyn Brand:
It has been clear for several years that Brooklyn is now a brand unto itself. But what does that brand represent? NBC news anchor Brian Williams had a humorous take on the concept during a recent appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show with Joe Scarborough. Let’s take a look.

[Video of Brian Williams joking about New York Times discovering Brooklyn]

He’s right. If you’re looking for anything artisanal, sustainable, locally grown or made by hand, Brooklyn’s got it. And now, so does the world. The Brooklyn brand is available from the shores of Manhattan, home of the Brooklyneer bar, which carries Brooklyn-made foods, to Tokyo, where you’ll find the new Brooklyn Parlor, serving up beers from Brooklyn Brewery and a genuine Brooklyn Burger.

And they “absolutely” value the Brooklyn brand in Sweden, home of Absolut vodka. When the company decided to market a New York-themed vodka, they didn’t choose Absolut Bronx (sorry, Ruben!) or Absolut Queens. Nope, they went with Absolut Brooklyn, using a bottle designed by Brooklyn’s own Spike Lee.
And yesterday the New York Times told us about the battle between two Brooklyn gins, Breuckelen and Brooklyn:
Manhattan may have a namesake cocktail, but Brooklyn is playing muse to two rival gins. And the existence of both Mr. Santos’s Brooklyn gin and Mr. Estabrooke’s Breuckelen gin provides an unusually clear — you could even say distilled — example of just how much the symbolism of that borough has changed and just how potent its branding potential is perceived to be.

Tellingly, neither man has deep roots in Brooklyn, or called it home until the last few years. Brooklyn these days is an identity divorced from ancestry or actual time served.
So maybe it won't be quite as hard to sell the Brooklyn Nets. But those "brownstone" and "loft" suites will remain a stretch.

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