Detroit - Getting ready for an Image Makeover*



Case Code : CLCB046
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Consumer Behavior
Industry : -
Length : 04 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Detroit, Rust Belt, Halloween Eve, Tiger Stadium, Comerica Park baseball stadium, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Detroit Opera House, Fox Theater, Ford Field football stadium and Beverly Hills Cop


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This caselet talks about how Detroit, known for its high levels of violence and hooliganism, tried to publicize the positive developments that had taken place in the city. The city used events of national and international stature hosted at Detroit to communicate these positive developments. The caselet also describes the challenges the city faced in trying to project a new image to the public.


Difficulties faced by marketers in communicating changes to the public
How events of national and international stature can be used as excellent public relations vehicles
The need to give equal importance to internal branding and external branding

In the early 2000s, Detroit, a city in Michigan, US, was trying for an image makeover that would help it to overcome the negative perception the public had about it. The city was projected as a symbol of the deterioration in the quality of life in the Rust Belt area.

The race related riots in the late 1960s exacerbated the movement of people from the city to the suburbs. While the population of Detroit in the 1950s was two million, it had come down to one million by 2000. The high crime rate in the city earned it the dubious distinction of being known as the 'Murder Capital of USA'...

Questions for Discussion:

1. "Detroit, a city in Michigan, US, has been trying for an image makeover that would help it overcome the negative image it had among the public." Assess the ways in which Detroit tried to communicate its new image to the public.

2. What were the limitations associated with the re-branding exercise of Detroit and what are the other ways in which the city could improve its image?