By Governor Pete Ricketts
June 19, 2016
The Governor’s official photo is available here.
A brand is a promise. Over the years, Nebraska has adopted a number of slogans and taglines which have come and gone. One phrase, however, has not only stayed on our road signs, but it has also remained near and dear to the hearts of Nebraskans. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) and I announced that the State of Nebraska would be bringing back this beloved tagline. Last week, we announced the new state brand, “Good Life. Great Opportunity.”
A key part of running an organization like a business means building a trusted brand across the entire enterprise that makes a positive impression on the customers you work to serve as well as the businesses and investors you are working to recruit. Last year, DED began to develop a new brand to help market Nebraska to businesses, investors, and job creators. As DED began this process, the vision for this new brand expanded. Right now, State of Nebraska agencies use a myriad of logos and designs, so I encouraged DED to look for a brand all state agencies could utilize to help all of them create a unified image.
To this end, DED engaged a marketing agency to help gather input from Nebraskans and develop a new brand for the state. Developing a brand is a massive challenge because it needs to be something your organization and customers believe in. As John Steinbeck once wrote in East of Eden, “No story has power, nor will it last, unless we feel in ourselves that it is true and true of us.” To develop a brand Nebraskans would support, we listened first. Over the course of the input process, thousands of Nebraskans provided input through meetings across the state, surveys targeting key audiences, and even conversations with individuals who had moved away.
In the process of developing a new state brand in the last year, we heard everywhere that more than ever Nebraskans see our state as the Good Life. While we were searching for a brand Nebraskans would embrace, we also wanted a brand that would help us highlight the many aspects of our state that make it uniquely Nebraskan. This process resulted in “Good Life. Great Opportunity.” It’s a phrase all Nebraskans can embrace. Whether you grew up on a Sandhills ranch or work in an Omaha high rise, this brand is inspired by the men and women who grew Nebraska for our first 150 years. Growing the Good Life in Nebraska is the mission of my administration. Opportunity is the first step towards achieving this mission. From the farms and ranches that are the backbone of our number one industry to the innovative startups in Silicon Prairie and Fortune 500 company headquarters, this brand will help us highlight opportunity everywhere in our state.
With the introduction of “Good Life. Great…”, the State of Nebraska has also developed a brand that provides flexibility for each state agency to choose their own “great” and tailor it to their specific mission. For example, the State Patrol has selected “Good Life. Great Tradition.” The Department of Roads has chosen “Good Life. Great Journey.” as their brand. Additionally, the Department of Labor has picked “Good Life. Great Connections.” as the new brand for their agency. Other organizations will also have an opportunity to utilize this brand upon request. For example, the beef industry or a beef producers might choose to use something along the lines of “Good Life. Great Beef.”
As you can see, this brand has a lot of potential to provide a more unified image for state government as we work to make the State of Nebraska more customer-focused and grow our state. In the coming weeks and months, state agencies will work to implement the brand. While you will see a lot of changes, you will continue to see the Good Life in familiar places like our road signs. To learn more about the brand and how it will be used, you can visit GoodLifeGreatOpportunity.com for more information. If you have any thoughts on the new brand or how the state markets itself, please contact my office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 402-471-2244.