Ironically, street names are not good at addressing marketing, selling and merchandising issues and challenges.
Business failures, vacant premises and “tired” looking operations are typical consequences, and are the manifestations of inaction, and of many well-intentioned initiatives which simply focus on the wrong metrics.
Endeavours to reignite and re-emerge Parramatta Road and Oxford Streets in Sydney, Chappell and Lygon Streets in Melbourne, James Street in Brisbane, Melbourne Street in North Adelaide, or Rokeby Road in Subiaco, South Terrace in Fremantle, Oxford Street in Leederville, Albany Highway in Victoria Park and Beaufort Street (Northbridge, North Perth, Mt Lawley and Inglewood) in metropolitan Perth have certain common factors.
Roads, streets, avenues and boulevards can be long, transcending suburbs, localities and even regions. Therefore, business clusters, compositions and groupings can, and usually do differ along the one arterial transport network. Hence, no single profile or brand accurately and appropriately projects a compellingly attractive image. Temptations to visit are soon overwhelmed by confusion and multiple – if not conflicting – value-offerings.
It has been said many times (arguably unfairly) that the best thing about Victoria Park is Albany Highway… because it takes you out of the township and has you end up some 400 kilometres south at picturesque Albany.
Attractive and appealing precincts, centres, squares and destinations are seldom defined by their main street.
Moreover, images, expectations, perceptions and selections are developed, and determine decision-making long before the consumer or consumers negotiate a given road-way.
Great opportunities are often forsaken, but await those who are insightful on the scope to project specific, relevant and resonating brand names for discrete business clusters and limited localities.
Bugis Street and Orchard Road in Singapore have been long eclipsed as the addresses for bargains, discounts and fashion. Individual, differentiated and branded destinations enjoy consumer interest, visits and transactions.
Even Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood has seen the sun go down on its boom-times. And on a broader scale, Route 66 in the United States of America remains in name only in most places. Tumbleweed and run-down vacated communities are stark reminders of that which was once dominant.
ROAD-MAP TO SUCCESS
Local government councils, chambers of commerce and business interest groups are right to be concerned about tough times for local businesses. The key and most effective triggers for positive prospective customer responses are well beyond street names, customer service training and the conduct of street-markets and erection of pop-up bouncy castles, for kids.
Creative, original and challenging rebranding will have people going to their mobile phones, GPS and wallets to consume – and not to commute.
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