Santa Cruz is a town with a brand

I’m sitting here in Santa Cruz, CA where I’m spending the holiday. I like Santa Cruz, and have been here a number of times in the past. Yesterday when I arrived, my brother-in-law and I went down to the dog park (with his awesome bulldog Boomer). It’s pretty amazing how many people I saw at the dog park with Santa Cruz related merchandise. I saw a few people with the well-known Santa Cruz logo emblazoned on their clothing:


I think this logo has something to do with a skateboard company, but I’m not sure. But it’s definitely the brand for Santa Cruz. It’s a simple logo, and evocative of California. Clean and crisp, it looks great on a sweatshirt.

Brand is a tough thing to build for a company, let alone for a town or city. Many large cities build their brand from the landmark buildings: New York (Empire State Building or Statue of Liberty), Chicago (Sears Tower), San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge). But I’m strugging to think of any smaller cities (or large towns) that have as recognizable a brand as Santa Cruz.

Any come to mind for you? Can you think of a small town or city that has as recognizable a brand as Santa Cruz?


Party Planning and Online Invitations with MyPunchbowl


2 Responses to Santa Cruz is a town with a brand

  1. Tim Shisler says:

    Hey Matt,
    Caught me be surprise when I noticed you were out here in Santa Cruz. I met you a few months back at a startup mashup in the Bay Area, and have been reading your blog ever since.

    Nice media coverage btw.

    As for Santa Cruz, you nailed the skateboard aspect. It is a brand for sure. But there is more to the Santa Cruz name than just the skateboards. First there is the bike and snowboard company that has produced world renowned product for adventure athletes. Then there is the O’Neill contingency based out of Capitola. Add in the recent lawsuit for “Surf City,” and Santa Cruz has done a phenomenal job making itself more than just a reference in an old Beach Boys song.

    Anyhow, if you get a chance, drive up to Ben Lomand (6 miles inland) and eat at Ciao Bella ( you will not be disappointed.


  2. kelly says:

    I think you are standing too close to the fire. The world is a big place and as amazing as Santa Cruz is , it is still only one city. The world is becoming a global village don’t get stuck sitting on the porch thinking the world is as far as you can see.
    Good Luck with Barney

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