A brand is the story of a person, company, city or state.  There are a number of agencies and organizations that wish to tell Detroit's story or recreate its brand. It is important that these organizations collaborate to make sure it is told accurately. In telling Detroit's story, however, we need to remain true to our brand, our place in history and our untold story that has yet to happen. We need to celebrate our strengths, celebrate our achievements and work to tell the stories that have yet to be told.  Detroit's challenge, however, is tell this story as a region. In order to build a brand that everyone can get their hands around it needs to be uniform and reflect the diversity of the region.  We need to stop competing against ourselves and work together to bring brand cohesion of regional unity.  In today's world, image is everything. Today, our image is fragmented, that affects confidence among ourselves and decreases our influence. By working together to brand Detroit, we can increase our influence, grow investments in the region, expand access to global markets, increase tourism, develop partnerships, enhance community pride and create harmony in the region, attract and retain talent and reverse any negative thoughts and misperceptions others have about our region. However, an image is not built on solid media relations campaigns, tweets or ads. It is driven by sound public policy choices and strong leadership in the public and private sector.  If we are to change our image and tell our story, then we need to change the public policies that drive business in the state and in our region. Later this week story tellers will gather at Wayne State University at a summit organized by New Detroit Inc., to determine how to tell our story. As the story tellers gather later this week, I hope and encourage that the policy makers will be a part of the story. *Cherrin posted this blog on www.crains.com.

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