Monday, September 13, 2010

Apples To Oranges

A lesson in branding: McAllen vs. Laredo

By A.B. Barrera
Guest columnist
Published: Monday, September 13, 2010 3:20 AM CDT
This is a weekly column on multi-cultural marketing that will be featured in LMT’s Business Journal.
It happens almost every day.
We constantly hear people complain that there is absolutely nothing to do in Laredo.
Nonetheless, when there is something to do — at times, even numerous things to do — the Laredo community does not seem to fully support them.
More and more each day, Laredo gets compared to other cities and the lack of attractions, store and restaurant selections, and overall activities available here.

Mr. Barreda questions those who compare Laredo to cities such as San Antonio and McAllen.  The big difference with those cities as compared to Laredo is the size of population.
While both McAllen and Laredo’s populations swell with the influx of Mexican National visitors and the daily crossings of people from neighboring border cities in Mexico, this does not mean much to national companies, which cannot see these figures accurately reported on a U.S. Census report.
This statement is also interesting:
The City of McAllen also developed a separate program to assist new small business owners in opening their venues in their new downtown district.
It would be nice to know what assistance McAllen provides for promising entrepreneurs.  But if Laredo did the same, would it attract the businesses that would inspire people to shop downtown?  Or would we see more of the same retailers that keep their establishments cluttered with merchandise and stacked boxes all over the place? 

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