City Branding Survey Results

Criteria & Methodology

Approximately 350 city slogans and nicknames were nominated from a field of 1,200. They were sent to 100 advertising, marketing, and branding professionals from more than 82 cities across 38 states.

To level the playing field, a city could be ranked only once in the slogan or nickname category even though it had several mottos and monikers.

Both official and unofficial, as well as past and present, nicknames and slogans were included.

Informants were asked to rank their top 10 city slogans and top 10 city nicknames based on the following branding criteria:

  • Attributes: Do they express a city’s brand character, affinity, style, and personality?
  • Message: Do they tell a story in a clever, fun, and memorable way?
  • Differentiation: Are they unique and original?
  • Ambassadorship: Do they inspire you to visit there, live there, or learn more?
Nominated slogans and nicknames were given a weighted ranking based on the number of votes they received and the rank they were assigned.
The Top 50 U.S. City Slogans
1.
What Happens Here, Stays Here. Las Vegas, NV
2.
So Very Virginia. Charlottesville, VA
3.
Always Turned On. Atlantic City, NJ
4.
Cleveland Rocks! Cleveland, OH
5.
The Sweetest Place on Earth. Hershey, PA
6.
Rare. Well Done. Omaha, NE
7.
The City Different. Santa Fe, NM
8.
Where Yee-Ha Meets Olé. Eagle Pass, TX
9.
City with Sol. San Diego, CA
10.
Where the Odds Are With You. Peculiar, MO
11.
Where Your Ship Comes In. Gulfport, MS
12.
Soul of the Southwest. Taos, NM
13.
Experience Our Sense of Yuma. Yuma, AZ
14.
The City Was So Nice They Named It Twice. Walla Walla, WA
15.
There’s More Than Meets the Arch. St. Louis, MO
16.
Keep Austin Weird. Austin, TX
17.
Where Chiefs Meet. Meeteetse, WY
18.
City with a Mission. San Gabriel, CA
19.
Where the Trails Start and the Buck Stops. Independence, MO
20.
The City That Never Sleeps. New York City, NY
21.
The Aliens Aren’t the Only Reason to Visit. Roswell, NM
22.
Lose Your Heart to the Hills. Kerrville, TX
23.
Take Me to the River. Vicksburg, MS
24.
All the Civilization You Need. Pinedale, WY
25.
The Town Without a Frown. Happy, TX
26.
The Town Too Tough to Die. Tombstone, AZ
27.
Where the Stars Come Out to Play. Fort Davis, TX
28.
Rollin’ on the River. Manchester, OH
29.
Named for the Turn of a Card. Show Low, AZ
30.
More Than Just a Song. Shenandoah, TX
31.
Where Horses Have the Right of Way. McKinleyville, CA
32.
Only in San Francisco. San Francisco, CA
33.
It’s Not the End of the Earth, But You Can See It From Here. Bushnell, SD
34.
Where Nature Smiles for Seven Miles. Spring Lake, MI
35.
Live Large. Think Big. Dallas, TX
36.
Real. America. Up Close. Rapid City, ND
37.
The Richest Place on Earth. Virginia City, NV
38.
With Time for You. Richmond, MI
39.
Newark, on a Roll. Newark, NJ
40.
Where the Trout Leap in Main Street. Saratoga, WY
41.
Life, Celebrated Daily. Norfolk, VA
42.
The Natural Place to Visit. Sitka, AK
43.
People Say We’re Old-Fashioned. We Hope So. Virginia City, MT
44.
Where the People Are Warm Even When the Weather Isn’t. Andover, KS
45.
Where the Bald Eagle Soars and the Carp Drops! Prairie du Chien, WI
46.
Where History Never Gets Old. Fredericksburg, VA
47.
The Town That Made Tulsa Famous. Glenpool, OK
48.
Get ‘Er Done. Havre, MT
49.
Town Without a Toothache. Hereford, TX
50.
Livable, Lovable Lodi. Lodi, CA
Honorable Mention
You Can Do Better in Cando. Cando, ND
Twenty Lakes in Twenty Minutes. Harrison, MI
More Than Just a Pretty Beach. Encinitas, CA
Something to Remember. San Antonio, TX
Twice as Nice. Texarkana, AR
The Top 50 U.S. City Nicknames
1.
The Big Apple New York City, NY
2.
Sin City Las Vegas, NV
3.
The Big Easy New Orleans, LA
4.
Motor City Detroit, MI
5.
The Windy City Chicago, IL
6.
Beantown Boston, MA
7.
Baghdad by the Bay San Francisco, CA
8.
Tinseltown Hollywood, CA
9.
Mistake on the Lake Cleveland, OH
10.
La-La Land Los Angeles, CA
11.
City of Witches Salem, MA
12.
Berzerkeley Berkeley, CA
13.
The Graveyard of the Atlantic Cape Hatteras, NC
14.
The Protestant Vatican Nashville, TN
15.
The City of Brotherly Love Philadelphia, PA
16.
Hangtown Placerville, CA
17.
The Wickedest Little City in America Dodge City, KS
18.
The Mile High City Denver, CO
19.
Porkopolis Cincinnati, OH
20.
The Land of Lincoln Springfield, IL
21.
The Biggest Little City in the World Reno, NV
22.
The Mini Apple Minneapolis, MN
23.
Whiskers Crestwood, KY
24.
Dynamo of Dixie Chattanooga, TN
25.
The Land of Oz Liberal, KS
26.
Brew City Milwaukee, WI
27.
The Big Sweet Grass Basket Charleston, SC
28.
Valley of the Sun Phoenix, AZ
29.
Naptown Indianapolis, IN
30.
Shampoo-Banana Champaign-Urbana, IL
31.
Chimneyville Jackson, MS
32.
The World’s Largest Chee-to Algona, IA
33.
Home of the Catfish Stomp Elgin, SC
34.
Vice City Miami, FL
35.
The Big Gun Canon, GA
36.
Drunk Driving Capital of America Gallup, NM
37.
The Little Apple Manhattan, KS
38.
Home of Susie the Duck Lodi, WI
39.
Cow Chip Capital Beaver, OK
40.
Goat Ropin’ Capital of the World Gotebo, OK
41.
Sparkle City Spartanburg, SC
42.
The Soo Sault Ste. Marie, MI
43.
Crunkville Charlotte, NC
44.
The Old Pueblo Tucson, AZ
45.
Spamtown, USA Austin, MN
46.
Home of the Candy Dance Genoa, NV
47.
Tackyoma Tacoma, WA
48.
Surf City, USA Huntington Beach, CA
49.
Space City Houston, TX
50.
The Dog Mushing Center of the World Knik, AK
Honorable Mention
Winnemucca – City of Paved Streets Winnemucca, NV
SLO Town San Luis Obispo, CA
Poison Oak Capital of the World Forestville, CA
Spokan’t Spokane, WA
Red Carpet City of the South Vicksburg, MS