It’s not immediately obvious that changing a logo would change the city’s reputation, any more than changing a refrigerator’s light bulb changes its ability to keep food cold. And yet, cities persist at changing them. Jonathon Day, a professor of hospitality and tourism management at Purdue University, told me that this is understandable. “When the locals say, ‘We need a new brand,’ part of what they’re saying is that the way they’re being portrayed is not the way they see themselves,” he said. There’s a kind of cognitive dissonance to Ford’s association with Toronto, long seen as a stylish, cosmopolitan city—sort of like seeing a Tiffany & Co. next to a saloon with boarded-up windows.
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