By May 22, 2017 Read More →

Modestination Proclamation

Modestination Proclamation

“Be who you are and it will show the way…”
Chris Murphy 2016

Oh yeah, pretty epic quote right? Branding is a very simple process. What is a brand? Why do we do it? What does it mean? It is quite simple really. Branding is taking the thing that is your soul, your culture, your authenticity and your reason for being and why you are what you are. Think about it, a brand is not a slogan, or a shoulderphrase, it is the essence of your company, community or your culture.

There have been a lot of brand and product failures like “new Coke” or the Edsel and we have had some of those have been here in Modesto. From the ill fated slogans in days past like “No one’s got Modesto’s goat” to the recent “Family Owned and Operated” none have really addressed what a brand is and how it can benefit our civic pride, our community, our travel and tourism and our core sense of being. How can our brand elevate us and make us proud?

Let’s start with the basics; who are we? We are a fantastic agricultural community that plays a big role in feeding the world. Very cool huh? Yep, but there are many communities in California that can claim that honor. We are home of big wine. Yes also true, but Napa, Manteca, Ripon, Lodi, Sonoma, Paso Robles and others share this too. Farm to fork locovore food? Nice, but Napa and Sacramento and recently Stockton are staking that one out and have cool places like the Oxbow Market. Wait, how about the “Home of American Graffiti”? Bingo.

There is only one Modesto that George Lucas made is breakthrough movie about. Now we are getting somewhere.

What do we say we are? We are the city with many amenities that has small town values. Yes, that is a classic Graffiti 50s feeling. Concerts in the park with MoBand? That is a classic community feeling and unique to Modesto and the town square of the mid-century. The legendary Gene Winfield, one of first custom classic car creators started his work in Modesto, building and creating these beauties in his chicken coop and later in his show at 451 Tully. This is real. 10th and 11th Streets in downtown Modesto? These are the streets where Modesto cruised and that inspired George Lucas to make a movie about this rite of passage “mating ritual”. That slappin’ bass sound in the opening frames of American Graffiti of Rock Around the Clock? Straight from Modesto, California 1938. The string slappin’ sound that Fred Maddox of the Maddox Brothers and Rose, created on his big stand up bass, were the beats that put the “rock” in Rock n’ Roll broadcast to the world on our own KTRB radio. All of these roots run right here to our very own Modesto USA.

Yes friends, there may be other Modestos in the world, but there is only one Modesto USA, A Classic American City.

We are the birthplace of Rockabilly, the home of American Graffiti and the birthplace of the largest winery in the world. Modesto is the place where classic candy-apple cars were created and cruised and all of this was captured and wrapped up in celluloid by our very own George Lucas and promoted around the world. Those opening scenes of a young Luke Skywalker trying to escape the planet Tatooine and do something bigger are the stories that were created right here in Modesto. So yes friends, we are the #homeofstarwars and the small town feeling that gave us Gallo Wines, the Cruise, Rockabilly, American Graffiti, Star Wars and the produce that feeds the world is who we are. Whew. Are you exhausted yet?

We are Modesto USA, A Classic American City. Branding is authenticity, and it is the soul of who we are. So let’s take our place behind the wheel and be the city that we can be and celebrate who we are. This is what makes a “Top 10” city. We can do it, so let’s go! Let’s fly our flag and be what we can be.



Posted in: community, news, Pop Culture

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.