New York City and Los Angeles Are Like Countries; Let’s Treat Them That Way

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New York City's GDP is the equivalent of Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Canada and bigger than South Korea, Australia, and Switzerland. If New York City was a country it would have the sixteenth largest economy in the world.

New York City and Los Angeles are cities with economies that are the size of countries. Its time to rethink what see sell to and how we market in cities that have economies that are the size of nations.

Greater New York City is more than the five boroughs of Manhattan. The New York metropolitan area is made up of parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, Long Island, and Pennsylvania. The area is home to over 20 million people with a GDP of over $1.7 trillion.

Similarly, the Los Angeles metropolitan area is made up of Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire, Orange County, and Ventura County.  The area contains a population of approximately 19 million people and a GDP of slightly more than $1 trillion. 

To provide some perspective on how big those numbers are, New York City's GDP is the equivalent of Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Canada and bigger than South Korea, Australia, and Switzerland. If New York City was a country it would have the sixteenth largest economy in the world.

Put another way, Greater New York City's GDP is greater than that of  Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore, Charlotte, Portland, St. Louis, Riverside, Austin, Pittsburgh and Tampa put together.

When U.S. toy companies take a product to market they think in terms of an amorphous American population with an average taste in products who are attracted to a "hot" price point like $19.99. New York City and Los Angeles are, however, very different than the rest of the U.S. Both cities sport large populations of affluent, older first-time parents who can afford to spend a lot of money on an indulged child (a hot price point of $49.99?). In addition, both harbor ethnically diverse populations with unique cultural preferences.

So, when producing products for and marketing to the United States, it may make sense to think in terms of three countries: The United States (the #1 economy in the world), New York City (#16) and Los Angeles, (#19).

Launching a product in the country of New York City or Los Angeles could be particularly beneficial to smaller companies and start-ups that have limited capital. For example, advertising that focused exclusively on New York City or Los Angeles would be far more affordable than a national campaign. Think about it, an economy the size of Spain (200,000 square miles) is located within New York City's 300 square miles.

Bottom line, at least from an economic sense, New York City and Los Angeles are countries and they need to be approached with products and promotions that fit their unique populations.

Let me know what you think.

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