The 'Brooklyn Brand' is hot

February 2, 2011 8:23:20 PM PST
If you still think of Brooklyn as just a borough across the bridge from Manhattan, think again.

"It's not just a place where people live to then commute into Manhattan," said Lexy Funk, the CEO of Brooklyn Industries.

"You know, there is something different happening in Brooklyn," said Steven Hindy, of Brooklyn Brewery.

"The Brooklyn brand sells," said Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn Borough President.

In fact, the "Brooklyn Brand" is one of the hottest commodities out there right now.

A reported 70 companies have adopted Brooklyn as part of their names.

It's a way to tap into the borough's edgy and legendary authenticity.

"It's one of those mythical sort of places in America that everyone has some notion of," Hindy said.

West Virginia-born Steven Hindy is one of the co-founders of the Brooklyn Brewery.

He recognized the marketing power in the name way back in 1988, and says he's never regretted it.

"We're the biggest exporter of craft beer to the world and I credit that to the name Brooklyn," Hindy said.

And how about Brooklyn pizza in Istanbul, or the Brooklyn Parlour Jazz Bar in Toyko?

They are just more proof of the "B-word's" worldwide appeal.

"I think the name Brooklyn has a cache," Funk said.

That's one of the reasons Lexy Funk named her nearly 13-year-old clothing company "Brooklyn Industries."

It now boasts boutiques nationwide but is based, of course, in Brooklyn.

The cutting-edge label is representative what Funk calls the "New Brooklyn."

But, is there concern that overuse of the brand will cheapen it or render the borough itself passé'?

"There's always that question of if too many people call themselves Brooklyn, then what does Brooklyn mean? However, I think the market is very wide," Funk said.

The borough's cheerleader and chief agrees, hot or not, New York will always have Brooklyn.

"They can use our name Brooklyn anywhere in the country, but they'll never beat the original," Markowitz said.