In my life I have seen many businesses come and go. I have watched many change their name or branding and less than a year later the business would close. Don’t get me wrong re-branding does work in some cases, but if you don’t get rid of the dirty bathwater you are not going to go anywhere.
Contrary to what some believe — it just shouldn’t be changing a tagline or a logo and should not be a promotional nor an advertising campaign. That would only offer quick-fix solutions to the problems already at hand. You don’t choose where to shop or buy because of a logo or slogan. Of course marketing is useful in a long-term brand strategy–but it just isn’t enough sometimes as brands and especially downtown areas are built on the product they offer, not just marketing.
A town or city always speaks through the behaviour of its citizens or businesses. Campaigns that just focus on words and images fail, because they don’t change the behaviour. There are no quick fixes and only when change is visible should you start to brand.
So what kind of product do we have to market here in downtown Carleton Place? What makes us worth a special trip to shop or sets us apart from everyone else? Brands are built on product, not just marketing. We need to start working on the reality of what we have or what we can offer on the Main Street first– not the image. You never “roll out” your brand until you can deliver on the promise and frankly, we have a long way to go– and it could take years. Do some merchants have that long?
This was an excellent opinion by Sarah Cavanagh
Micheal Luigi Pacitto— As someone who makes a good chunk of my living on rebranding people, (photo, video and graphics) I 100% agree with the statement that a brand starts from the product, and that the brand is there to be a promise.
In our neck of the woods, we spent a few million dollars on beautification of “Old Town” it didn’t do anything as there wasn’t really much different. The promise was there, but not the delivery.
BUT if there was an old downtown experience, then the beautification would be the beacon that would guide shoppers constantly back to the experience.
Best of luck! with so many chefs in the kitchen, and so many different bureaucratic processes that have to be respected and worked within… it’s a huge challenge!
By Tara Gesner