Sunday, August 04, 2013

The search for identity: Officials start process to ‘brand’ greater Wilmington


Ask Wilmington’s business community to define the city’s identity. Reach out to residents of unincorporated New Hanover County for their perspective. Put it to the natives, tourists, students and nonprofits in the lower Cape Fear. From all corners, answers are sure to differ wildly, but officials say there’s got to be some commonality in this small, southeast corner of North Carolina.

The best of it–whatever it may be–could figure into the area’s “brand,” and that’s the target of a new initiative in discussion between the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, the area’s beach towns and various other partners with stakes in economic development and tourism.

It’s not a re-branding; officials involved are calling it an essential first-time effort to shape an attractive message from the greater Wilmington area to outsiders.

“The branding initiative gives you an identity that you can sell,” said Beth Schrader, strategy and policy manager for the county, during a Monday morning meeting at Wilmington City Hall with city council members and staff.

“A brand is a perception–and a promise that we will deliver on that promise,” said a slide projected on the wall. “What sets our area apart from all of the other southern historic coastal areas?” More here.

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