A. “Life. Well Crafted.” Presentation
Members of the Business Development Committee and Communications Director/Brand Manager Mandy Pitts will present the branding and marketing presentation that will begin making its way to civic and business groups, schools, non-profits, and to any and all organizations that would like to learn more about how Hickory and its partners are moving forward with a strategy to boost economic development in our community.
The following presentation was given by Mandy and Alan Jackson (Chairman of the Business Development Committee).
Presentation by Branding Director Mandy Pitts and Business Development Committee Chairman Alan Jackson - In this presentation we learn about the original creation of the effort and the implementation of the initiative.
A successful branding effort will attract Businesses/Entrepreneurs, Visitors, Live Anywhere Professionals, Families, Active Adults, and The Younger Generations - Generations Y and Z. The Brand is what people say or how they describe you when you aren't around. Successful Branding entails management of your reputation. Branding should contribute to policy making, economic and social development, not just promotion, but to strategy.
In 2010 this Branding Initiative was deemed to be the Business Development Committee's priority objective. Out of 18 submissions of Requests for Proposals, Northstar Destination Strategies was hired to help implement the Branding campaign.
“For doers and makers seeking a well-rounded community, Hickory is a bridge between Asheville and Charlotte at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains along I — 40, where a collective spirit of craftsmanship strengthens any endeavors with detail, artistry and quality.”
Mandy speaks about the key being the creation of partnerships with Businesses and Civic Groups to coordinate and manage the implementation of the Brand message.
December 2011 City Snippets - http://www.hickorync.gov/egov/docs/1322063831_998138.pdf
Find Your Spot.com
Start Something Here.com
The Hound - I have to admit that I have been a little wary of this campaign, but after this presentation I felt a lot better. As is stated, this effort has to be more than about the slogan. It must "contribute to policy making, economic and social development, not just promotion, but to strategy."
There was an article in the Hickory Daily Record this past Sunday untitled, "They didn't see job loss coming." I know Ray Salisbury and to see what happened to him struck a chord with me. It has been an all too common occurrence in this community over the last decade. It has created a class of people who are permanently or chronically unemployed in this community. And all too often we have seen a lack of sympathy/empathy for these people.
That is why this craftsmanship paradigm must be utilized as a priority to put these people back to work. That is the priority and focus must not be lost on that endeavor. That is what will improve this community. That will lift wages and get people spending money again. In Economics, we call it the velocity of money -- how many times you turn money over. The velocity of money is trickling in our community. That is the reason why we can't find traction. We have to find ways to create value in the community to draw dollars into the community. Trading dollars amongst ourselves is only going to keep us spinning our wheels.
That is where this marketing endeavor comes in. We need eyeballs to look at Hickory. For far too long in the 1990s and early 2000s, we had people who wanted to suppress the growth of Hickory. Think about a pressure cooker. When you put that lid and weight on it will lead to an explosion if you keep the heat going, that is what people thought was going to happen, but in Hickory the heat got turned off. We lost our investment capital and job base when our industry was offshored and everything just fizzled.
The lesson that should be learned from the experience that we experienced is that you have to work towards growth without tamping it down, because you cannot take for granted that you can keep that fire going forever. People thought our local industrial paradigms (furniture, textiles, and fiber-optics) would go on to infinity and they couldn't see the forest from the trees. The reality of the creation and implementation of a Global Economy.
What am I getting at? The endeavors that we are trying to implement are designed to restart our local economic engine. We cannot micromanage every detail and second guess every move. It is imperative that we move with a sense of urgency. We have to take some risks to get this thing moving again. That is the reason why I grow so frustrated sometimes, because some people want to think that we can find the perfect solution without assuming any risk. If it were that easy, we would have never had any problems to start with.
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