It may have been a two-year process, but the unveiling of the Discoveries That Matter tagline and logo at the Lambton College Event Centre promises to be just the beginning of an effort by what is being called a grassroots branding effort.
The imagery, said John Elliott, chief operating officer of Blue Water Bridge Canada, will be “well worth the time we spent preparing it.”
Elliott said he believes the branding statement could be a “watershed moment” for the community as it begins to work on creating new opportunities flowing out of the new community brand.
Part of the unveiling included a video, which can be seen here:
George Mallay, general manager of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, pointed to a rigorous process that included surveys that helped capture how various community stakeholders and those outside the community saw Lambton County, an important part of the process.
“What we know from talking to those who have gone through branding efforts in other communities is that ‘top down’ doesn’t work,” said Mallay. “In order for this to work, it had to be at the grass roots level.”
Mallay called the branding effort that has been revealed a generational exercise.
The group spent about $70,000 on the effort, which Mallay said was significantly less than what some other communities have invested in the process, noting that Edmonton has spent about $1 million on its branding.
The new imagery is a so-called “umbrella brand” that respects the individual identities of the 11 communities and three First Nations that exist within the boundaries of Lambton County.
“It helps us tell the world: we’ve only just begun,” said Marlene Wood, general manager of Tourism Sarnia-Lambton, another of the groups that lead the process.
Don Anderson, general manager of the Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation, said the branding will become an important part of an ongoing strategy to encourage business creators to set up shop in Sarnia-Lambton. Anderson pointed to site selection experts who say reputation of a community is key to getting on a short list.
“We’ve been told we need to be aggressive and this branding statement does that,” said Anderson. “It tells people that we know what we want to be.”
The organizations that have been instrumental in creating the community brand are: Blue Water Bridge Canada; Community Round Table; County of Lambton; Grand Bend and Area Chamber of Commerce; Lambton College; Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation; Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce; Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership; Sarnia-Lambton Local Immigration Partnership; Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board; Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board; Tourism Sarnia-Lambton; and Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park.
A short video following the unveil can be seen here: