How trying Destination Branding could improve Fort Bragg’s Community
by Lauren Vier
I have now got to experience Fort Bragg, and begun to notice it’s largest flaw of all is of its personal marketing. No offense, anyone working on marketing already, I am only suggesting something new, more community branding.
For Example the City of Sebastopol hired in 2006 a large marketing company called North Star Destination Strategies to develop their Community Branding. Here is what their Branding report says about North Star Destination Strategies, that they are the ONLY branding company to offer destinations a combination of research, strategy and creative results. “Community BrandPrint”- provides direction for the destinations brand development..the resulting brand personality is as revealing as an individual’s fingerprint, and just as unique. Through Community BrandPrint, they determine a city’s most relevant and distinct promise. From that promise, they create a positioning philosophy that generates a brand identity in the minds of visitors, residents and economic development influencers. They then develop brand-building ideas and effective communication, all of which reinforce the positioning and ensure brand equity and growth. They break it down the results into four stages; Understanding, Insights, Imagination, and Evaluation. The report can be found here: http://www.sebastopol.org/committee_branding.html
By looking at Sebastopol’s Community Branding Development we can have a model to develop Fort Bragg’s Local Community Branding to be built by ourselves. We can get the same demographic research and local insights by surveying our residents and stakeholders and businesses.
I have a feeling we will come up with the very similar results as they did. They did very specific research into the perceptions of everyone in town as well as Demographic Segmentation into the kind of shopping that was done in Sebastopol to come up with a profile of the town and how people feel about it. If Fort Bragg did more Community Branding Development than our local communty state could change and we would be viewed a whole lot better for taking our community development more seriously.
I propose that the City of Fort Bragg goes through this individual community branding and research into perception of our community in order to improve our town’s look and feel and overall Destination marketing for the better. There is so much more to the coast and Fort Bragg that the FortBragg.com, has to offer. Really, Plan your trip, where to stay, where to eat, where to shop, what to do. Is that all? Where is the community? Where is the knowledge of what we stand for as a community and of the things that we want to change in the world?
The only way we can be a community or start to transform Fort Bragg’s neighborhoods into communities would be to start with community branding.
I say the only way that we can have a better understanding of ourselves and have more local economic development and less retail leakage and less people buying 90% of their things off amazon is simple reevaluating the things that we hold high as a city.
Things like Community awareness, Food security and local economic development and supporting things produced in our county should be #1 priorities I think.
I think the greatest and best example of our unique community is shown through in our non profit organizations in town. The Noyo Food Forest, our amazing Food Bank and the great work that is done through NCO and West Co. Without the encouragement of these businesses and having them a part of our existing neighborhoods already, I would never be working so hard to have a community here.