EDAC 2020 AWARDS ABSTRACT
TITLE: The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury Economic Development Marketing Strategy (New Brand Identifier)
AUTHORS: Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury
CONSULTANT: Amplify Marketing & Communications Canada
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury (BWG) is the second fastest growing community in Ontario and the 11th fastest growing community in Canada. Faced with such growth, the Office of Economic Development (OED) sought to adopt a proactive approach to business attraction and retention by developing a comprehensive Economic Development Marketing Strategy.
The objective was to create a professional and meaningful economic development identity that integrates the town’s rich rural and agricultural legacy with contemporary goals for business development. This new brand identity would be used as a unique identifier to position BWG as a preferred location to invest and do business, to both laypersons and business professionals.
The OED worked collaboratively with Amplify Marketing & Communications Canada to survey and interview multiple local stakeholder groups, including manufacturers, retailers, community partners, Council and residents for their input into a new graphic identifier.
The recommendations were vetted in a series of interviews with members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) to determine if the suggestions would resonate with key site selectors and business investment decision-makers and serve as an effective identifier to attract investment.
Combining the results of these diverse groups proved quite challenging; however, Amplify made a series of recommendations and jointly developed a new graphic identifier, colour scheme and tagline with the OED and other internal town marketing professionals.
BWG successfully created a new brand identifier, utilizing the tagline Build, Work, Grow to represent the community’s agricultural legacy and future course.
• Build represents a place to establish a business and new construction
• Work highlights an increasing and diversifying labour force
• Grow reflects both the Town’s agricultural heritage and recent expansion
The tagline also has a dual meaning, with the first letters representing the community’s shortened moniker – BWG.
The design colours of blue and green correspond to the municipality’s corporate logo, with green representing the bountiful growing legacy of the surrounding Holland Marsh and blue representing the waters of the Holland River which feed this rich agricultural area.
To illustrate BWG as a strategic location in which to invest, a unique identifier – a geotag – was incorporated as a stylized element in the ‘W’ and as a stand-alone component, serving as a directional indicator leading to Bradford West Gwillimbury.
The stand-alone feature is depicted in deep red, a colour adopted by many successful multinational companies to demonstrate confidence, with also serves to act as a contrasting and eye-catching element.
The new branding forms the cornerstone of BWG’s economic development marketing efforts, and is present on all promotional material, including banners, business cards, letterhead, brochures, merchandise and economic development website. A standards guide was developed, outlining permitted uses.
The new, fresh look has contributed to a 50 per cent increase in website traffic and a 40 per cent increase in site selection inquiries.