This is Lethbridge: A Bright Choice

Single Publication – 4 or more pages | Economic Development Lethbridge
Abstract:

Historically, Economic Development Lethbridge has used more of a campaign based approach to drive strategic marketing efforts. While this has been successful in reaching defined campaign objectives, it has also resulted in a lack of consistency in key messaging and visual identity among areas of core business for go-to-market pieces that fall outside of campaign based initiatives. To move forward in a way that would maximize effectiveness, we identified a need to develop a cohesive visual identity and corresponding content strategy that would bring a more focused approach through increased impact and consistency.

The ‘This is Lethbridge’ identity created the opportunity to realign our efforts under one banner while playing off our Choose Lethbridge call to action. This resulted in an impactful and consistent message across a multitude of platforms including our publication series highlighting the meeting & event (business tourism) and business investment opportunities in the city as well as the economic diversity which supports our typically stable economy.

Goal: Develop a consistent visual identity and set of key messages that drive the creation of marketing tools to enhance
awareness, support investment attraction tactics and ultimately bring investment to the city.

Rather than creating smaller, often one-off print pieces related to specific industry investment attraction efforts we produced a series of more comprehensive magazine style publications that tell that Lethbridge story in a visually compelling way. We also specifically chose to stay away from a pay-to-play model so that we, without influence, can represent the whole community. As noted below, metrics indicate that we have made progress related to growth in entrepreneurial development, meeting & event attraction and business investment in the city.

While many variables go into fostering business growth and attracting new business to a city, with this new direction and marketing tools/strategies in place we have seen some promising outcomes in 2017.

  • At the Tecconnect centre for entrepreneurship and innovation, we are currently at 90% office capacity which is the highest capacity we have had to date. We have also been able to connect 226 entrepreneurs with Business Advisors; a new service offering in 2017
  • From a meeting and event attraction perspective we saw an increase in the number of events that EDL attracted or supported as well as an increase of nearly $2 million in economic impact
  • We continue to see significant interest in terms of investment inquiries and are working with several companies behind the scenes as they move towards announcing Lethbridge-based plans. Of most significant note is the recent announcement of Cavendish Farms who is building a $360 million-dollar state-of the art facility in Lethbridge.

Since launching this new direction, we have also seen leaders in the community organically adopt and promote messaging around Lethbridge as a ‘Bright Choice.’ Most recently, at the 2018 state of the city address, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman incorporated this key message into his presentation and corresponding media interviews.

We did not create things in isolation but used a strategic approach to development. With the website at the heart of our investment attraction marketing toolkit, and the use of mobile surpassing desktop use, we needed a fundamental shift in thinking towards building a mobile experience and then scaling up (desktop) and out (social and print).

We have also made our publication series (print and digital) available to our community in an effort to build ambassadors and create broader information sharing.

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