The town of Davidson is expanding its marketing and branding strategy in hopes to spur economic growth.
Arnett Muldrow & Associates, Greensville, SC-based consultants hired by the town, presented their recommendations to the town board of commissioners at a meeting last week in Davidson Town Hall.
The national firm has specialized in town planning, community branding and retail market analysis for nearly a decade and has worked in 21 states with 100-plus communities, including Concord and Huntersville.
The firm conducted a market analysis to determine how to better promote the community to local residents, regional customers and visitors. It also conducted a study to establish why retail dollars leave the community and how to combat it.
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During the 90-minute town meeting, Tripp Muldrow, a principal with the firm, presented a slideshow and answered questions from residents, business owners and commissioners. Muldrow specializes in how planning and urban design concepts apply to economic development policies and strategies. To see the slideshow presentation, visit www.ci.davidson.nc.us.
Town officials said major changes won't be seen until mid- to late-summer, but some minor initiatives, like incorporating the new logo on event banners, are already underway.
"We want to be able to share the town and its uniqueness with others," said steering committee member Laura Schumacher, who has worked with the town for about seven years through her Davidson design firm Vermillion Creative. "It's a very different way of life and a return to that small-town feel with bigger-city things going on in it. And, of course, we want to see businesses prosper."
Key recommendations included establishing a clear brand image to use as a platform to reach potential customers and to bill Davidson as a destination community in order to spur economic development.
To establish a brand image, a new popular logo will be implemented. It consists of four different-colored interlocking "Ds." Each stands for a different aspect of life in Davidson: downtown, college town, lake town and home town.
The goal of the logo is to position the town to take advantage of the total customer base and market to the various niches accordingly. The logo eventually will be tied to various themes (Christmas in Davidson), groups (cyclists, walkers, diners) and activities (concerts, farmers market). The official town logo also will see minor changes tied to various themes.
"The reasons you want to live in Davidson are the same reasons you'd want to move a business to the area," said Sara-Lynne Levine, the town's communication director. "Ultimately this is a tool to help business owners."