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Citizens can help place a brand on their city

The city of Enumclaw is asking citizens to help stamp their “brand” on the community.

As part of an ongoing effort to market Enumclaw to visitors, the city has hired North Star Destination Strategies to develop a consistent, enduring image - or brand - for Enumclaw.

Toward this end, North Star has developed a customized, online survey, crafted to determine the city's strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. All residents are being encouraged to participate in the communitywide initiative.

The survey can be found on the city's Web site - www.cityofenumclaw.net - as well as the Enumclaw Area Chamber of Commerce and Enumclaw Courier Herald Web sites. Those can be found at www.enumclawchamber.com and www.courierherald.com.

Surveys can be completed online and submitted electronically through Jan. 25.

According to the head of North Star, Don McEachern, at the heart of Enumclaw's brand will be the city's “competitive differentiator” - in other words, what makes the city special so it can stand out in the marketplace.

“We have partnered with more than 60 cities in 20 states nationwide and I can't emphasize enough the importance of insights gleaned from community members,” McEachern said. “To learn what makes a city special, you have to go to the people who spend more than just their money and time there. You have to go to the people who spend their lives there.”

Larry Fetter, who heads the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, said the survey will help North Star come up with a list of “descriptors” - essentially a series of words that apply to Enumclaw. “It's not very sexy,” he admitted, “but it's pretty important.”

Fetter said North Star representatives will take their list before members of the City Council Feb. 11, looking for agreement or further direction. One the list is accepted, North Star will turn those descriptive words into a “tagline” that will be adopted by the city and develop graphics that will be used throughout the community.

The entire process should be wrapped up by late March, Fetter said.

North Star is being paid a little more than $50,000 for its work on the project.

Those interested in learning more about the city's branding initiative can visit www.cityofenumclaw.net, click on search and type “Enumclaw Tourism Plan.”

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