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Creating a New Brand for Collingwood’s Downtown (Posted On: Wednesday, May 17, 2006)

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The Collingwood Business Improvement Area is a not-for-profit organization established for the main purpose of revitalizing the central business district of the town of Collingwood.

The Collingwood Business Improvement Area is a not-for-profit organization established for the main purpose of revitalizing the central business district of the town of Collingwood. Membership consists of more than four hundred business and property owners, and the association is funded by a levy placed on the property taxes of each owner within the designated boundaries.

The commercial marketplace in Collingwood and the area continues to change. A western commercial node now exists and is growing at an exponential rate. The Village at Blue Mountain is a huge new potential draw to the area, but is also a fast growing competitor for time and dollars. Both Thornbury and Creemore have grown and expanded their product offerings and have begun to market themselves as destinations.

The mix of product offerings in the downtown core has become more diverse and sophisticated, in every category of business. Collingwood’s downtown has never had more potential and never more competition. Yet this shopping district has never been strategically “branded”, to enable both the current and potential customer base to differentiate it from other commercial districts.

A “Branding Team” was formed to create a new brand for the downtown area. Although experts were used for components of the project, the committee drew from a wealth of experience in its own backyard and the project was driven by business volunteers.

A research team was hired to undertake the consumer research phase of the project. The research was completed by intercept surveys targeted to three major types of downtown visitors: local residents, weekenders and tourists.

The creative team then, along with the steering committee, developed a strategic position and communications strategy for Downtown Collingwood. This was based on the analysis of the research, site visits and consultation with stakeholders. This phase of the project included an assessment of the research findings to isolate key strengths to grow consumer loyalty to downtown and to isolate key obstacles to growth, formulation of sharply focused objectives key to growing loyalty, including identification of key market influencers, and addressing obstacles and development of a highly focused strategy to achieve these objectives.

Once this strategy had been developed a communications plan was designed that spoke directly to the key market influencers. A new brand identity and position statement was developed. The official launch of the new brand and subsequent advertising campaign to develop the brand in the marketplace began on May 13th, 2006.

Collingwood BIA
705.445.5595

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