Although commonly known as a “bedroom community” of nearby Durango, Bayfield (pop 2,700) is anything but a sleepy, rural town even as it rests bucolically within the scenic beauty of Colorado’s Pine River Valley. Bayfield boasts a strong school system, nationally-recognized library, state champion football team and growing industries. Avant Marketing was selected to develop a new community brand identity and brand marketing plan to recognize the many achievements of Bayfield and its people. Interviews with community and business leaders and a well-attended focus group were conducted as part of our market research, which led to this brand positioning:  Bayfield is a welcoming community that values diverse growth in our schools, residents and businesses which enhances our cultural fabric.  We respect independence, foster education, and value our natural scenic environment.  We are a community family focused on the quality of life for every resident – an authentic small-town experience in the Heart of the Pine River Valley.

The brand identity tagline – “Where Stars Shine Bright “– carries an important dual message, too.  Bayfield has wide open skies perfect for nighttime star gazing, but the underlying message is about the real stars of Bayfield – its residents and their very strong sense of community. Bayfield even recognizes outstanding citizens with a “star” award from the town council.

Avant Marketing was so inspired by our project that we wrote and produced a brand anthem for the community: “Back in Bayfield.” Listen it to it here:

Bayfield Colorado Logo - Avant Marketing Community & Destination Branding Case Study

Approaching its 225th Anniversary, Cabarrus County – one of the fastest growing areas in the Charlotte metro area with more than 210,000 residents – wanted an authentic research-based brand, not just a new logo and tagline, to reflect the community as it is today. Avant Marketing was hired to administer research and conduct brand development. We worked in partnership with another agency on logo and graphic design. Our proven process of one-on-one interviews, focus groups, and surveys was used to gain insight into the community and its shared values, which the research defined as family, faith, collaboration and tradition. The County is using the new brand positioning, “America Thrives Here,” to project its strategic vision, develop recognition among residents, attract new residents and businesses, engage employees, and aid with the recruitment of a talented and diverse workforce.

Short video backgrounder:

Cabarrus County North Carolina Logo - Avant Marketing Community & Destination Branding Case Study

Florence is a happening place with a revitalized downtown area, a new library, performing arts center, and significant medical school investments (two of South Carolina’s best medical care institutions call Florence home). But Florence felt all of this impressive development went largely unnoticed in the region, and that even locals in this community of 37,000 as well as visitors viewed this picturesque southern town as merely a convenient rest stop on the way to the South Carolina coast. So, municipal leaders asked Avant Marketing for help. Our research identified Florence’s most valuable assets to be its progressive attitude and the friendliness of its residents, which led to a new economic development brand positioning, brand identity and slogan.

Florence had its official Brand Launch under Avant Marketing’s recommendations and our Brand Immersion Process Training was conducted with business and community leaders.  The strength of the “Full Life. Full Forward.” brand identity that we developed for the Downtown Economic Development Committee was so well received it was adopted as well by the City of Florence, Florence County, and the key public venues – including the Florence Civic Center.

Florence South Carolina Logo - Avant Marketing Community & Destination Branding Case Study

Once upon a time, the City of Medford thrived as the central trading area for timber and agriculture. That was then. About a decade ago, downtown Medford found itself in serious decline as businesses closed and both regional residents as well as tourists had no reasons to visit the urban center of the community. Medford had to redefine itself. Today, through joint effort between City government and private investment, Medford (pop. 82,347) has an exciting, new story to tell, with thriving restaurant, theater, government, and education districts downtown. To celebrate that turnaround, Medford sought out Avant Marketing to generate a new brand identity for its downtown area. The goal: create a branding “flagship” to assist in increasing awareness, traffic, and revenues for area businesses. And, that’s what we did – with new brand positioning captured in a contemporary logo and succinct brand slogan, “Historically centered. Progressively inspired.

Medford Oregon Logo - Avant Marketing Community & Destination Branding Case Study

Salinas, California is famous – home of author John Steinbeck, the region’s history unfolds in his books through richly detailed stories of the land and its people; and, as a prosperous farming community for more than 150 years, Salinas-grown products have long been served in homes and restaurants throughout America. Today, Salinas supplies more than 85 percent of the country’s leafy produce. But in recent times, increased crime and gang activity distorted the image of the community, which is also Monterrey County’s largest city with 156,000 residents. Avant Marketing was selected through a national search to research and develop a new brand for the community that would resonate with residents, potential residents and businesses, unifying all stakeholders to a common identity. Through our process of interviews, focus groups and online surveys, Avant Marketing scripted brand vision, mission, and values statements leading to a holistic brand position expressed in the brand essence “Salinas – Rich in Land. Rich in Values.” and the brand marketing slogan “El Sabor de la Vida (The Flavor of Life).”  Included in the brand development was creation of a brand anthem, “My Salinas.”

Hear it in this video:

Salinas California Logo - Avant Marketing Community & Destination Branding Case Study

What do you do when your community doesn’t stand out from the big city next door, or any of 47 other nearby communities?  That’s the situation University City found itself in and why Avant Marketing was asked to help. University City (pop. 35,000) is among the oldest suburbs in St. Louis County, and was one of the first planned communities in Missouri. It’s extremely diverse with activist residents and its main commercial street has long been a top destination for entertainment, restaurants, and shopping. Unfortunately, with its adjacency to St. Louis, many large city problems were unfairly associated with University City and negatively influenced people from visiting or considering the community for relocation. Avant Marketing was tapped to provide research and development, and to manage the public communications marketing program for University City’s revitalized brand. Our process developed the following brand positioning:  University City is a diverse and forward-thinking global community that offers a better quality of life for those seeking a vibrant environment in which to work, play, or to call home. The “Neighborhood to the World” identity we designed to express the brand position is so popular you’ll even see it when swimming underwater at University City’s community pool!

University City Missouri Logo - Avant Marketing Community & Destination Branding Case Study