BRUNSWICK — Officials are hoping a new marketing campaign will help attract newcomers to town and improve retention of visitors, residents and businesses.
The campaign with the slogan, “Our Town. Our Story.,” was formally approved by the Town Council on July 29. Marketing materials are available by request at no cost to businesses, organizations or individuals.
The slogan will be also available to anyone as a template that can be tailored to individual marketing needs.
This is the first time the town will have its own slogan, Business Development Manager Denise Clavette said.
“We wanted a common identity for the entire community,” said Debora King, executive director of the Brunswick Downtown Association, the group that facilitated the creation of the new campaign.
King said the new campaign will allow the town to play up various strengths.
For instance, a hotel or restaurant could use one of the campaign’s modified slogans to advertise Brunswick as “Our Town. Your Next Great Meal.”
Other modified slogans in the mix include: “Our Town. Your Vacation.,” “Our Town. Your Perfect Retirement.,” and “Our Town. Your Livelihood.”
Corresponding marketing material for each modified slogan and new town logos are available, Clavette said. A photo bank will soon be available, too.
The business development manager said the logos, which she preferred to call “identities,” are the only expense of the project. But the $750 cost was split between the town, BDA, Morton Real Estate and Parkview Adventist Medical Center.
Councilor Benet Pols was the only councilor to oppose the town’s new marketing campaign, criticizing the use of a lowercase “m” in the spelling of Maine.
Future costs split between the town and other stakeholders may include ad placements in magazines and the hiring of photographers to expand the photo bank, Clavette said.
The first ad placement, however, planned for the November edition of Bowdoin Magazine, will be free, she said.
Requests for materials can be made to her office at 207-721-0292, and they will be shared via Dropbox.com, an online file-sharing tool.
Clavette said marketing materials will appear on the town’s website on different pages by sometime in September.
She said it was only a coincidence that the slogan’s modular function mirrored that of Portland’s new slogan, “Yes. Life’s Good Here,” which allows businesses and organizations to switch out “life” with words that represent the city’s various amenities.
“It was done completely independently,” she said.
The marketing campaign was jointly developed by in BDA’s Economic Restructuring Committee by Clavette, Town Council Vice Chairwoman Margo Knight and more than 30 people representing businesses, developers, public and private schools, hospitals, nonprofit groups and the state authority that maintains the Amtrak Downeaster.
The idea originated when the BDA was brainstorming new ways to market itself and the businesses it supports earlier this year.
“We were discussing ideas on how to market the BDA and we realized we had to be much broader and more inclusive in any marketing strategy that we come up with,” King said at the council’s July meeting, “so we needed to develop a strategy for the entire Brunswick community.”
BDA previously had its own slogan, “It’s All Here – All Year,” but the association stopped using it last year because the slogan was too vague and wasn’t well received, said Mike Lyne, chairman of BDA’s Economic Restructuring Committee.
Lyne, who is also the on-site project manager for Brunswick Station, said there had been a void in BDA’s marketing efforts for 12-18 months until the association decided to open its Economic Restructuring Committee to a larger pool of stakeholders.
After BDA got permission to recruit Clavette as the project’s lead, Lyne said, his committee began discussing how to create a more inclusive message for the town.
“That started a process that really was impressive,” he said. “The first four or five meetings was the larger group, then it became smaller meetings. It was a real collaboration, which was refreshing to see around here.”