Write Roger – Umbrella Brands
I have the privilege of receiving excellent questions from community champions on a regular basis. I thought it would be helpful if I shared my answers here on Roger’s Rules. So here is the first post of a series called “Write Roger.” And if you have any questions, send them my way! They just might end up here on my website.
When a region has a brand and each community within the region has a brand – how do we connect them – how do we get them to complement each other?
– Cathy, Cowichan Valley
Hi Cathy! Great question!
This is a question that many counties/regions have. The answer to this is what we call an “umbrella brand,” which is what you have for the region. Here’s a real life example: Chevrolet’s umbrella brand is “Buy American.” Their slogans are “heartbeat of America” and “An American Revolution.” But they don’t run ads telling people to buy a Chevy. Instead they market the Corvette to it’s audience (baby boomer guys with money), the small Aveo to first-time car buyers (people in their late teens and 20s), the Impala to families looking for a sedan, and the Suburban to construction worker types.
You need to do the same thing. You have your umbrella brand, but it’s only as good as what the individual communities give you to work with. So you can tell people to come to the Cowichan Valley and then “pick their passion.” If it’s golf head to a certain place, if they want trail systems head here – each “sub-brand” would fit under your umbrella. But, like Chevrolet don’t market the region directly. Instead market the various opportunities (economic development) and activities (tourism) available in each of your towns and cities.
For instance, we could move our company anywhere in North America (I grew up on San Juan Island and know your area well) but if we were to do that, I’d find a place that had an amazing trail system. Why? Because my wife is an avid runner and most of our staff are avid cyclists and very active. So, if we were to move to the Cowichan Valley, which community would be the best fit?
All the best in your county branding efforts,