CNP Branding Strategy Meeting

CNP Branding

About a dozen people showed up for the little advertised branding session that took place at the Elk’s Hall last night. (The municipality really has to get back to advertising in the newspapers again, instead of relying solely on a Facebook page having a 127 members only.)

Overall, although we were few in numbers as a group we were big on ideas and suggestions. Lots of useful exchanges that culminated at times with a crescendo of intense passion for our community, its people, and its history.

The company The Studio Group a.k.a. Millier Dickinson Blais had three of their people there who were very professional, I thought. Handling themselves quite well, especially at the beginning when challenged by moi on why in their two page handout no mention what-so-ever was made of our previous brand (marketing tool) “Mountain Freedom” and “Thunder in the Valley“? Lively discussion followed, BS excuses made, with the end result being in my mind anyways that this was a biased political decision forced on them.

Aside from this bump in the road at the beginning, the rest of the evening lasting some 2.5 hours went very well. Further focus group meetings will be held and by November 30 of this year we will have a new brand from which to market our community to attract both new residents and businesses, as well as the much sought after visitor/tourist dollar, along with a new logo and website.

As one who went to this meeting somewhat a pessimist I am now optimistic some good will come from this exercise for our community, that results in a new way forward in meeting the challenges and opportunities that we all face in putting our community on the map in a positive way, while also, hopefully, uniting us all as one as we strive to be all we can be.


The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.

from John Prince
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7 Responses to CNP Branding Strategy Meeting

  1. Anonymous says:

    Complete waste of money. The community already went through this process when the current brand was determined. Nobody has answered the question: why are we doing this again?!!! Instead, they should have taken the $80k+ that they are spending on the process and used the funds to do some actual marketing of the community. I was told that the mayor does not like what the community determined because it does not fit his “vision”. He objects to the word “Freedom”. So what, the community is so much more than what he and his followers want us to be.

  2. John two questions for you.
    First what was their reaction to the TITV or the Mountain Freedom, do they see any value in working with those brands?.
    Second question Mayor Decoux stated at the Sept 18 G+P meeting that there would be an Economic Development Officer in place by Christmas. Would you not think that based on the kind of dollars we will have to pay to attract the right type of person to go out and sell this community.
    That individual would have been a key person to involve in developing a new brand for this community?

    Dean Ward

  3. John Prince says:

    Anon @10:13
    Not disagreeing with you, just playing the devil’s advocate, how does one market a place not knowing what to sell. I believe this is what this exercise is all about. btw/I never knew the mayor even had a vision? As far as his being against “Freedom” I can believe that, as how he and his council have behaved to-date, the killing of TITV, along with their “Peace Officers”, attests to that. But these guys won’t kill our spirit. We’ll just wait them out.


  4. John Prince says:

    Hi Dean,
    The answer to your first question Dean is no. It was pretty obvious they had been instructed to ignore, or think beyond, TITV and Mountain Freedom. Lots of ideas were thrown about, some of which related to our spirit, zest and celebration of life, which the above exemplified. Will be interesting to see what these guys come up with in November. It better be good because $80,000 is a pretty hefty bill if we just land up with more of the same… or worse.

    With respect to your second question, I couldn’t agree with you more. And in the past here on this blog I have said so. Our local economy has never seemed to be a priority with these guys (think cancellation of TITV for example) and their track record to-date in this area has been all half-ass backwards. Waiting until more than two-thirds of your mandate has come and gone before getting serious about putting the mechanisms in place to address our serious and severe economic depression here speaks volumes to this fact, as does putting the cart in front of the horse in not having a committee and EDO in place prior to doing the branding exercise, unless, of course, you want no obstacles or impediments in place from the realization of your (personal) vision. Maybe that is why they ensured, by way of lack of advertising, so few people would be present for their branding meeting of the other night?

    At the end of the day the best we can hope for is when we do get a new EDO that he is actually allowed to do his job in attracting business and investment to this area. Unlike the other one we had who did absolutely nothing (being hamstrung as he was by our former mayor) and still received a Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition, in part, for having failed us miserably??

    btw/ I’m looking for work. But of course, these days, we don’t hire local, especially if the person is outspoken, tenacious, passionate, determined, knowledgeable, visionary, a former councillor, having a life-time of experience in sales and marketing that included small business ownership, hotel management and an airline background. And who also happened to be an out-spoken, in your face, type of individual who for years has both promoted and advocated for economic and business development to increase local employment.

    No, we wouldn’t want someone like that. That would be too easy. And besides, why would we want to unfreeze what we have successfully frozen-out for so many years now… to our detriment and chagrin?

    p.s. When at the Pincher Creek Jobs Fair I left my resume with several companies including the Town of Pincher Creek and also emailed one to our own town office here in the Pass, where I assume it is now on file… under G.


  5. Anonymous says:

    The “branding” and marketing program is supposed to be for immediate use. It has to be based on what is here now. It can’t very well include our wishlist of grand visions.

    Of course the consultant will recommend frequent reviews of the program.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Let me rephrase the above as a question:

    This branding process may have stimulated some great visionary thinking, but what these consultants say they are doing (I can’t remember their exact words) is creating an image of “what we are all about” right now in 2012, which will become our “brand” and marketing pitch.

    How will you (or other people) like the result of that?

  7. John Prince says:

    Anon @8:41

    Obviously we are a community in transition. Can one brand and create an image for that?

    After decades of mismanagement and neglect this mayor and council are trying to fix that… overnight. I take my hat off them for tackling what they have. How they went about it is another story.

    In any event, I think branding ourselves as what we are today in 2012 is not the way to go. Jose, in his second comment in my “If I had my way” post above sums up our municipality’s plight at present i.e. “dying and stagnant community”, “people jumping ship”.

    No, what we need is a vision of where we want to be years from now, go for it, and start marketing it.

    Natural beauty in a decaying, run-down, dying former mining community won’t do it alone (which is what we are now and have been for some time). That’s why I thought and still think “Mountain Freedom” and TITV, suggesting style of life and vitality were steps in the right direction. Add a theme (prohibition, labour, socialism/communism, etc.) to that, and away we go.


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