The unveiling of the Amherst County branding and marketing plan took place June 20th with the Board of Supervisors unanimously adopting the new Brand. Branding is the process of capturing the essence of a product —in this case, Amherst County and its communities unique story and character — and promoting it in a compelling way. The Brand will be used to market and promote Amherst County and its communities to new businesses, tourists, new residents, etc.
Over the last several months approximately 400 community members and leaders were engaged through interviews, focus groups, social media, and an online survey, to gather community thoughts on the values and character that make Amherst County a special place and to tell Amherst’s unique story.
Community branding is not just the creation of a simple logo. Rather, it is a position, graphic identity, tagline, and style set that presents the overall vision and values of the community. The plan will include a brand position statement – a brief narrative that connects the values and assets within the community and lays the foundation for the identity of the place.
The EDA is the lead marketing organization for business attraction in Amherst County; however, there has been no clear brand identity to leverage and no consistency among ally organizations in how Amherst County is portrayed and marketed. Branding was one of the 2016 Economic Development Strategic Plan initiatives. The need to market Amherst County was identified in each and every point of community engagement – marketing for business, tourism, and residential growth. A branding and marketing plan will continue the unification effort started by One Amherst, the Economic Development Strategic Plan.