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DDA seeks input on community brand



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September 05, 2012 - After having 10 new businesses open or about to open since the completion of the streetscape downtown, is community branding the next step?

Suzanne Perreault, director of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) thinks so.

"For the past number of years we've had a logo that says 'Downtown Lake Orion.' If you see that does that make you want to come downtown? Does that represent what our downtown is? That's what we're trying to figure out, said Perreault. "We are hiring a consultant to come in and help us determine, how to create an image logo, tag line, and an overall marketing campaign to get more investors, business and customers to come downtown."

After a Request For Proposal (RFP) process, the DDA decided to hire marketing firm ArnettMuldrow to help them out. Perreault said ArnettMuldrow has had a lot of experience branding communities. She also noted ArnettMuldrow is being paid for out of the DDA's budget and a portion of it is being funded by Main Street Oakland County.

So what exactly is community branding?

According to ArnettMuldrow "a community brand is a promise that a place makes with people. Successful brand will communicate that promise and deliver a positive image for residents, investors, and visitors."

ArnettMuldrow also says a successful marketing and branding effort involves stakeholders and citizens of the community, which is why the DDA is holding two roundtable discussions to get public and business input on what the image of downtown Lake Orion should be and look like.

The first meeting open for the general public will be held on Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Village Offices located at 37 E. Flint Street. The second meeting for merchants and business owners on Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. also located at the Village Office.

After talking with Oxford's DDA Director, who recently did community branding, Perreault said she's only heard positive things come from it.

"It's going to be pretty awesome and I can't wait to see what they come up with," she said. "I think this project is going to really be a springboard for what's to come."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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