Claremore Daily Progress

March 5, 2014

Claremore works to develop community branding strategy

Mark Friedel
Staff Writer

CLAREMORE —

Claremore leaders and residents participated in a Community Branding Kickoff meeting Tuesday night at Northeast Tecnology Center.
The discussion provided an opportunity for the public to contribute their ideas for the development of a community branding strategy to drive business growth, energize development and encourage relocation.
Ben Muldrow, of Arnett Muldrow & Associates, presented the meeting following a day of branding workshops at NTC Claremore. 
The unveiling of the new branding will be at 6 p.m tonight in the Rogers State University Centennial Center. 
Arnett Muldrow & Associates will display a full-blown marketing system, including new organizational, event and advertising logos, as well as, digital media strategies.
Based in Greenville, S.C., Arnett Muldrow & Associates works with communities to enhance economic opportunities while preserving the rich history and character that makes each city and town stand out, said Muldrow.
“We’ve got a unique circumstance here in Claremore because of all the partnerships that have come together to arrive at this process,” said Muldrow. “It is an absolutely great team, and sadly I can say a lot of communities are not able to get groups such as these together.”
The steering committee includes the City of Claremore, Claremore Chamber of Commerce, Claremore Main Street, Claremore Visitors Bureau, Claremore Industrial Economic Development Authority and the Innovation Center at Rogers State University.
At the kickoff meeting, Muldrow asked citizens and community leaders several questions regarding information to help his team craft a branding system, allowing residents to capture the values that they cherish about the place they call home.
“I think people get nervous anytime they hear about marketing or branding a place because it may bring in people that make the place different from what they enjoy about it,” said Muldrow. “One of the best ways that a community can preserve its personality is by first defining its personality. Believe it or not, digging in your heels and doing nothing is not a preservation tactic.” 
Based on input from participants at Tuesday’s workshop and kickoff meeting, as well as, separate meetings with the steering committee, Muldrow and his team will actively define the personality of Claremore and then empower each organization, agency, etc. with the tools they need to communicate that personality to their own target markets.
Muldrow said the process of community branding includes an input process, before moving into product development.
Muldrow and his team will photograph community highlights, as well as, provide zip code surveys for businesses.
“Businesses are actually going to help us conduct a weeklong zipcode survey, which will fuel our market analysis. We’ll actually be able to identify retail leakage, and understand what retail needs we can serve with the economy here,” he said.
Muldrow said he believes Claremore is a very proud community.
“I think these citizens want to make sure they are able to take advantage of their potential to shape the future of this city. The community knows that they are something special, but they just want to help tell that story,” he said. “The organizations have shown in the past that they are able to work together, but with this product, they’ll be able to communicate collectively to leverage their resources to go even farther.”