NEW MARKETING BRAND CHOSEN TO PROMOTE AREA

February 28, 2002 11:00 pm

Residents of Curry and Del Norte counties know this region is special, but what name can they use to describe it to outsiders?

Americas Wild Rivers Coast was chosen as a marketing brand for Curry and Del Norte counties Friday by three dozen city, county, port and chamber of commerce officials.

The group was called together by the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce, with the hope of working toward regional marketing to increase the visitor dollars spent in the region.

In full, the branding statement read Americas Wild Rivers Coast, 101 miles of Natures Best.

You did a great job, marketing consultant Mark Dennett told the officials. You can deliver on the promise of that brand.

The group agreed to meet again April 3 to take the next steps in the process, after pushing for commitments to the brand from their various boards and commissions.

Dennett suggested a full-blown marketing campaign for the brand might be more than a year away, but told the group that should not worry them.

The power of this lies in what you you do every single day, he said. You dont need a lot of money to do this. You need a lot of commitment. Thats a tremendous base.

Underpinning the brand name was a draft position statement worked out by the group during the day-long session.

Americas Wild Rivers Coast, the group decided, offers Americas premiere coastal experience, where wild rivers flow through towering forest to quiet waterfront towns overlooking majestic ocean vistas. And amazing weather too!

Dennett encouraged the officials to keep working on that statement. Go home, write it down, play with it, he said. Thats really important.

The positioning statement led to brainstorming a list of two dozen possible brands, narrowed down by voting to options including The Real West Coast, The Dream Coast, Americas Adventure Coast, and A Coast for All Seasons.

A brand chosen a few years ago as part of Curry Countys nature-based tourism effort Siskiyou Coast was on the list, but received few votes.

Siskiyou Coast could have worked, Dennett admitted to the group, but no one bought into it and they didnt stay committed to it.

He suggested keeping the regional branding effort up for at least five years before real success might come.

In five years, youll be strong enough to go to the states and ask them to label their maps with Americas Wild Rivers Coast, he predicted.

We want to make the pie bigger, Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce President Peter Spratt said as the morning opened, while continuing to beat each other up for market share.

Both counties, all four cities, all four chambers of commerce, the Gold Beach Promotions Board, the Port of Brookings Harbor and Smith River Rancheria were represented in the session.

Some participants were willing to write checks toward the marketing effort at the session Friday. Others, like Salmon Run golf courses Pete Pavich, started ordering changes in marketing material while the session was still underway. Arrangements were made to reserve several possible Web site locations for eventual use.

At the April session, the participants hope to approve a type-only logo for the brand that can be used with marketing materials, as well as draft a modest marketing plan to promote use of Americas Wild Rivers Coast.