In the Economic Development Action Plan for 2014-2015, the committee recommended a goal to “create a welcoming community that knows who it is and what it offers.” The first step in achieving this goal is to articulate the Bowen Island brand. A brand is the narrative that portrays the heart and soul of a place or product and emotionally connects with stakeholders – for Bowen, this means current and future residents, businesses, and visitors. A place brand reflects what a place currently is and inspires what it can be in the future.
A potential business, resident, or visitor can go anywhere they want today. Articulating the differentiating and unique characteristics of Bowen Island is important to attracting investment, people, and capital to our community for the creation and nurturing of a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable community.
A well-articulated brand strengthens a community’s sense of place, because it creates alignment between the language and messages created for and by business, community, and visitors.
A well-articulated brand should assist Bowen Islanders to better understand what industries and types of investment we’re trying to attract, and what kinds of people and markets we should be looking for, whether for new residents, tourism, artisanal and cottage industry, or light industrial business.
To date members of the EDC have participated in several educational webinars on branding, an introductory facilitated branding exercise to develop initial thoughts on the Bowen brand, and the formation of a steering committee to guide the process for developing a Bowen Island brand strategy.
The steering committee is currently developing a work plan for the process, which will include:
Determining the cost and timeline of a professionally facilitated branding process for a community of our size
Developing a template for Expressions of Interest and Requests for Proposals from branding consultants
Identifying information resources within the community such as guest comments from local accommodations and the information centre, existing research, a visitor survey and a community survey to help articulate our brand.
While this is not an inexpensive process, when done well, it will serve to inspire and inform the work of economic development on Bowen Island for years to come.
The Economic Development steering committee members for the branding process are Gordon Ganong, Jacqueline Massey, Sheree Johnson, Michael Kaille, David Bellringer, David Shadbolt, Alison Morse, Owen Plowman, Tim Rhodes, and Jan Stevens.
For more information, please contact Gordon Ganong at email@example.com