LETTER: New brand doesn’t accurately convey today and tomorrow’s story of Bowen

Dear editor:
 
As I was flipping through the Undercurrent this past weekend I was saddened to see confirmation of the roll out of the new Bowen brand. 
 
You see, over the preceding few days a number of friends sent me the brand platform that was on the municipality website – they were aghast. They were looking to see my thoughts; I was just as stunned. 
 
People say, why this is such an important consideration? It’s cute, not really that big a deal. 
 
In fact it’s a huge decision. Brands are more than just logos and taglines. Brands are entities. 
 
People emotionally engage with them, invest in them, and the brands they associate with are intertwined with their own personal identities, helping to validate decisions they make in their lives.
 
To this end the Bowen brand should be a platform that helps guide decisions from zoning, to public engagement, tourism endeavours, to festivals and events to public space use and creation.
 
In general, the brand and the thinking behind it are completely flawed because they don’t accurately convey today and tomorrow’s story of Bowen. 
 
The concept is “defiant welcome,” an oxymoron at the least and hardly encompassing of economic development at worst. 
 
This island is only just shedding the baggage of being a hangout for outcasts, isolationists and hillbillies.
 
What we have been given is the rearview mirror, a tale of what the island used to be. 
 
I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I see a worldly, cosmopolitan, urbane, highly affluent, educated and proud islander today. That’s the zeitgeist of today’s Bowen. Why doesn’t our brand connote any of that? 
 
Seriously, ask yourself: what do a poorly stylized campy deer, a goofy font, an aging color palette and the tagline, “Tell your friends it’s awful here” do for us?
 
Ryan Laurin 
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