Place Branding For Economic Development Using Video

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An Effort To Assist With Business Attraction

The practice known as ‘place branding’ is a growing aspect of economic development among cities, regions, and states.  Simply put, it includes finding the aspects that make a location unique, interesting and meaningful and showing that off in a variety of ways.

Over the summer of 2019, our team was charged to help in one aspect of a place branding initiative for the City of Bangor, Maine. 

The foremost goal of our project was to create video assets to tell stories and help attract new businesses to the city.  A secondary goal was to showcase the city’s identity using distinguishing features, places, and people. 

A unique identity that would then be broadcast to the world. 

Our initial approach included finding topics that appealed to both matters of the mind and matters of the heart.  Matters of the mind were considered traits that would be relevant more directly to business discussions. Matters of the heart being relatable more to the community, social and residential side of the story.

 

Talking Business – Matters of the Mind

To be effective, our strategy needed to anticipate the real decision making questions an interested business owner might have.  Through discussions with folks directly involved in economic development, we were able to formulate a priority list of topics that would be most helpful and valuable. For this piece of the project, our focuses were on people, resources and location.

We focused our attention on testimonials and worked to achieve a balance of industries and perspectives. We also aimed to film testimonials in their respective places of work to increase the authenticity of their message.  

We spoke with community members, potential peers, and workers. We made sure to include businesses of all shapes and sizes as well as job training programs.

 

Talking Community – Matters of the Heart

Our focus for the community components needed to take into consideration what business owners, their family, and their employees are seeking for quality of life assets. In talking with realtors, city officials and businesses that have relocated to the area, we were able to develop three key areas to focus on. They were neighborhoods, schools and natural assets for recreation.

As a region, Bangor is blessed with a nearby abundance of natural resources and recreational options in close proximity to the heart of the city.

With trails, lakes, rivers, and forests nearby, it was not so much how to tell the story but rather how to narrow down the options to showcase. 

Through the eyes of community leaders, school employees, realtors and residents, we heard tales of clean air, clean water and access to the ocean and wild forests. We highlighted the old-fashioned neighborhood layout and highlighted award-winning schools and access to fresh nutritious foods. 

 

Chapters In The Story – The End Product

The messages we heard from all angles is that Bangor is a unique community of diverse people, a hub where businesses have room to grow, a place where people feel nurtured and businesses can grow and feel supported.

Getting to the end product was a memorable experience. Through this process, our team climbed the water tower, went on hikes, visited factories, shops, and laboratories. We witnessed a shared sense of pride in the community and hope that our end product helps convey those attributes in some small way.

In the end, our work resulted in six chapters. While each chapter is focused on an individual topic, all are connected with a branded theme and consistent visuals, music, and graphics.

The series was developed to help not only the city share its story for recruitment purposes but to be available for businesses looking for ways to recruit employees as well.

 

All six videos are available on the City of Bangor’s YouTube page and are evenly split between categories.