Regional branding sparks hesitation

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wrightsville Beach Marketing Advisory Committee members were hesitant about sending a representative to the Branding Identity Leadership Team without knowing what the end result would be for regional branding on the local level.

Before the next regional branding meeting on Jan. 14 members will look through more information then decide whom to send, if anyone.

During the 15-minute discussion, members expressed confusion about the difference between the branding identity and the Economic Development Planning Initiative, which is a collaborative effort by the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, Cape Fear Community College and University of North Carolina Wilmington.

“There are a bunch of these things going on which is why it’s confusing,” chairman Pres Davenport said.

Wrightsville Beach Alderman Darryl Mills relayed the board’s perspective to marketing committee members, saying it is up to the committee to decide if it wants to choose to send a representative to the meetings.

“We didn’t commit,” Mills said. “We said we would bring it back to marketing. … Frankly the whole premise, I have serious doubts about.”

The committee previously passed a resolution requesting aldermen not support the initiative until concrete plans were presented.

But Mills, a nonvoting committee member, said he would suggest the board send a representative to the meetings. He added that it could always walk away from it.

“I think monitoring it is the smart direction to take,” Mills said.

Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau executive vice president of marketing Shawn Braden said she is supportive of the process, but as a member of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority she had some concerns.

“If it competes with our tourism brand, we would not adopt it,” Braden said.

Instead of having a representative at the next marketing committee meeting, Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens said he would send members a presentation about the branding initiative.

“Theoretically, the objective is a good one,” Davenport said.

Nicholas Montoya, general manager of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, said if the board agrees to send somebody, he would go.

Earlier in the meeting, board members unanimously agreed to two recommendations for website improvements. One will create responsive email designs for $750 and another will add a left navigation bar to the website featuring news and articles for $440.

“All of this is geared toward also trying to get more content on the website,” Braden said.

Another option members decided to table was the inclusion of social media content from Facebook and Twitter on the bottom of the homepage.

The next meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the Town Hall conference room.


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