The Municipality of Meaford has launched a new branding exercise and is looking for input from residents. The initiative was announced in a press release issued on January 3 that includes a link to a survey that can be completed online (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/meafordbrand).
“Council’s Strategic Priorities 2015-2018 were approved on October 26, 2015, and included our vision that the Municipality of Meaford will be “THE place to be on Southern Georgian Bay”. The Municipality had also discontinued the use of the marketing tag line ‘The Other Big Apple’ in March 2014 and is committed to reviewing and solidifying our brand,” said the municipality in the press release.
Volunteers working within a sub-working group of the Meaford Economic Development Advisory Committee are leading the initiative in hopes of discovering the attributes that make Meaford “THE Place to be on Southern Georgian Bay”.
The new branding initiative comes after several months of Meaford without any official branding, though unofficially the “THE place to be on Southern Georgian Bay” has been used in tourism marketing of the municipality over the past year.
In 2010 residents were extensively consulted during a branding exercise that resulted in the adoption of the slogan 'The Other Big Apple' in early 2011 despite its lack of popularity with the residents participating in the branding workshops, who had all but discarded the slogan for consideration. The concept was the brainchild of former CAO Frank Miele, who, after announcing that a decision would be withheld until after the 2010 municipal election, championed the slogan with the newly elected council, which gave it unanimous approval in March of 2011, complete with a parade of kazoo-bearing scarecrows and a “Scarecrow of Liberty” - a scarecrow in the image of New York's Statue of Liberty – in celebration of the newly adopted branding.
The honeymoon for the new slogan was short, and there were frequent calls for it to be discarded. The contentious slogan remained part of Meaford's branding for just three years, when in March of 2014 the same council that had given it unanimous approval in 2011 voted to abandon it immediately.
With regard to the current branding exercise, Mayor Barb Clumpus is hoping to capture the thoughts and ideas of the community. “Our brand embodies the emotional connection with our citizens, our visitors, our businesses and partners,” she said. “We are committed to 'getting it right'.”
In addition to the online survey, hard copies are available at the following locations: municipal offices at 21 Trowbridge St. West, Meaford Public Library, Meaford Hall.
The survey will be open from January 4 to February 1.