03/25/08 — Group seeks 'brand' for Goldsboro-Wayne

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Group seeks 'brand' for Goldsboro-Wayne

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on March 25, 2008 1:54 PM

The city of Goldsboro and the Goldsboro/Wayne County Travel & Tourism organization are working together with North Star Destination Strategies to come up with a "brand" for the area.

The brand would be similar to any well-known brand that gives consumers an idea of what to expect from a particular company such as the products they can buy and the quality of those products -- only the brand for Goldsboro and Wayne County would be more of what residents and tourists can expect to find, such as area attractions, businesses and the overall perception of the area.

The Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp.'s Director Julie Thompson and Travel & Tourism Director Betsy Rosemann will specifically work with North Star to help them with those outlooks, a process that is expected to take about six months.

"This is a unique opportunity to create an identity and to be able to share our story and tell our story to others," Ms. Thompson said. "We need to create a better first impression."

Ms. Rosemann is hoping the brand will promote tourism and economic development.

"This will give us what we need to bring businesses to the area, and to keep the ones we have here," she said.

The $100,000 project will include visits to areas around the county as well as interviews with community stakeholders. That and other research will allow North Star to gather the information needed to create a "community brandprint" for the Wayne area.

The research will also provide the city and Travel & Tourism with the demographics, lifestyles and product preferences of the area's customers as well as the overall strengths and weaknesses of the community.

North Star began at the first of this month with several site visits and interviews with area business owners and community leaders, but Ms. Rosemann said that she expects many more along the way.

"This is going to take a while," she said. "They have to really get to know the community."

North Star uses three stages to fully conduct research and form a brand that will hopefully bring Goldsboro and Wayne County to the forefront of North Carolina areas -- the first of which is the understanding phase where surveys will be given out to community leaders to show what their vision is for the area. Hotel and attraction records and a consumer awareness and perception study will also be included in stage one.

During stage two, North Star will try to find insight in the community using all of the information gathered in stage one, and in stage three, the company will develop a concept for what Goldsboro and Wayne County is and could become.

The first set of surveys, which were in an open-ended format, were sent out last week, Ms. Rosemann said. North Star will accumulate data and then send out more precise surveys in the next few weeks, she added.