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Greater Akron Chamber Launches Community-Wide Branding Program

Greater Akron—The Greater Akron Chamber has launched an intensive branding program designed to discover, define and design Greater Akron’s competitive differentiator—or, what makes the area special so it can stand out in the marketplace. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to attract more businesses and talent to the area and to improve/maintain quality of life for current residents.
To bring outside objectivity to the project, the Greater Akron Chamber has partnered with Nashville-based North Star Destination Strategies.  North Star has helped develop community brands for over 200 communities in 43 states nationwide. 
Joseph Kanfer, Chairman and CEO of GOJO, and Vice Chair of the Greater Akron Chamber’s Executive Committee, who is leading the effort stated, “North Star has proven success in working with communities coast to coast and is uniquely qualified to help our community put together the Region’s Value Proposition which will serve as a foundation for our messaging going forward.”
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around. In other words, your reputation.” explains Don McEachern, CEO of North Star.  “People have chosen to move to a community—without ever visiting—based wholly on the word-of-mouth about it.  Branding is what you do to change or refine that message.  We are delighted to be working with the Greater Akron Chamber in this capacity.”
The integrated process includes research, strategy and creative development. The first stage is research. “Here we determine the state of your existing brand,” says McEachern.  Several pieces of qualitative and quantitative research will paint a thorough picture of where Greater Akron is today.  This research includes an assessment of the environment; perceptions of visitors, residents and stakeholders; and a review of current communications and the competition.
Using that research, North Star will develop a brand strategy that is relevant to Greater Akron’s current situation but also differentiates the area to consumers.  “The research will not only tell our existing story, it will yield insights that point us in the direction of our desired future story,” says Donzell Taylor, President & CEO of Welty Building Company Ltd., and Greater Akron Chamber Chair.  The ultimate outcome is to uncover, define and bring to life what is most compelling and unique about Greater Akron.  “We have a lot to be proud of here,” concludes Taylor. “We just need to let everyone know that.”
If you are interested in learning more about Greater Akron’s branding initiative, visit www.WhatMakesGreaterAkronGreat.com.  To learn more about North Star Destination Strategies, go to www.northstarideas.com
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