Rebranding the Development Authority
By: Vanessa Wagner, Director of Business Development
An organization’s brand is about more than a logo, font, or colors, but they are a part of how an organization presents itself and how others perceive them. It’s often the first impression that decides if someone will engage further with a company.
During my first visit and introduction to the Golden Isles community, I knew that it was where I was meant to land. I came back from that first trip, excited about the shared vision of partners, and willingness to work together to achieve that vision. Thinking back on my first meeting with my future team, partners and stakeholders, I can relate to the prospects and clients that I now invite to the Golden Isles. When you visit the Golden Isles, you want to return.
The challenge for me when I accepted the position became, how do we express that opportunity and our business culture before the first visit?
Thus, my first major undertaking in the community – rebranding the Development Authority.
To accomplish this goal, our team is improving when we communicate, where we communicate, and how we look while doing this.
The rebranding strategy kicked off with months of research and analysis to answer:
- Who is our target audience, and how do they communicate with similar organizations?
- How are the organization and region currently perceived from within our community and outside of our area?
- What emotions should our brand, including image, convey to clients and partners?
To answer these questions, I conducted a mix of one-on-one conversations, surveys, and analysis on all of our existing communication channels. I also spoke with out-of-region organizations that had gone through a rebrand for their lessons learned and suggestions on a successful rebrand. The research phase was no easy feat, but the knowledge gained from this process was invaluable in moving forward on our strategy.
One take-a-way from this experience was the desire of our community for any rebrand be in coordination with other business organizations. These include the Brunswick & Golden Isles Chamber and Golden Isles Coastal Visitors Bureau. Working in coordination and collaboration helps our region create a brand and reputation that reaches beyond our borders. It also creates a sense of place for audiences to identify with. Thus, we set sail with the Chamber on both refreshing our look on the same timeline. This feedback also influenced the change in our promotional name from The Brunswick & Glynn County Development Authority to The Golden Isles Development Authority (GIDA).
We are reaching a milestone in the rebranding process as we work with the Chamber to unveil our new logos to the stakeholders and partners that have helped our organizations during this process on January 9. We are all excited about the opportunity to thank them for their support during this phase, and in the future, as we continue to build trust and recognition for the Golden Isles as a premier business location. Following the logo unveiling, we will continue to develop our communication channels, including:
- Website, our portal to available sites, data and resources to help businesses and consultants make informed decisions on location strategy
- LinkedIn, to connect with out of region influencers in site selection
- Instagram, our tool to share the benefits of the Golden Isles through the stories of the professionals that work here
- Facebook, a direct link to the community to share what’s taking place in our business network
- Email Newsletters, starting in the Spring of 2020 to update out-of-region partners on new developments in the Golden Isles
Earlier I addressed the rebrand as “my first major undertaking,” but this process and its future success is the effort of many. From our board to the residents that let me bend their ear at Tipsys, how The Golden Isles Development Authority presents itself today and moving forward is a reflection of the Golden Isles community. What we value, how we support one another, and our commitment to making the Golden Isles an exceptional place in Georgia to live, work, and visit.