What is a Brand?
A brand is an expression of a community's identity, its reputation and what it has to offer to its citizens, businesses and visitors. Marketing is the process of identifying the groups that could benefit from what the community offers, then communicating with and engaging with them.
The project grew out of a shared belief in the common interests between the city, the business community and the university:
- The City of Moscow and the Moscow Chamber of Commerce have an interest in branding and promoting the community to attract and retain employers and employees, residents and visitors.
- The Moscow Chamber of Commerce has a strong interest in tourism - conferences and events serve to bring outside money into our community, and also serve as an avenue to recruit community members, new businesses, potential students, faculty and staff members.
- The University of Idaho has an interest in branding and positioning the community to attract and retain students, faculty and staff, and private partnerships and other opportunities.
A quote from newgeography, an urban-issues website, illustrates the project's purpose: "Cities without articulated identities will remain invisible, lamenting at every historical turn the loss of yet another opportunity to be like their more successful neighbors."
A Community Brand for Moscow
In January of 2013, a fantastic partnership opportunity was realized in Moscow. Three important people came together from the University of Idaho, the Chamber of Commerce and the Best Western plus University Inn to coordinate successful recruitment of the 2014 GOP Convention. Lee Rozen, Editor of the Moscow Pullman Daily News was spot on in a 2013 editorial when he called out the success of that effort saying more of those collaborative efforts were what Moscow needed. We're excited that we've moved farther down that path and have seen tremendous results along the way.
Community University Strategic Partnership
For this project, representatives from the University, the Chamber, the City and the community have pulled together in a collaborative effort known as Community University Strategic Partnership, or CUSP. We've taken on this branding project, as well as many others with terrific enthusiasm and success. Projects such as:
- Downtown block parties to welcome back students and introduce new students to Moscow.
- Collaboration with another great partner - Latah County - on development of the Partnership for Economic Prosperity, to further promote economic development in our region
- The airport realignment project that is currently underway
- More conferences and events being brought to Moscow through the University of Idaho
In May 2014, our Community-University Strategic Partnership (CUSP) Team began working with BHW1 Marketing to develop a community brand that captures the essence of the Moscow community. Our goal for the project was to define Moscow's brand, an expression of our identity, reputation and what we have to offer to its citizens, businesses and visitors. Thank you for all of your efforts in supporting this project. This team approach has proven itself right here in Moscow as we are moving forward together, with all of us pulling in the same direction to achieve goals that alone, we may never have made a reality.
Roll-Out of Brand
The first look and feel package of the brand was rolled out on September 6 and 7 to the Chamber of Commerce membership, community and University of Idaho Leadership luncheon. I'm excited to see this brand approach in action and thank our partners, the University of Idaho, the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and most importantly the entire community of Moscow!
- Mayor Bill Lambert