The town of Washington was seeking to better understand what it wants to be and to become, and to undertake local economic development that fit within the character of the town. CERC was engaged in April 2016 to address their needs by first leading the community in a facilitated workshop entitled "A Transformational Approach to Economic Development." The session was designed to bring together the key players in Washington who impact economic development to get everyone working collaboratively. CERC also administered our Economic Development Capacity Assessment to help Washington leaders understand gaps and better prioritize the next steps to take.
Next, the Town wanted to gather information on how to better engage and serve these residents. CERC developed, jointly with the Town, an online survey to gather information about the needs and attitudes of the Town’s part-time residents. CERC also surveyed full-time residents and provided a comparison of the responses, to determine whether the needs of the two groups are similar.
In addition, CERC facilitated an on-site focus group with key stakeholders to gather more in-depth qualitative feedback on the needs of residents and how the Town may encourage part-time residents to spend more of their time in Washington. CERC moderated the discussion and provided a written report summarizing the key issues raised.
Washington has a unique character and assets that can help it to further grow its economic development activity and achieve positive results. A marketing strategy and plan was needed to serve as the roadmap for promoting these strengths and how best to communicate the Town’s offerings to particular audiences. CERC facilitated a brainstorming session with the Washington Economic Development Marketing Taskforce to confirm the marketing objectives and targets as well as current perceptions, and gather feedback about the Town’s strengths, opportunities, and unique offerings. Using the findings as well as other background and market research undertaken by the Town, CERC provided recommendations for a marketing strategy and implementation plan.
The final step led to developing a branded logo/tagline to promote the Town of Washington in a recognizable, cohesive fashion.