Brilliant Branding Idea

bxp51167.jpegIsn’t it just amazing that now and then Northfielders can come up with an exciting new concept without spending tens of thousands of dollars on an out-of-town consultant?

The latest example of local genius, at least in my far-from-humble opinion, is Ann Marie Boyle, owner of The Art Store. Although Ann Marie certainly shows much brilliance in operating a successful independent retail store that meets the art supply needs of creative types around the region, her latest master stroke was executed as a board member of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

There has been much discussion lately of “branding” Northfield, getting more leverage from its assets in an effort to realize greater economic vitality. Whether in a discussion coming out of an NDDC Forum, a strategic initiative triggered by the Economic Development Plan, a search for concrete action steps by the Retail Support Strategies Task Force, or ad hoc brain-storming by downtown retailers at a local pub, many people have been thinking about the marketing message and mediums used by the CVB to promote Northfield to the world.

The board members of the Convention and Visitors Bureau have responded. On Tuesday morning, they voted to move forward with Ann Marie’s proposal: “Reconnect”. The campaign will be illustrated with pictures of a couple walking hand-in-hand, a grandparent and grandchild, and some happy gals enjoying what might be a warm-up for the second annual Girls Nite Out.

I think it’s brilliant because it circumvents so many of the subjects that we Northfielders like to endlessly debate. Are we as “Green” as Seattle? Does our “Art Town” infrastructure compare with Northampton? Can we mention our “Historic Downtown” in the same breath as Galena? The heck with the discussion, let the residents come downtown, welcome the visitors to Northfield, with lover, spouse, grandchild or friend, reconnect with each other, and then tell the world why it was so good in Northfield.

Thanks Ann Marie and good job CVB. Your contributions have not gone unnoticed.