The Wilmington area’s branding effort got a boost from the state on Friday, as the N.C. Department of Commerce announced it would provide some creative assistance, according to University of North Carolina Wilmington spokeswoman Tara Romanella.
At the morning meeting of the branding initiative’s leadership team (BILT), City of Wilmington staff member Roger Smith announced that David Rhoades, the state commerce department's marketing director, had agreed to give the team’s final ideas and concepts to a creative agency, Romanella said. The agency will work with BILT to create a brand based on some or all of those ideas.
“This creative agency will be the same agency the state is using for their brand so that Wilmington’s brand will align with theirs,” Romanella explained, adding that the Department of Commerce has not yet selected an agency for the state branding project.
Friday’s meeting began with a review of words and concepts previously brainstormed by BILT members. Thom Porter, a professor of marketing at UNCW, said that a successful brand incorporates “key insights” that evoke emotional feelings, Romanella said.
After reviewing its previous ideas, the team separated into three subgroups to discuss them.
Romanella said that the team's top picks for key insights it will forward to Rhoades are “coastal,” “create” and “discover.”
“Additional thoughts are ‘vibrancy,’ ‘culture,’ ‘lifestyle,’ ‘innovation’ and ‘home,’” she said. “BILT also agreed on submitting the following name for the region to agency: ‘Wilmington, the Carolina Coast.’”
Romanella said that BILT leadership will create a report for the chosen creative agency that aligns the branding suggestions with findings from UNCW’s original branding survey and the economic development report that New Hanover County commissioned report from Garner Economics.