Chamber rolls out new logo
After more than a year of focusing on what the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce should represent, the board of directors will unveil a new branding and logo today.
Katy McLean Gould, chamber marketing communications manager, said the new brand would hopefully convey to the community that the chamber, which has more than 500 members, “has its fingers on the pulse of the community.”
The new logo and color pallet was developed by Insight Marketing out of Waynesville and will be used well into the future on everything the chamber releases.
The decision to rebrand the chamber came out of the board’s annual retreat in the fall of 2011. Board member Nyda Bittman-Neville was asked to lead the rebranding committee and accepted the challenge because of her extensive background in marketing and image consulting.
Neville formed a small team that represented members of the chamber as well as board members in March and the committee began exploring possibilities.
The committee discussed what the perception of the chamber might be for board members, businesses, tourists and residents. Gould said it seemed that people didn’t realize what the chamber did as far as benefits, referrals and signature events like the Apple Harvest Festival, which brings about 30,000 people to the community, and the Blue Ridge Breakaway that attracts about 500 cyclists each year.
“Then we talked about what we wanted them to think and perceive about the chamber and came up with good data on what it is we want to achieve,” Neville said.
Once the committee’s direction was approved by the board, the chamber put out a request for proposals to marketing firms. Two firms made it to the interview stage of the process, and the board chose Insight Marketing to work on the project.
Neville said the chamber wanted to give Insight direction without limiting the firm’s creativity. Instead, InSight was given a directive on the Chamber’s goals.
“We found that the chamber, while complex, has many different facets of niche markets in which it serves and it really is a connector. We wanted to make sure our brand showed how we connect,” she said.
Neville said the chamber acted as a connector for individuals interested in moving to the area, the people interested in coming to the chamber’s signature events and for businesses wanting to connect with other businesses, customers and resources.
“We are very innovative… for a small community with few resources, but an active board and members, we do an awful lot,” Neville said.
She said the Chamber works to support its members and to help make them stronger through education, networking, resources and community events.
InSight came back with four logo options, and after some minor adjustments, Neville said she felt like they had the right one with “a strong representation of the chamber.”
Gould said everyone agreed.
“We knew immediately that was the new look of the chamber,” she said.
Sarah Franquet, chamber office and membership coordinator, said she knew the logo would have to work well with all the organization’s marketing materials, including the website, newsletters, cards and letterheads.
“The simplicity of the logo was one thing that attracted us to the look,” she said. “The colors are so Haywood County and we have several other logos we use with events and the simplicity will work well with those.”
Neville made a large poster with the new logo and all the board members signed it. Now the poster will make the rounds to chamber events until the poster is filled with member signatures. Then it will find a permanent home inside the chamber building.
“It will appear with everything we do and sets the stage for everything the chamber stands for,” she said. “The colors representative of our geographical location and the mountains that embrace us every single day.”