(WOODLAND PARK, CO) — To promote the Woodland Park area as a unique and distinctive community destination in the Pike’s Peak region, the Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce, the City of Woodland Park Office of Economic and Downtown Development (OEDD), and the Woodland Retail Alliance established a project in collaboration with partnering community organizations to develop a fresh brand and marketing strategy.
“The intent is to build recognition for Woodland Park’s myriad amenities and make it the preferred destination for local and regional consumers and beyond, generating more business and revenue for the community,” said Mike Perini, Woodland Park Area Marketing Task Force spokesperson.
“The development of the new brand and tagline — Elevate Your Attitude — for Woodland Park was achieved through intensive creative workshops and brainstorming sessions which sought to build off of findings from community outreach,” Perini said.
In early 2010 to accomplish this goal, a Task Force formed, consisting of more than 25 representatives from agencies and organizations throughout the community, and with the help of a Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company grant, contracted with Denver-based Centro Inc. and design-firm Julipp. A community-based process was initiated to bring the Woodland Park community to consensus on a unified brand and marketing approach.
A critical component, according to Perini, was to create a compelling marketing campaign to support the brand. “We are now using a new, fresh and clever marketing campaign that supports the Woodland Park Area’s new brand and tagline,” he said.
A fact-gathering process was undertaken to lay the foundation of this brand and marketing strategy, Perini said. This process included:
- A review of existing studies and data about Woodland Park to understand current conditions and market potential.
- Interviews and roundtables with a cross-section of Woodland Park community stakeholders, including community organizations, merchants, property owners, city staff and elected officials and other members of the community, to build consensus around goals and objectives for the brand and marketing strategy, to identify challenges and opportunities presented by the development of a unified marketing approach and to unite everyone around key messages.
- A review of current Woodland Park marketing efforts and suggestions for improvement from the Woodland Park High School entrepreneur class.
- Colorado Springs focus groups to test perceptions of Woodland Park and to understand how visitors from “down the hill” get their information as well as what activities, events and messaging would be compelling enough for them to be encouraged to explore Woodland Park.
The following target markets were identified as key audiences towards which strategies in the Woodland Park area brand and marketing strategy will be directed:
Community Members: “This plan aims to unify locals to support what exists and provides new opportunities to involve residents in the growth and development of Woodland Park,” Perini said.
Day-Trippers and Regional Visitors:There is a significant front-range population that regularly turns their weekend days into day-trips into the mountains to explore new communities and recreational opportunities. “Packaging these experiences as ‘weekend retreats’ will be positive for Woodland Park’s success,” Perini said.
Destination Visitors: Traffic counts suggest a large number of passers-through headed to other locales. Passers-through require visual cues to alert them to what’s available and what’s offered in Woodland Park. “A portion of the marketing plan contains strategies to visually advertise what Woodland Park has to offer as the cars pass through,” he said.
Investors and Entrepreneurs (Existing and New): Improving the financial position of the community and bringing more businesses to Woodland Park to support the residential base means making a concerted marketing effort directed towards investors and entrepreneurs who may consider Woodland Park a place to invest in a new business or retail concept.
Woodland Park Area Marketing Task Force members:
Jed Bowman, Superintendent, Woodland Park School District Re-2; Jennette Brown, Owner, Flutterbys & Party Bugs and DDA Board Member; David Buttery, City Manager – City of Woodland Park; Jamie & Ben Caperton, Owners, Charitable Treasures; Rick Chulick, Owner Chulick & Kozleski and Chair, Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce Board; Kim Clarkson, Owner, Gold Hill Java and Chair of Gold Hill Square Merchants Association; Carla Clausen, Owner, Banana Belt Liquors; Phyllis DeLaney, Rampart Library District; Sue Greene, Owner, UPS Store; Ralph Holloway, Owner, Seven Arrows Gallery and Chair, Woodland Park Arts Alliance Board; Beth Kosley, Executive Director, Office of Economic & Downtown Development; Jane Mannon, Manager of Community Affairs, Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Co.; Bob McMillan, Chair, Economic Advisory Group; Debbie Miller, President, Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce; Darwin Naccarato, Mountain Arts Council; Deb Nichols, Owner, Cowbells & Deersnake Gallery; Mike Perini, Principal, Perini & Associates; Tony Perry, President, Park State Bank & Trust; Rita Randolph, Woodland Park Library; Steve Randolph, Mayor, City of Woodland Park; Rick Wetzel, Investment Advisor, Bennett & Co and Advisors — Woodland Park School District Re-2 Board; Vera Egbert, Branch Manager, People’s Bank and President, Woodland Park Retail Alliance.
In addition to the development of the primary brand, supporting graphic elements were created for advertising, marketing and collateral pieces. Each of these elements allows for a unique use and “tone” to the brand messaging.
Critical to the success of the branding initiative is to create a community portal website that ties into the new Woodland Park brand.Perini said. “This means aggregating information into one, easy-to-find location. The site will be an amenity for residents and visitors alike and will be a one-stop shop for all critical information about the community,” he said.
Other key marketing tools to be used: Social media tools, finding a more visible location for the Woodland Park Area Visitor’s Center, leveraging of the Meadow Woods Sports Complex, creation of a new signature event that defines the Woodland Park Area, and leveraging existing events. Creating partnerships with camp and retreat centers in the Area is also planned. “Over a dozen retreat centers and camps call the Woodland Park area home, and during the stakeholder outreach community members brought forward suggestions to create closer ties with these organizations to build better marketing opportunities and to explore event ideas that could utilize these facilities,” Perini said.
The current branding and marketing effort grew out of conversations among community leaders.