Colourful Cariboo Culture.
It’s the new tag line behind Downtown Williams Lake, and the organization is looking to the future.
At their brand launch event on April 5, the downtown business association shared their vision for the future, touting ideas and introducing their five-year strategic plan to help revitalize the downtown core.
As part of a $70,500 grant to help roll out their brand, Downtown Williams Lake has hired Vanessa Moberg as a marketing director to help the organization and the downtown to grow.
As a visual, the brand is bright and eye-catching, with colours representing the visual arts (blue), fresh farmed foods (green), rich First Nations history (brown), a walkable downtown (purple), and live music and special events (orange).
“It’s colourful, it’s so bright and it’s so vibrant. You saw the banners going up on Oliver Street today and it just brings a vibrancy to downtown that we think is really cool,” said Stefanie Hendrickson, executive director of Downtown Williams Lake. “We are just really excited to get it out there and make it known that we are Downtown Williams Lake, we are a great place to do business and we are a great place to shop local.”
The goals are to work with revitalizing the downtown core through events, a marketing strategy and more; to work with communications through building relationships with all stakeholders, collaboration, and an updated digital and non-digital strategy and plan; and through organizational excellence, looking at best practices, drafting policies and procedures.
Part of Moberg’s mandate is developing strategies for the above goals.
She’s got a variety of plans in the works, as well as exciting future options the organization is looking into researching the feasibility of.
One of the first things on the list is developing a comprehensive digital strategy, with a new website and through social media, said Moberg. While they have plans to unroll a new website slowly, to make sure they can do it right, her hope is that the website will act as a hub for many of the other new features they hope to unveil.
They’re also looking at reinventing signage, events, creating a digital and traditional advertising strategy, re-doing billboards, and working with vacant storefronts to keep them up-to-date and interesting.
A new initiative will also be targeting certain businesses to attract them to the community, whether it be a microbrewery or another business missing in the downtown.
Moberg is also excited about what is possible for future endeavors for Downtown Williams Lake, and lists anything from an app that would be geo-based, letting people know what deals are available inside the businesses they pass, to signage detailing where parking is in Williams Lake, or even an electrical car charging station.
“I’m excited to make people excited,” she said. “For me it is the shop local pride that I want to really get people to invest in and by the time I am done I want more people to say that we were planning to go out of town to go shopping but we are going to stick around here. I want people to realize what is in their own backyard.”