PETERSBURG — What’s in a name?
The Petersburg Economic Development Council (PEDC) hopes the name Petersburg will translate into increased tourism and economic growth thanks to new city branding.
The PEDC, members of the Chamber of Commerce, and several city employees, gathered last week to see the latest artwork and slogans for a new city branding effort that is designed to entice visitors, businesses and new residents.
The desire to create a Petersburg logo and slogan began about a decade ago, said PEDC coordinator Liz Cabrera.
According to Cabrera, the project failed twice as a ballot measure in the past few years. But then the PEDC last year proposed to take on the project, and the city approved a budget of $75,000 on the project.
PEDC has spent $58,000 on a contract with brand specialists North Star Destination Strategies. The balance will be used for some initial implementation of the new logo and slogan, Cabrera said.
The logo features half-a-dozen different types of fishing boats which can be found in the Petersburg harbors.
There is a color palate with blue, green and red. The colors reflect those found around town, such as red rooftops, blue storefronts or green plants and trees.
There is also new slogan: “Little Norway. Big Adventure.” The slogan can be changed to fit a host of marketing needs. There’s also a statement that describes Petersburg as a destination.
Nashville, Tenn. based North Star has worked with more than 140 destinations and municipalities in 35 states to bring residents, businesses and tourists to their communities.
“North Star has a pretty specific process that it goes through with each community,” Cabrera. “They probably interviewed close to 50 people in town,” she added.
North Star visited Petersburg about a year ago to conduct one-on-one interviews and to take photographs of the scenery, Cabrera said. The company conducted two online surveys, and had phone interviews with regional and state, tourism and economic development officials.
North Star looked at not only the types of people who live and work in Petersburg, but also the types of people interested in visiting the city. The company made recommendations from the cheap and easy, to the long-term and expensive.
“A quick and easy would be changing how people answer the telephone. The city (employees) could change their greeting to ‘City of Petersburg what’s your preference Little Norway or Big Adventure.’ Also, changing the outgoing voicemail message works too. It’s subtle, but it conveys a message,” she said.
In 2014 the city will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Norwegian Constitution Day.
“The big idea would be to make Mayfest a really big deal, and to commission an artist to carve a totem pole that celebrates the anniversary. It would feature the Norwegian and Tlingit heritage, plus tell the story of Petersburg,” Cabrera said. “So that’s a big idea. It’s two-years out.”
One of the first glimpses of artwork inspired by the new logo is depicted in a cloisonn√© pin that will be available for sale at the Clausen Memorial Museum in June.
Petersburg businesses will be able to incorporate the new logo, slogan and other branding into their own online presence. North Star also recommended a host of merchandise with the new logo, from coffee mugs to XtraTuf rubber boots.
Cabrera and the brand steering committee will be working out the details of how the new logo and slogan can be used.