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About two years ago, Frankfort embarked on a bold journey to “brand” it’s community. Known to so many as the “the capital city of Kentucky”, the residents and community leaders of Frankfort and Franklin County want to be known for so much more.  The Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the efforts to begin this journey.  A road which had been taken before in previous years, but had led to a dead end.  That is not to be the case this time. Don McEachern, president of North Star Destinations Strategies, the company assigned the task of researching and branding an entire community, spoke to a crowd of about 125 of Franklin County’s community leaders, residents and business owners at the Capital Plaza Hotel on Thursday.  McEachern’s company has been involved for the past six months or so in collecting valuable data from across several areas and demographics, which influence the perception of a city and community.

A brand is what “they” say about you when you’re not around.

According to Mike Feldman, current Chairman of the Board of the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce, he says of the community’s Branding Initiative,  “it is intended to help to promote growth & economic development.  And it really stems to a number of needs that we have in our community. Those needs range from struggling businesses, to a lot of vacant storefronts, and a need to improve population numbers. And certainly the need to help improve residential growth.”

“So in essence,” continues Feldman, “you know we’re controlling by way of this Branding Initiative the perception of what people perceive Frankfort and Franklin County to be.  With the aim to attract people to our community to live, to work, to establish businesses.”

We’ve done a lot of great things in our community.  But we have not done such a great job promoting that.  Not unlike a business needs to promote itself, Frankfort and Franklin County need to do a better job in promoting all the positive things that we have to offer.

Branding is more than just a logo or a slogan. The process helps determine, “Who Are We”?  As a community, how do we sell ourselves with one voice? This effort will provide the most feasible, consistent and united focus in marketing ourselves.  It will empower local champions to set ourselves apart from every other community.

It has been said, “A brand is what “they” say about you when you’re not around.” Community residents and workers in Frankfort have had an opportunity to share their perspective!  Several types of research, including interviews, focus groups, man-on-the-street interviews and surveys have been conducted over the last six (6) months. North Star has even conducted outside perception studies from a state and regional perspective, providing valuable input on how others feel and think about our community.  Please take a few minutes and review this valuable information.  Watch Cable 10 for the complete presentation.

We’ve provided both the broken down slideshow presentation as well as the PDF presentation to download yourself.  Without seeing the entire presentation (watch for it on Cable 10), it’s hard to wrap your mind around some of the things that have already been accomplished, where we definitely have already hit our target, and where there is room for improvement.   What we found is that perception is everything!  What we believe in ourselves.  What others perceive about us, as a community, without having met us or been here.  Then, what others learn about us after they’ve been here and experienced Frankfort and Franklin County for themselves.  Please take the time to look over the slides and see where you, as a business, as a resident, as an engaged citizen, can do your part to improve the way others view us.  It means all the difference in the world in this community’s future!

Frankfort’s “Stategic DNA” is,

For people who appreciate the charm of history and the influx of new ideas, the capital city of Frankfort, beautifully balanced between Louisville and Lexington on the banks of the Kentucky River, is small but spirited – shaping and reflecting the nature of Kentucky so you enjoy cultural and civic sophistication on an intimate scale.

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Frankfort Research Presentation – Branding Initiative – 2-4-16