Overview: Angier, North Carolina wanted to create economic development collateral to help raise awareness of what this small town has to offer. This was seen as the initial step in identifying points of distinction and a path to creating a brand for the community.
The Challenge: This little town (pop. 4,713) is almost invisible in the state of North Carolina. It is southeast of Fuquay-Varina and sits on an east-west/north-south crossroads, but the most beautiful part of the town is not obvious to travelers that pass through that section of town. The natural beauty of the area is obscured by the unfortunate, unsightly development along the highway corridors. The residents are active in their churches, but have not come together in a consistent, helpful way to help revitalize the town. Building community support is a big part of helping create a brand for this town.
Point of Distinction: Angier has a well-defined town square, complete with a remarkably well-preserved depot. The defined square is unusual in a town that is not a county seat. The square also has a well-maintained gazebo and train caboose in the square. The storefronts that border one side of the park (on Main St.) have pleasing architecture. This is a walkable community—the town has invested in a sidewalk system to improve connectivity. There is a well-maintained community park with ball fields and a walking trail located within two blocks of the town square.
Articulating the Brand: Town leaders have wisely realized that community-building must be done before a formal branding initiative is launched. Communication between residents and elected officials must be strengthened and a consensus built around priorities for the Town.
The Process: To begin the process, an asset inventory was completed. An informal economic development advisory committee was formed. A visible project to attract and engage the community was identified (working on the town square.) Attractive economic development collateral was developed to be used as the town identified its path to a brand. A Leadership Angier class was developed to help identify community leaders. Meetings were set up with town commissioners to help identify priorities and to identify a process to engage with residents. In a later phase, a community survey was created to asses awareness of and support for a museum. Future projects will focus on support for the museum initiative and creating authentic points of distinction.
“Thanks to the help of Ann Marie from Amico Brand Design, our municipality has been able to craft surveys, periodicals, brochures, and promotional materials. Ann Marie uses a practical, incremental approach in designing our brand… a realistic approach that works well with small communities such as ours.”
Town of Angier