CONJURING UP AN IMAGE
Close your eyes. Imagine…Pepsi. See it? Of course you do. The shape of the logo, the colors, the design of the letters in the word. Now try this quiz. Think, “from the land of sky blue waters” + animated bear + beer. Is a familiar jingle playing in your head and are you seeing that affable Hamm’s bear? The product hasn‘t been marketed this way for years, but most of us of a certain age still have the image in our minds.
The power of an image, or brand, as it’s often called, can be a towering asset for any organization. But, the image has to be nurtured and grown right to make it so.
Branding is actually a summation of all the information about a service or a thing. This information bundle is then melded into a cohesive communication message. It becomes a whole picture, not just one advertisement here or one story line there. Rather, the components such as ads, brochures, oral interpretations, press releases, signage and anything else that falls into the Byway realm, fit together and share the same brand. Like children in a family, each has a different first name, but all share the same last name.
Understanding that premise, the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association Board identified image enhancement, also known as brand building, as the first focus of the Interpretive Plan implementation.
The image enhancement work has been portioned out into phases. Phase 1 is the graphics component and design guide. Work in this phase will center on refining and enhancing the Byway design image using the already established Byway logo as well as the existing signs already in use at the Gateway Gazebo and at three other sites along the Byway route where interpretive panels have been in place for about two years.
Design mock-up and recommended materials will be developed for the following: Tour brochure, Interpretive panels (options for changes to existing panels and ideas for new ones), Gateway signs for entrances to the route, Site feature signage.
In Phase 2, the communications component and style manual will be developed. Based on guidance from the Byway Board and information in the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway’s Corridor Management Plan and Interpretive Plan, a creative concept will be worked out that will communicate the Byway identity through its ‘stories’.
With an eye toward ensuring that every component supports the Byway image, the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association has taken an important step toward harnessing the power of a brand. Perhaps one day the PBSB will conjure up a very recognizable image just by hearing its name.