MainStreet to develop a new ‘brand.’
If Ormond Beach were a person, what type of person would it be? Local residents wrestled with this question and more Jan. 15 at a public meeting to help Ormond Beach MainStreet come up with an identity for the city.
The meeting of about 30 people at the Anderson-Price Memorial Building was part of a three-day workshop organized by MainStreet, a nonprofit organization that works with the city to revitalize Granada Boulevard from the ocean to Orchard Avenue.
MainStreet engaged an outside consultant, Arnett Muldrow and Associates, of Greenville, South Carolina, to conduct the workshop that included focus groups of residents and community leaders and an online survey. The urban planning company will present a report to MainStreet on Jan. 17 on developing a “destination brand” for the city.
“A community brand is a promise a place makes with its people,” said Aaron Arnett. “A successful brand will communicate that promise and deliver a positive image for residents, visitors and investors. The brand will be used to promote businesses and activities, recruit new investment and contribute to the sense of pride that residents have of their home town.”
Julia Truilo, MainStreet executive director, said residents know what they love about Ormond Beach, but it’s difficult to tell others.
“Creating a destination brand for the area will be a great way to reach visitors and residents alike and keep them up to date on everything that’s happening here,” she said.
WHO WOULD ORMOND BE?
When trying to define the type of person Ormond Beach would be, audience members threw out words such as quaint, welcoming, historic, peaceful, unique and refined.
Audience members also mentioned driving the Loop. the history of automobile racing on the beach and small, locally-owned businesses in the downtown area.
Asked for places they would not show visitors, comments included State Road A1A south of Granada Boulevard.
Someone else mentioned traffic.
“Sometimes it’s not quaint,” she said.
Asked if Ormond Beach was snooty, the audience said no, but added that some people outside the city may have that impression.
Other positive attributes mentioned by the audience included peace and quiet and beautiful natural areas.
Leading the discussion was Ben Muldrow, of Arnett Muldrow, who said he wanted to find out what people love about Ormond Beach because that’s the foundation for what he is doing.
He said if a town wants to attract business, such as high technology, they should concentrate on the quality of life of residents.
‘IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT MUSEUMS’
Muldrow agreed with a comment that the various groups in the city, such as MainStreet and the Historical Society, support each other.
“I was impressed with the level of people working together,” he said. “It’s exciting.”
He was also impressed with the survey that showed 90 percent of Ormond Beach residents saying the city has a positive image with outsiders.
“That’s higher that any community we’ve worked with,” he said. “That’s sky high.”
Residents also place importance of history and Muldrow praised plans for the Ormond Garage being repurposed into a tavern/brewery.
“It’s not always about museums,” he said. “It’s about people experiencing history.”
Truilo said she got the idea for the rebranding project when travelling around to other Main Streets around the country. Main Street America is a national organization.
Truilo emphasized that the workshop is not an end, but part of an ongoing conversation.