Great expectations: New brand to drive jobs, growth in Greater Hamilton*

Article image - Great expectations: New brand to drive jobs, growth in Greater Hamilton*
Southern Grampians Shire Council has unveiled a striking new logo and name – Greater Hamilton – in a bold bid to arrest population decline and attract investment.

‘Brand Hamilton’ is a key plank of Council’s economic development strategy and is designed to convey a fresh and more modern dimension to one of Victoria’s most historic regional centres.

Developed by Melbourne-based communications agency, Brand Hamilton underwent extensive community consultation and review to arrive at the final logo design, tagline and name.

“The Brand Hamilton Project was about engaging residents and driving investment through a new economic development brand,” explains Hugh Koch, Manager Economic Development and Tourism.

“This project was a genuine community effort. Over 300 locals took part – from participating in community workshops to voting on the final logo and tagline.

“The new branding goes beyond Council’s marketing efforts to embrace every industry, agency and community member who plays a part in ‘branding’ our region. It is a very democratic brand open to everyone.”

The decision to create a new brand for Council was prompted by slow population decline and increasing competition for investment, jobs and new residents from other regions.

“Population is a common issue facing regional councils and our Shire is no different. What is different is the way we are approaching
economic development.

“The Brand Hamilton Project is about targeting regional growth drivers, including attracting major projects to the region, expansion of job-creating industries and amenity-driven population growth and change,” Mr Koch said.

Encouraging locals to get behind their new brand was a major focus of the 12-month project.

“Like many rural communities, Hamilton is proud of its history and traditions. Change is embraced but often at a slower, more considered pace than in metro areas. The project design, therefore, was built around the need to consult stakeholders and develop a strong evidence base to support the introduction of the new brand and tagline.”

So what do locals think now the new brand is complete?

“While you are never going to please everybody, there is genuine excitement and a sense of momentum that has come from the Brand Hamilton project. There has been strong support from the local business community and residents,” Mr Koch said.

Council will roll out the Greater Hamilton brand over the 2013–14 financial year.

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