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North Star's full report on the Creative Corridor region

North Star's full report on the Creative Corridor region

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  • 1. Iowa’s Creative CorridorFinal BrandAMP ReportDecember 30, 2011Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies December 30, 2011
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTION 5 About North Star Destination Strategies 5 Branding Partners 5 About the BrandPrint Process 5BRANDPRINT SUMMARY 6 UNDERSTANDING 6 SUMMARY OF INSIGHTS 7 STRATEGIC BRAND PLATFORM 8 IMAGINATION 8IMAGINATION 9 WHAT WILL GET US THERE? 9 CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS OF THE BRAND 10 Brand Narrative 10 Logo 12 Color Palette 13 Descriptive Vocabulary 13 CREATIVE DELIVERABLES 14 Additional Logos 15 Image Ads 16 PowerPoint Slides 22 Letterhead 23 Portal Website 24 E-Newsletter 25 Brag Mag Cover 26 Economic Development and Recruitment Packet 27 Specific Economic Development Prospect Folder 28 Smart Phone App 29 Pole Banners 30 Wayfinding Signage 32 Airport Signage 33 Entryway Signage 34 Water Tower 35 Grain Facility Application 36 Outdoor Boards 37 Vehicle Wraps 38 Crosswalk 39 Partner Plaque 40 Lapel Pin 41 Bookmark 42Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 2 of 231
  • 3. Thumb Drive 43 Farmers Market Shopping Bag 44 Hat 45 T-Shirts 46 IOWA’S CREATIVE CORRIDOR HAS A NEW BRAND. WHAT IS NEXT? 47BRAND ACTION MANAGEMENT PLAN 54 PUTTING THE BRAND TO WORK 54 OVERVIEW OF BRANDAMP 55 KEY INSIGHTS 56 CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS OF THE BRAND 58 IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES 59 OUTLINE OF OBJECTIVES 65 BUDGET ESTIMATES 69OBJECTIVES & TACTICS OBJECTIVE I: Establish an organizational structure for promoting and developing 70 the brand OBJECTIVE II: Establish the region as a center of creative innovation 82 OBJECTIVE III: Jump start the brand through the members of the Corridor Business 102 Alliance OBJECTIVE IV: Develop a greater sense of regionalism through brand projects 111 OBJECTIVE V: Attract, support and retain business on a regional basis using the 133 brand as a rallying cry OBJECTIVE VI: Integrate the Iowa’s Creative Corridor brand into regional 160 community infrastructure and initiatives OBECTIVE VII: Attract and retain college graduates with the brand 184 OBJECTIVE VIII: Achieve tourism goals through brand-based initiatives 205 OBJECTIVE IX: Gather your regional stories of innovation and transformation and 220 share them via a structured public relations strategyTIMEFRAME FOR COMPLETION 228APPENDIX A: TRADEMARK SEARCHAPPENDIX B: IMAGE AD BODY COPYAPPENDIX C: LIST OF LINKED RESOURCESAPPENDIX D: BUDGET OUTLINEAPPENDIX E: BRAND MANAGER JOB DESCRIPTIONAPPENDIX F: NOVA SCOTIA’S BIG BRAND BOOKAPPENDIX G: SAMPLE PRESS RELEASEAPPENDIX H: SAMPLE BRAND CHARTERAPPENDIX I: INNOVATOR’S INSIGHTS NEWSLETTERSAPPENDIX J: NASHVILLE BRAND CHAMPIONSAPPENDIX K: NEW MEDIA COORDINATOR JOB DESCRIPTIONSAPPENIDX L: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SOCIAL MEDIA WHITE PAPERSIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 3 of 231
  • 5. INTRODUCTIONABOUT NORTH STAR DESTINATION STRATEGIESNorth Star Destination Strategies comprises over two dozen talented individuals dedicated togrowing community brands through integrated marketing solutions. North Star offerscommunities a combination of research, strategy, creativity and action. This process – calledCommunity BrandPrint – provides direction for the communitys brand development, like ablueprint guides the construction of a home. And just like a blueprint, the priorities and targetsof each Community BrandPrint are stated in clear and unambiguous language. The resultingbrand personality is as revealing as an individuals fingerprint, and just as unique.BRANDING PARTNERSThe Corridor Business Alliance on behalf of the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City region contracted withNorth Star Destination Strategies to determine the region’s true, unique and relevant brandposition that will help the region stand out in the marketplace. Included in the contract is atwo-year strategic implementation plan for the new Corridor regional brand presented here asthe Action stage.ABOUT THE BRANDPRINT PROCESSThis report contains the final stages of the process: Imagination and Action. The Understanding,Insights and Evaluation stages are presented in an accompanying report to this volume – theBrandPrint Research Report.Recommendations for the Imagination and Action stages are often cross-referenced andintertwined. Thus, they are presented together for ease of eventual use by the brand drivers.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 5 of 231
  • 6. BRANDPRINT SUMMARYThe following summary represents a snapshot of the knowledge gained during the Understanding andInsights stages of the BrandPrint process. For more detailed information about the studies conducted inthe Understanding stage, please refer to the preceding report, Corridor BrandPrint Research Report. UNDERSTANDING (Research findings):North Star conducted more than a dozen pieces of research to identify a branding strategy forThe Corridor in order to increase awareness among varied audiences. By examining the region(stakeholders, residents), consumers (visitors, regional and state officials in government,economic development, and tourism) and the competition (competitor regions nationwide),North Star determined a strategy for The Corridor to assert across all regional communitiesand assets with the implementation of an effective, meaningful and relevant brand.Important findings are summarized below.The Corridor is situated in Eastern Iowa in the area between and surrounding its two largeanchor communities, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Each has a distinct personality in the mindsetof residents and visitors, yet they are uniquely a perfect complement to the other. And thesurrounding communities significantly enhance the offering of the region. Iowa City is home tothe University of Iowa, one of the nation’s best public universities, which includes the IowaWriters’ Workshop, a writing program without equal. The IWW program is a key factor inIowa City’s UNESCO designation as the most literary spot in the country. Iowa City alsoboasts a roster of the best healthcare practitioners and researchers in the nation. Toss in thehome to the brilliant young minds behind Guitar Hero, to Hawkeye sports and to acclaimedcultural assets, and Iowa City is rightfully a draw for many. But a few short miles away you havemore arts and culture and sports offerings in Cedar Rapids. And one of the nation’s bestcommunity colleges in Kirkwood, which innovates daily with its workforce development effortsbenefitting businesses small and large including the region’s several Fortune 500 companies likeRockwell Collins, Quaker Oats, and General Mills. And American Master, Grant Wood is fromthe area. Cedar Rapids also has acclaimed healthcare assets that are redefining the delivery ofhealthcare. The smaller communities like Coralville or Marion or Mount Vernon or theAmanas, all present dynamic personalities to the collective region. Whether through art orscience or both, there is a rich tradition of creativity and innovation across the region. TheCorridor is home to great ideas and the successful application of those ideas.With a focus on growth, achievement, and education, Iowa produces the most high schoolgraduates in the country or close to it. But they are close to the worst nationally in keepingcollege graduates. Brain drain is a significant problem for the region. Within the lack ofawareness in general for the Corridor, there is a significant deficit in the awareness of theopportunities and innovations in the region.Many in The Corridor do not understand or recognize the benefits of regional promotions.There is fear by some, particularly smaller communities, that by communicating regionally, therewill be a dilution of local personality and identity. Many identify conflicting goals andIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 6 of 231
  • 7. competitiveness as the main reason regional efforts struggle here. There is a lack of meaningfulcooperation and collaboration among Corridor communities and organizations.Broadly regionalism is seen as a great opportunity in the Cedar Rapids – Iowa City area,benefiting business and industry as well as quality of life interests. Many see it as a way tobroaden the economy but fault their leaders’ commitment to the pursuit. Most recognize thesavings in time and resources that communicating regionally can provide. But there are notquite enough advocates and influencers in place yet. Many are hopeful that this project willadvance regional efforts significantly. Having the power to generate great ideas AND theexpertise to realize the practical application of great ideas within a few feet or miles of eachother positions The Corridor as a national leader in creativity, innovation and discovery. INSIGHTS SUMMARY (Conclusions based on research):As revealed in the research, the Cedar Rapids – Iowa City Region offers a wealth of assets thatmany larger cities cannot come close to offering. With a national trend toward funding regionsrather than single cities, The Corridor is poised for even greater advantages by communicatingas a defined, cohesive region.The Corridor is rich in both history and opportunity, yet marketing and promotion has notbeen its strong suit. There are many aspects that contribute to a competitive region, and TheCorridor has a good foundation for most of those interests. Unfortunately regionalism has notbeen fully embraced here and actions sometimes contradict pledges of cooperation. But thereis a growing group of regional advocates (as evidenced by this project). In branding TheCorridor, the quicksilver we are trying to capture and leverage is what occurs differently whenthis region interacts together and works as a whole. The whole is certainly greater than thesum of its parts here.The regional brand should elevate The Corridor from an instrument of physical transportationto an instrument of metaphysical transformation. So instead of I-380, The Corridor becomesthe supportive, idea-rich, innovative, and creative environment where entrepreneurs, artists,scientists, students, teachers, artists, biologists, writers, inventors, and engineers can transformtheir knowledge into power, their learning into great living, and any of their dreams into realitywhether personal or professional.Your brand is what people say about you when you are not around. And we want morepeople talking about The Corridor as an environment for creativity and innovation, finallyreceiving the recognition for the legacy of achievement born from these fields of dreams thatcontinues today. And as you will see in the research, you have a chorus of ambassador praisingthe region as a place to live and work. A regional brand and mindset will garner greaterattention more quickly by leveraging the advantages of the whole rather than those of individualinstitutions, organizations or communities.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 7 of 231
  • 8.  STRATEGIC BRAND PLATFORM:North Star funnels these strategic insights for the brand into a single sentence, the brandplatform. The brand platform is used as a filter for the formation of creative concepts andimplementation initiatives. All communications, actions and product development shouldconnect to the essence of this relevant and defining statement. The platform informed thecreative brand expressions and brand action implementation ideas for The Corridor.Target Audience: For those seeking a place with infinite possibility,Frame-of-Reference: the region from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City along Interstates 380 and 80 in America’s HeartlandPoint-of-Difference: is the conduit for a transformative reaction that sparks knowledge to power, learning to living and dreams to realityBenefit: so each individual, each idea, each business and each city is exponentially more successful. IMAGINATION (Creative ideas for building the brand):The brand platform serve as a guide for the positioning of The Corridor brand. From thesestatements, a creative concept is born; a concept that aligns creative treatments of the brandsin a variety of communication mediums and action ideas.The creative concept developed by North Star is based on the approved brand platformfocusing on the transformation of ideas into art and innovation. The concept draws inspirationfrom the dualities evident throughout the region.In the visual executions of the brand, imagery, graphics, and language showcase the assets andadvantages in a dynamic way that connects the one-of-a-kind features of the region’s many partsinto a moving presentation of the whole. Focusing on the imperatives of cultivating and ignitinginnovation and creativity, headlines and copy point to how the region has and continues toimpact the world through both art and science.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 8 of 231
  • 9. IMAGINATIONWHAT WILL GET US THERE?In this section, we discuss which elements of communication need to be created or altered –and in what ways – to influence the responses and behavior of The Corridor’s various targetaudiences toward its brand. Elements were created with the research and resultant strategy inmind including preferences and interests among consumer profiles identified in the Tapestrysegmentation research conducted for the area. A number of brand-shaping issues often mustbe confronted: overall positioning, packaging, budget allocation, stakeholder participation,sponsorship association, cooperative efforts and of course, advertising and promotions.Several major initiatives occur at this point:  A logo and strapline are created  A brand narrative is crafted  Creative expressions of the brand are developedThese elements serve as the backbone for North Star’s creative recommendations for theCorridor’s brand. Every idea in the Brand Identity Guide – from logos to vocabulary to ads –represents North Star’s best suggestions for how to put your brand to work creatively. Ideasthat are expressed in this Imagination section have influenced the subsequent, tactic-drivenbrand recommendations that follow in the BrandAMP strategic plan.Note: All final logos are included in the attached Final Logo CD in both JPEG and Vector/EPS format.We encourage you to make more copies of this CD to give to municipalities, organizations, vendors orother outlets requesting a copy of the logo. All files for the creative deliverables contained in this sectionare also included on your Final BrandAMP CDs.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 9 of 231
  • 10. CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS OF THE BRANDYou are about to see several creative expressions that will help bring the Corridor brand tolife. This Brand Identity Guide should serve as a blueprint for the creative rendering of yournew brand – with the exception of the logo, files do not represent finished work. Manycommunities choose to work with local talent for the actual refinement and production ofcreative communication pieces. This allows for true customization and also brings localperspectives to the work.Renaming the CorridorAt the beginning of the creative process, the Creative Committee (in the Corridor) consideredthe possibility of a name change for the region that would distinguish the region in the emergingcompetitive marketplace of innovation hubs. Naming the region was a critical first step. NorthStar provided a lengthy roster of naming considerations that met the following criteria:supports the brand strategy, leverages the equity in the existing truncated name “Corridor,”places the region in a geographical context, and has a chance of being accepted into thevernacular.The Creative Committee selected the name: Iowa’s Creative Corridor.Support for this name includes:  The Corridor is targeting industries of the mind, which are fueled by creative thinking.  This name supports the idea of converting knowledge to power, recognizes the creativity that drives industry and technology and leaves plenty of room for development of the arts.  From a design perspective, this approach holds tremendous potential. For example, linking the C’s in the acronym symbolizes the interactivity of creativity and the Corridor as well as the strong link between the Corridor and its unique communities.  Including Iowa provides immediate geographic context. This also helps establish the region as the source of creative, innovative thinking for the state.  Over time, the geographic identifier may be dropped, and Creative Corridor will enter the vernacular.North Star ran a search for the Corridor’s new name on the United States Patent andTrademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). We found no live or deadresults or conflicts for trademark registration. Searches are only accurate for that moment intime of the search. North Star recommends that The Corridor pursue trademark protectionof the region’s name. North Star’s trademark search is documented in APPENDIX A.Brand NarrativeThe following Brand Narrative takes the foundation of the brand platform and breathes life intoit through an artistic interpretation of language. Its purpose is to help residents and consumersconnect and embrace the emotional story of the brand to their own lives. It representsinspiring language meant to describe the Creative Corridor’s assets as they relate to your newbrand and to garner excitement among brand drivers, brand partners, and regionalstakeholders.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 10 of 231
  • 11. The Brand Narrative is critical to successful integration of the brand for a number of reasons:  It can literally and figuratively serve as a guide for users who are working to integrate brand tone and language into their own marketing and communications  It helps maintain consistency of tone and message amongst all users thus preserving the integrity of the brand  It provides language that users can replicate verbatim in their own communications when applicable.Because of the inherent value in brand narratives, we recommend wide distribution of the copy. . . typically in tandem with the logo. Many of our clients use both the strategic brand platformand the brand narrative together as a touchpoint for each new project or policy they initiate.In other words, “Does this idea support and further what makes us special?”Creative Corridor Brand NarrativeThe rich, fertile fields of amber grain belie the roaring waves of cultural, technological and industrialimpact that ripple across the country. The winds of change blow out from east central Iowa across theprairies and states to touch the far corners of the world. In fact, listen closely and you can hear thevoice of Iowa’s Creative Corridor all the way from the East Coast to the Far East. Because, here, theevolution and growth of pioneering ideas that advance and improve life are the norm.Every day, from the books we read and the films we see to the foods we eat and the healthcare wereceive, Iowa’s Creative Corridor touches our lives in many thousands of ways. By cultivating a culture ofinnovation, the seeds are sown for transformational thinking. And ideas are grown that sustain theworld. In the urban and rural areas that lay along the corridor between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids,knowledge gets turned into power by a thriving creative network and powerfully connectedentrepreneurial community that nurtures and supports idea generation and execution.A remarkable combination of resources has conspired to make Iowa’s Creative Corridor a wellspring ofintellectual and artistic pursuits, as well as science, commerce and industry. The highly esteemed IowaWriters’ Workshop, and iconic American brands such as Quaker Oats, General Mills and RockwellCollins, have generated a strong current of talent and influence that continues to flow consistently fromthe region, touching and persuading lives of people everywhere. The mark they have left on ouracademic, literary, business and scientific landscapes is indelible.Recognized as a center of creative and economic renaissance, Iowa’s Creative Corridor draws innovatorsranging from Pulitzer-Prize winning writers to research engineers and digital cottage industries to someof the world’s most advanced companies. Here, their inspiration and energy are ignited, new directionsare encouraged and positive change is generated.A seed planted here in the rich soil of Iowa’s Creative Corridor not only grows to its potential but its fruitfinds its way to the far corners of the globe while its roots stabilize, support, and sustain an entireregion.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 11 of 231
  • 12. StraplineThe Creative Committee in the Corridor evaluated several strapline options, but ultimatelydecided that a strapline reduced the focus on the new compelling descriptor, Creative, in theregion’s name. With a geographic identifier and a descriptive qualifier in the new name, NorthStar and the Creative Committee determined that no strapline was needed and in fact wouldserve as a distraction from the key message of creativity and innovation introduced with theevolution of the Corridor’s name.LogoThe most often-used creative element representing your brand the first 24 months after launchwill be your logo. While we caution against the idea that a logo is your brand, we understandthat it is a high-profile, easily understandable and embraceable manifestation of your brand.Support for the logo design:  A double helix comprises an “I”, which symbolizes the individual and the transformative power of the Creative Corridor for his/her future.  The “I” also represents the collective Iowa. The double helix that makes up the stylized “I” is reminiscent of DNA …the root of life and the code responsible for the past and future of any living entity.  The double helix mark is symbolic of the spark of life or the signature of an individual.  The mark also represents the duality of the Creative Corridor, the unique mix of art and science and the importance of both the individual and the community.  On a more subtle level the double helix forms an interlocking double C pattern, which can stand for the Creative Corridor when this logo is used independent of the name.  The strong colors lend a solid foundation to the mark while the lowercase type treatment injects a contemporary quality and youthful spirit to the logo.  The gold and green communicate the productive growth of ideas, agriculture, artists, and individuals in the region.  The use of green type against neutral grays brings the brand’s key message of creativity to the forefront.All creative files are included in the attached Final BrandPrint CD. Also, the Creative CorridorGraphic Standards Guide is attached as APPENDIX X to this report. In addition, North Starhas included two copies of the Creative Corridor Final Logo CD for distribution to vendors oranyone requesting a copy of your logo.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 12 of 231
  • 13. Color PaletteThe color palette for the Creative Corridor is dynamic and vivid just like the variety ofcommunities that comprise the region. The golds and greens are a respectful nod to theregion’s heritage of agriculture and the area’s growth today of ideas and innovation. Black andgold tones connect the brand to the University of Iowa as a center for research and creativity.The earth tones connote strength and values while the bright yellows and blues communicateexcitement and a youthful vitality.This color palette including the primary colors used in the following executions was developedwith the psychology of color in mind. Colors can connote certain qualities and characteristics.  Yellows connote and evoke joy, happiness, intellect, and visibility  Blues are connected with depth, stability, loyalty, confidence, intelligence, faith, and truth.  Greens identify nature, growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility.  Golds suggest worth and wisdom.Descriptive VocabularyThe brand vocabulary provides a common language that reinforces brand attributes and brandpositioning for use in communications materials, press releases, interviews, presentations andgeneral conversation among regional officials, brand partners, area businesses andinternal/external audiences.Creatively, these words set the balanced tone of the brand: Creative Innovative Transformative Collaborative Industrious Powerful Possibilities Cultural Affordable Entrepreneurial Artistic Smart Inventive Scientific Genuine Ingenious Right brain/Left brain Intellectual Variety Accomplished Family Supportive Ideas Engaging Curiosity Successful Impact Imaginative Resilient DNA Technological Hardworking Resourceful Prolific Focused Comfortable Industrious Cutting-edge Cooperative Literary Entertaining Assortment Together Sporting PioneeringIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 13 of 231
  • 14. CREATIVE DELIVERABLESThe creative deliverables that follow use the brand narrative as a springboard for exploringdifferent vehicles for delivering that brand story. Each one echoes the narrative’s tone and feeland adds imaginative dimension to the brand, while providing an effective means ofcommunicating to intended audiences.The Creative Committee selected a creative concept and logo during this process that guidedvisual development. This direction focuses on the dual disciplines of art and science in theCreative Corridor (and the constant interweaving of the two), which creates waves of influencethat are as powerful and complex as anywhere on earth. Within the region students, teachers,artists, biologists, writers, inventors, scientists, and engineers have created a legacy and lineagethat leave in their wake a strong current of creative inclinations and innovative talent thatcontinues to flow consistently from the region, touching and persuading lives of peopleeverywhere. In the Creative Corridor, art flourishes with science, emotion resides with logic,and beauty is found in everything from technology to the geography. And just as the mostaccomplished people represent a unique combination of right-brain and left-brain thinking, themagic of the Creative Corridor is defined by its duality of accomplishment, represented by thestylized double helix (DNA) of the new logo.The DNA image (as a marketingtool) is artistic and sculptural whilecommunicating scientific curiosityand discovery. There is extensiveflexibility in this type of image thatquickly and succinctly communicatesthe duality of the Iowa City-CedarRapids region. As you will see in thecreative executions and the strategicplan that follow, the CreativeCorridor can customize this imagewith words and images that canuniquely target a variety ofaudiences, sectors, and even singularprospects as you demonstrate thewaves of influence, ideas, andinnovations that flow from yourunique, diverse region.The Brand Action Management Plan, a two-year strategic plan for brand development andimplementation, follows these creative deliverables. Before presenting the BrandAMP strategicplan, North Star has identified the Top 10 tasks to address first in organizing and buildingmomentum for the new regional brand.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 14 of 231
  • 15. ADDITIONAL LOGOSIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 15 of 231
  • 16. IMAGE ADIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 16 of 231
  • 17. IMAGE ADSee APPENDIX B for the body copy used in all Image Ads.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 17 of 231
  • 18. IMAGE ADIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 18 of 231
  • 19. IMAGE ADIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 19 of 231
  • 20. IMAGE ADIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 20 of 231
  • 21. IMAGE ADIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 21 of 231
  • 22. POWERPOINT SLIDESIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 22 of 231
  • 23. LETTERHEADIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 23 of 231
  • 24. PORTAL WEBSITEIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 24 of 231
  • 25. E-NEWSLETTERIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 25 of 231
  • 26. BRAG MAG COVERIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 26 of 231
  • 27. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND RECRUITMENT PACKETIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 27 of 231
  • 28. SPECIFIC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROSPECT FOLDERIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 28 of 231
  • 29. SMART PHONE APPIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 29 of 231
  • 30. POLE BANNERSIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 30 of 231
  • 31. POLE BANNERSIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 31 of 231
  • 32. WAYFINDING SIGNAGEIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 32 of 231
  • 33. AIRPORT SIGNAGEIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 33 of 231
  • 34. ENTRYWAY SIGNAGEIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 34 of 231
  • 35. WATER TOWERIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 35 of 231
  • 36. GRAIN FACILITY APPLICATIONIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 36 of 231
  • 37. OUTDOOR BOARDSIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 37 of 231
  • 38. VEHICLE WRAPSIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 38 of 231
  • 39. CROSSWALKIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 39 of 231
  • 40. PARTNER PLAQUEIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 40 of 231
  • 41. LAPEL PINIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 41 of 231
  • 42. BOOKMARKIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 42 of 231
  • 43. THUMB DRIVEIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 43 of 231
  • 44. FARMERS MARKET SHOPPING BAGIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 44 of 231
  • 45. HATIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 45 of 231
  • 46. T-SHIRTSIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 46 of 231
  • 47. Iowa’s Creative Corridor has a new brand. What is next?So Iowa’s Creative Corridor has a distinct and relevant brand. Now what? One of the keyissues for communities faced with the task of actually implementing that brand is “What do I dofirst.”With our experience with more than 130 communities nationwide and our knowledge of theregion, North Star has arrived at a list of 10 tasks that absolutely must be accomplished in thefirst 6-12 months after brand development to ensure the brand builds and maintainsmomentum. Many of these tasks involve setting up the organization and cooperation that willpropel your brand forward. Our goal – and yours – is to make sure that innovation andcreativity are the guiding principles for the Creative Corridor’s future. Not just a logo on yourletterhead.Please consider these strategic brand tactics for the first 6-12 months (in order of importance).Note that each of these strategies is addressed in more depth in the BrandAMP that follows.1) Assign a brand managerBottom line: your brand will go nowhere if no one takes responsibility for it. Appoint aqualified brand manager to oversee and coordinate brand integration. It is the most importantaction you can take in support of the new brand.While North Star advocates for a full-time position dedicated to brand implementation, we alsounderstand the budget constraints many communities face. If funding is not available for a full-time brand manager, combine the Brand Manager duties with another communications orcommunity-oriented position such as the Vice-President of Continuing Education and TrainingServices at Kirkwood Community College. Kirkwood is a regional resource that has beeninvolved in brand development throughout the project and the Vice-President’s position servesas a liaison to many community groups and economic development projects throughout theCreative Corridor.Provide organizational support for the Brand Manager with a Brand Management Team (BMT)of representatives from the Creative Corridor Business Alliance to offer input and guidance inbrand implementation.2) Create a brand PowerPoint or videoThe branding process is complex and difficult for many people to understand. Create aprofessional brand presentation (PowerPoint or video) to help your stakeholders grasp thebackground, meaning and potential of your new brand. This will be your primary tool to recruitvolunteers, support and additional funding as the brand moves outward. Allocate appropriateresources for professional assistance with design, infographics, filming and language. The brandnarrative and brand vocabulary list are excellent tools for discovering the “voice” of the brand.Use the brand presentation to tell your story from the project’s beginning through researchand development to creative and implementation. Don’t forget to acknowledge all thosestakeholders who have been involved in the process – hearing about major players alreadyIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 47 of 231
  • 48. involved helps recruit new supporters. Close your presentation with some ideas for how theaudience can become involved in the brand.3) Develop brand stationery and business suppliesOfficial correspondence regarding brand-related projects, people, initiatives and priorities mustreflect the brand identity. Every letter, every envelope, every business card, every memo andevery invoice that is issued on behalf of the brand should reflect the brand’s graphic identity.Develop Iowa’s Creative Corridor stationery and business supplies for use by the brandmanager and members of the BMT.Since the brand is based at KirkwoodCommunity College, you may want toco-brand the stationery in a subtlefashion, but the regional brand shouldreceive top billing.When thinking through businesscorrespondence, don’t forget electroniccommunications. Develop a brandmasthead and signature line forstandardized use in all brand-related e-mails.In addition to stationery and business supplies for the Brand Manager, it is a good idea to supplythe BMT with branded business items, as well. BMT members will be corresponding withregional stakeholders and recruiting individuals for the Creative Collaborative (see next tactic) -- tasks which will require official correspondence on behalf of the brand.4) Involve the private sector with the brandThe impact and goals of the ICC brand will be increased exponentially by marshalling the powerof your private sector. Establish a Creative Collaborative of large and small businesses, artsgroups, healthcare, colleges and universities, museums, media, other non-profit groups,churches, cities, towns, counties and even individuals. Use your CCBA members to developand recruit an in initial prospect list. Then, open up membership to anyone who is interestedIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 48 of 231
  • 49. and willing to contribute – time or funding – to promoting the region for future growth andsuccess. Provide branded lapel pins for those partners that join.A team approach (including the private and public sector) to managing the brand furthers thebuy-in and adoption of the resulting work. It keeps in mind the big picture for the region, and itweathers changes in political administrations. Most importantly, this group can solicit funds forbrand implementation from its membership to keep the brand moving forward. Ultimately,partnerships with private sector companies and organizations will be the primary fundingsource that drives the brand. For many communities, forming the partnership (along with otherYear 1 activities) can take the better part of a year.One of the most important initial projects of the Creative Collaborative will be themanagement of the DNA Project and creation of the region’s Innovation Inventory (see nexttactic).5) Promote an innovation imperative within the regionThe ICC brand is built on the foundation ofinnovation. In order for the brand to besuccessful, you must continually work topromote and expand this culture ofcreativity and imagination. Initiate a DNAProject designed to celebrate and uncoverthe many innovators and innovationsthroughout the region. Enlist stakeholdervolunteers from the Creative Collaborativeto help create an ICC Innovation Inventory.This database should then be housed andmanaged through the Brand Manager atKirkwood Community College.Once your Innovation Inventory is established, look for ways to promote and educateresidents, visitors, corporations, and institutions about the impact of your many innovations.Consider innovation-based events, posters and publicity, websites, awards, press releases andso on. Be sure to benchmark the region’s innovation annually, using a tool like the InnovationIndex.The DNA Project should be one of the primary brand initiatives in Year 1.6) Create a sense of place through use of the brandFor the Creative Corridor to feel like a region, rather than a loose affiliation of communities,you must begin to develop some common regional brand identity elements throughout thearea. Using CCBA members and other major stakeholders, develop a priority list of potentiallocations and ways to showcase the brand.Some ideas, like pole banners, water towers, community signage or crosswalks are highly visibleand relatively easy to implement. Others such as co-branded websites, outreach programs, aIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 49 of 231
  • 50. major regional wayfinding system or rebranding the airport and airport signage may requiremore time and collaboration among the region’s stakeholders.When your list is complete, prioritize the itemsbased on impact and cost from simple (implementimmediately) to complex (develop long-term plan orrevisit in six months).7) Foster a sense of regionalismDeveloping a regional mindset is a critical, yetchallenging aspect of your collective future as aregion. To truly work as a region, businesses,institutions and individuals must begin to identifywith their regional assets and issues as well as theirhometown resources and concerns.Under the flagship of the brand, the CreativeCorridor should grow a more dynamic sense ofregionalism through development of regionalcommunication vehicles, identification andassessment of regional issues and initiatives. Usingthe manpower and involvement of the CCBA andthe Creative Collaborative, seize the manyopportunities for regional synergy currentlyunderway in the region: development of majorregional healthcare facilities, branding project at theUniversity of Iowa, rebranding of the airport, newState level regional innovation focus and so on.Identify key strategies to involve these regionalstakeholders and provide visibility for the brand (co-branding, signage, sponsorship of events, usingcommon brand language in communications). Aspart of this strategy, bring together key players withcommon interests such as research or marketing tonetwork and explore topics of common concern.In addition, ICC must expand its efforts to analyzeand mobilize around key regional issues andpriorities for your common future. Spend the next12 months reviewing your strengths and weaknessesin areas such as environment, economy, educationand research, health and human services, arts andculture, infrastructure, land use,transportation/logistics, governance and tourism.Identify areas of common concern and create on-Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 50 of 231
  • 51. going study groups to suggest intervention strategies. Finally, develop a strategy forbenchmarking these strategic assets against your competitor regions in an on-going manner.8) Engage the brand in economic developmentIn today’s economic develop arena, a community is often pre-judged by its “cover”. And thesedays, that means its economic development web presence. When a site selector, developer,Fortune 500 company, budding entrepreneur or venture capitalist clicks on your economicdevelopment web page, your site better brimming over with a crisp layout, compelling language,interesting graphics, smooth and seamless functionality, complete data/demographics andinteractive elements such as maps, cluster inventories, available land plats and so forth.Currently, Iowa’s Creative Corridor has no economic development site featuring a trueregional focus. Development of a top-quality economic development portal must be one of thefirst year implementation priorities. Organize the site around the brand theme of innovation –highlighting companies, entrepreneurs, and programs that illustrate and support your culture ofinnovation. In addition, the web portal must supply quality economic development data andmaps with a regional focus and more global overview. From the central hub, provide links toindividual communities and local economic development/business organizations.A central portal is a win-win-win forall involved. Most importantly,viewers enjoy the ease of finding allthe information they need on onesite. A portal represents a cohesive,comprehensive way to rein in themany diverse online initiatives of theregion’s economic developmentpartners.Along with branding your portal,remember to brand Facebook,Twitter and YouTube sites (if youdon’t have such sites, create them.)Social media offers an affordablestrategy to cultivate your relationshipwith residents, visitors andbusinesses.Of course, implementation isn’t allabout the web. Develop an economicdevelopment version of the brand presentation and create regional support materials likepresentation folders and prospect gifts. When your brand presentation and printed materialsare ready for prime time, host a meeting of top economic development stakeholders tointroduce and explain the brand and to discuss how the brand might be used within theattendee’s own business.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 51 of 231
  • 52. 9) Engage community imagination with branded premium itemsWhether it’s a lapel pin, t-shirt or bottled water, branded merchandise is a tangible, memorableway to keep the regional identity message top-of-mind with residents, visitors and businesses.Work with the BMT and Creative Collaborative to brainstorm ideas for unique brandedpremium items.Gift shops, Visitor Centers, hotels, special events and festivals, bookstores, libraries, localmerchants and an on-line store are all great venues for brand exposure through premium items.Consider items that relate directly to your brand message of innovation such as t-shirts thatemphasize creativity, bookmarks for the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and a deck of cards featuringyour local innovators/innovations are all excellent ideas.10) Create a media plan for the brandYour many stories of innovative success won’t do the region much good if they continue toremain a secret. Using the DNA Project and Innovation Inventory as a springboard for ideas,the Brand Manager should develop a comprehensive media strategy for the brand to helpspread the word about ICC far and wide. The plan should include development of a list ofknowledgeable sources for interviews and quotes, creation of a comprehensive media mailinglist (organized by specialization); development of personal relationships with key contacts,Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 52 of 231
  • 53. creation of an editorial calendar for distribution of press releases, special events like mediaroundtables and fam tours and monitoring of media coverage for the region.Management of such a project can be a big undertaking. Consider contracting with a part-timepublic relations professional or agency to give this item the attention it deserves.Congratulations! That is a busy first year. And don’t worry if you don’t get everything done.These initial steps are meant to help you organize your efforts and gradually introduce brandelements so residents, visitors, and businesses can begin to experience and connect with theexciting new brand for Iowa’s Creative Corridor. It may take 12-15 months for this list ratherthan 8-12 months. Don’t feel rushed. The most successful community brands take the time tobuild the organization, structure, and advocates required to build momentum and longevity.These recommendations and many more are covered in detail in the following plan.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 53 of 231
  • 54. BRANDAMP STRATEGIC PLAN PLAN BRAND ACTION MANAGEMENTPUTTING THE BRAND TO WORKSome Thoughts on Brands and Brand ManagementOne of the often-neglected responsibilities of community governments and leaders is the job ofbuilding a reputation that is fair, honest and powerful. Whether leading a small town, anemerging region or a world power, leaders owe it to their individual and institutionalconstituents to dig out the “competitive identity” of their region. This identity comes from thehistory, the culture, the geography and the society of the place – as such, it should be anaccurate reflection of the genius and the will of the people.A brand is not created; it is discovered within the spirit of a place. Brands uncovered in thismanner are endorsed and absorbed by their communities due to their fundamental truth. Assuch, they are exceedingly useful to community leaders in furthering the economic, political andsocial goals of the community.Change in attitudes and perceptions about cities and regions, particularly positive changes, canseem to take eons to achieve. But, when the essence of the region’s identity informs andinfuses the daily tasks of planning, policy-making and governing, change in attitude is mucheasier.Yet the job is too big and too important to be the responsibility of governments alone. Youalso need a critical mass of businesses, organizations and residents within the community – allwith a shared vision and common purpose. Each will be counted on to “share the story” of thecommunity among family, friends, and colleagues locally, regionally, nationally and even aroundthe globe. These stakeholders must become involved in the ongoing care and nurturing of thecollective identity – all assume a level of responsibility for ensuring the success of the brand.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 54 of 231
  • 55. OVERVIEW of BrandAMPStrategic implementation of the new brand is the most critical, and sometimes the mostchallenging, aspect of community branding. North Star’s Brand Action Management Plan(BrandAMP) provides a clear roadmap for how to put the brand to work in the region – fromlaunch to longevity.This plan spans a 24-month period starting from the time of brand rollout. The goals of thisperiod are twofold. First, the plan works to convert the “players” in Iowa’s Creative Corridor(ICC) to be brand ambassadors. It is critical that strategies be dedicated to reinforcing anddemonstrating the value of a strong regional brand. Once everyone is on board the brand team– pulling in the same direction, so to speak – there is no end to the powerful things the areacan accomplish.Second, the specific goals of the regional stakeholders will be addressed within the context ofthe new brand. These goals include brand messaging for region-wide economic development,strategies for updating outsider perceptions of Iowa’s Creative Corridor, tourism support andcommunity engagement.The Creative Corridor two-year strategic plan will help to:  Determine the “who, what, when and how” of ongoing brand implementation o Organization: Identifying leadership and individual responsibilities for action o Collaboration: Building strong partnerships within the community o Funding: Identifying additional funding sources o Tactics: Prioritization of action and steps/timing to accomplish objectives  Focus the efforts and resources of the region on the most effective initial strategies for launching your brand, as well as eliminating false steps that could delay success.  Build local commitment to the brand by involving the organizations and individuals whose support is essential for success.Also, keeping in mind that Iowa’s Creative Corridor must be a good steward of resources,special attention has been taken to:  Make the best use of existing human and financial resources  Identify additional assets for brand implementation that are controlled or managed by ICC cities, counties and affiliated organizations that can be immediately employed at limited additional expense  Prepare a plan of action that can provide for early successes in building additional local and community support for the new brand.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 55 of 231
  • 56. KEY INSIGHTS(for implementing the brand)  The region has a core of very involved and motivated stakeholders including philanthropists, business owners, tourism assets, arts and cultural organizations, economic development and business groups, educational resources, residents and local governments. This core will be vital to implementation of the brand. However, involvement must expand beyond this group to embrace the broader citizenry, most importantly the next generation of Iowa’s Creative Corridor leaders. It is important that the community attract and nurture young professionals.  The region’s strong work ethic and educational emphasis are highly valued and considered of utmost importance to the area’s future.  Residents and leaders take great pride in and are quite loyal to their specific geographic entities, sometimes at the expense of regional collaboration or market recognition/exposure.  Residents value the quality of life within the region.  Though ICC municipalities, counties and organizations may verbally embrace a formal structure of cooperation and collaboration, there is a strong undercurrent of competition and distrust. This is particularly evident in the case of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, as well as between smaller geo-political entities and larger communities.  Regional collaboration among Corridor organizations and other local/regional entities must be a priority, including organizations like the Chambers of Commerce, tourism groups and CVBs, educational entities and regional/municipal economic development organizations. The concept of a regional economic development model as the driving engine of the area is not an idea that has been embraced by all.  The Corridor’s location as a geographic hub for the region is a competitive advantage that is not being fully leveraged. Iowa’s Creative Corridor must step forward and claim its rightful role as a regional center for tourism, culture, economic development, leadership and innovation.  Iowa’s Creative Corridor is rich in history and boasts a creative cast of thinkers, doers, innovators and entrepreneurs. The region and all of its entities/organizations must do a better job of celebrating and communicating this culture of innovation.  County The region’s residents enjoy access to cultural assets representative of much larger population centers. However, residents do not take ownership of their cultural assets on a regional basis.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 56 of 231
  • 57.  Regional pride and self esteem are critical issues and a significant potential barrier to the future success of Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Implementation of regional community building and resident engagement strategies should be a priority for the Creative Corridor.  Connecting and nurturing the many points of innovation within the ICC will create a more dynamic and competitive economic entity with a larger story to tell.  Iowa’s Creative Corridor has everything it needs to succeed – rich history, convenient location, natural beauty, cultural assets and people who want to make a difference. But everyone must pull together for positive change to occur.STRATEGIC BRAND PLATFORMThe strategic brand platform is used as a filter for the formation of creative concepts andimplementation tactics. All communications, actions and product developments should connectto the essence of this relevant and defining statement.Target Audience: For those seeking a place with infinite possibility,Frame-of-Reference: the region from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City along Interstates 380 and 80 in America’s Heartland,Point-of-Difference: is the conduit for a transformative reaction that sparks knowledge to power, learning to living and dreams to realityBenefit: so each individual, each idea, each business and each city is exponentially more successful.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 57 of 231
  • 58. CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS OF THE BRANDEarlier in this report is a Brand Identity Guide, which should serve as a blueprint for thecreative rendering of your new brand. Every idea in the Guide – from logos to vocabulary toads – represents North Star’s best suggestions for how to put your brand to work creatively.This BrandAMP provides an abundance of ideas for incorporating the brand into the fabric ofIowa’s Creative Corridor. Because many of the tactics presented in this plan make use of theconcepts in your Brand Identity Guide, the following is a synopsis of its content.LogoThe most often-used creative element representing your brand the first 24 months after launchwill be your logo. While we caution against the idea that a logo is your brand, we understandthat the mark is a high-profile, easily understandable and embraceable manifestation of yourbrand.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 58 of 231
  • 59. IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIESThe value of a community brand is that it provides a relevant overarching principle to unite allthe efforts in a community or region. In doing so, it can also unite all the players toward acommon goal. This unification is vitally important for the future of Iowa’s Creative Corridor . . .not only to successfully sustain a regional community brand, but to successfully move the areatoward its preferred future.Because this is a two-year plan, many of the implementation strategies included within areaimed at starting the process of cooperative thinking and acting within the context of the brandand with assuming your role as a rightful regional hub within both internal and externalmarketplaces. That – along with improving internal attitudes – is the fundamental, foundationalchange that will ease the way for all other progress.Socioeconomic TrendsIt should be recognized that no plan can ever be implemented in a vacuum. To that end, thisstrategic implementation plan has been developed with current socio-economic trends in mind,including:  “Generation G” As the country faces its biggest economic crisis in recent memory, a new trend and fresh attitude have swept the country. Generosity has replaced greed as both an individual and societal/business mind-set. Dubbed “Generation G” by Trend Briefing, this massive mind shift means that consumers long for institutions that are genuinely caring and concerned. Never has it been more important for communities, businesses and organizations to share, give, engage, create and collaborate. Applicability: Iowa’s Creative Corridor has already seen evidence of “Generation G” through the community volunteer efforts and financial support of area events, programs, non-profits and causes such as flood relief/clean-up. Not only do these types of programs help the area accomplish great goals today, they develop the vital, giving, creative, spirited, young leaders who will guide the Creative Corridor’s future. Consider ways to “regionalize” and collaborate on these efforts in order to bring together all parts of the Creative Corridor.  Experience economy Residents and tourists want to see AND do, to get their hands dirty, learn how things/businesses/products are made and marketed, to continuously learn and experience throughout life. And, they’re willing to pay for those experiences. The ICC brand, built on a foundation of transformation, creativity and learning, is a perfect bridge to the experience economy trend.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 59 of 231
  • 60. Applicability: The Creative Corridor’s tourism/entertainment product already has many experiential aspects. You can hike, bike or skateboard. Participate in an art class or see a production at the historic Englert Theater; listen to the Symphony or learn to write a novel. Visit the Amana Colonies to experience handcrafted goodness. Picnic on the river. Go to a game and cheer on the Hawks. Continue to expand and play off this trend as you develop new tourism and local entertainment/cultural offerings. Even better, begin to consider marketing and promoting your assets as a region, rather than separate attractions/areas. In addition to capitalizing on current tourism resources, consider expansion/development of experiential opportunities that highlight ICC’s history of innovation and entrepreneurship. Start an Entrepreneur’s Club in local high schools and provide insight on enterprising entrepreneurs, international corporations and Fortune 500 companies based in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Consider an experiential sculpture walk along the river highlighting inventions, patents and innovations from the University of Iowa, local manufacturers, novelists, etc. Partner with your minor league baseball team The Kernels and offer batting clinics for local youth. Iowa’s Creative Corridor boasts a great farming heritage, yet features no appreciable agritourism opportunities. Host a conference/workshop to explore the opportunities within agritourism. Read below about the Nespresso AAA Summer Campus where tourists APPLY to attend a two-week course offering an opportunity to “experience firsthand the world of highest quality sustainable coffee agriculture.” For a complete list of URLs included in this document, see APPENDIX C.  Being spaces, third places Being spaces and third places are commercial settings that facilitate out-of-home, out-of- office activities such as reading a book, relaxing or meeting friends or colleagues within an environment that neither party has responsibility for. They are a dependable place of refuge, where one can escape the regular demands of home and office. For example, Starbucks and Barnes and Noble have taken the simple retail transaction of buying coffee or a book and turned it into an invitation to linger in a comfy chair, hook up to free Wi-Fi, play a board game with a friend, browse through magazines or listen to music on a rainy day. Applicability: This trend has tremendous relevance to Iowa’s Creative Corridor, where there are still some empty storefronts in downtown Cedar Rapids and Iowa City and in some small communities where you want to attract more people. Look for ways to create and market being spaces/third places as part of the product development for downtowns. Use your unique properties in unique ways – as gathering places for artists and musicians, by clustering “learning communities” of post-graduate fellows, by offering freelance and independent business people a warm and inviting place to work andIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 60 of 231
  • 61. compare notes. Also, in order to make downtown attractive to families, look for ways to provide being places for young families.  Brand spaces and pop-up retail Brand spaces are an extension of being places. They are a space for accommodating and entertaining consumers outside the home and office, becoming a useful or entertaining part of their daily life while promoting your brand. A brand space can be a place that offers surprise, discovery, transformation or education. It can be a place to hang out, try things out, work or relax. Brand spaces can be large or small, temporary or permanent. Companies may use them to introduce a new product, or to offer lessons in how to use their product (Apple provides lessons in programming iPods and Viking offers cooking lessons in their demonstration kitchens). Below is an example of a simple, portable, but practical brand space: a silence booth offered by Nokia for cell phone users in noisy places. It pops up at noisy events like festivals, auto races and construction sites, where cell phone users line up to step inside and enjoy a quiet conversation. Pop-up retail is another form of brand interaction. It is all about the surprise, the spontaneity and the temporary availability of a brand experience. Retailers use it to create a buzz and provide a unique, one-time experience for their consumers. For instance, J. Crew (following) has a pop-up Holiday Haberdasher that patrols the streets of major cities during the Christmas season, selling directly out of a converted Jeep. In London, the London Fashion Bus, a converted double-decker, stocks the wares of 40 young designers and travels the countryside to sell trendy clothing to customers who don’t have access to the hip shops of the City. Pop-up extends to dining and entertainment, as well. In several major cities, restaurants and night clubs have created great buzz with temporary installations in shipping containers outfitted for temporary duty. One enterprising developer has outfitted restaurant space in NYC, but allows only a temporary three-month lease. Every three months, he turns over the operator and brings in a new concept. The crowds keep flocking back to see the latest incarnation. Another New York restaurant changes its décor and menu every season, thus creating a fresh dining experience for their customers. The name of the restaurantIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 61 of 231
  • 62. changes as well: Park Avenue Autumn has recently transitioned (in 48 hours) to Park Avenue Winter. Applicability: Brand space is of particular importance for the Iowa’s Creative Corridor brand and brand merchandise because there is no true “center” to the region. Create a Creative Corridor brand space pop-up retail venue that can travel from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City, from one small community of the ECICOG to another, from the University of Iowa to Kirkwood Community College, from area festivals to skateparks, from neighborhoods to the airport. Fill the space with retail items that are uniquely ICC and with items focused on transformation and learning. Make the brand space an interactive environment featuring activities, games, crafts and contests. Schedule appearances of area artists, comedians and street performers in conjunction with pop- up appearances. Consider seasonal pop-ups for vacant commercial spaces in various downtown areas.  Minipreneurs, mobilepreneurs, mompreneurs The business world is full of entrepreneurs. And it’s not just about small business anymore – it’s about micro-businesses and side-businesses, weekend entrepreneurs, web entrepreneurs, part-timers, freelancers, seniorpreneurs and mompreneurs, eBay traders and advertising-sponsored bloggers. In 2005, almost one million Americans reported that eBay was their primary or secondary source of income. Another 1.5 million say they use on-line selling to supplement their income. And web-driven entrepreneurs now represent 25% of all small businesses in this country. Applicability: The Creative Corridor has many resources for budding entrepreneurs and some unused spaces in downtown areas. Partner with Kirkwood and/or with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at University of Iowa to use some of this space as an entrepreneurial/small business shared space. These shared spaces, which minipreneurs can use as an outside office or meeting room promote the exchange of ideas andIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 62 of 231
  • 63. provide low cost office amenities. Equip the space with computers, Wi-Fi, and small photographic light boxes used for photographing objects to be sold on the internet. Arrange for a shipping company to provide service to the minipreneur incubator. Set up workshops and seminars on operating small businesses. Entrepreneurs and minipreneurs represent an opportunity for Iowa’s Creative Corridor. ICAD and Priority ONE might also come together to work on organically growing the entrepreneurial climate through self-recruiting strategies like those used in Boulder, CO.  Community building/resident involvement via the web More and more, commercial and community brands are turning to the web to involve their citizens in local government via feedback, discussion, fresh ideas and viewpoints, suggestions and connections among neighbors and interest groups and yes, even disappointments and criticism. Those communities who continue to ignore the potential of electronic interaction with their residents miss out on a vital connection. Consider the following statistics from Trend Watch: o Facebook now has more than 500 million active users; 50% of those log on in any given day. Each of those users has an average of 130 Facebook friends and is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. o Twitter now boasts 105 million users and adds 300,000 every day o LinkedIn counts over 75 million members. o Overall, the share of adult US internet users who have a profile on a social networking site has more than quadrupled in the past four years—from 8% in 2005 to 35% now. For adults aged 18-24, it’s 75%, and for tweens, it’s close to 100%. (Source: Pew Internet, January 2009.) Applicability: People everywhere love the web and their mobile phones as immediate forums for posting opinions, getting information and finding others who share the same interests. Use this trend toward social networking and consumer/resident involvement to draw people into conversations and community involvement for the betterment of the Creative Corridor. Every day, across the internet, your residents are talking about various aspects of life in the region – the good, the bad and the ugly. Draw them into official online participation so that you have a better idea of local opinions and interest and can respond quickly when someone has a complaint or concern. Surround yourself with a new virtual community of Iowa’s Creative Corridor residents.  Regionalism The world’s top competitors and collaborators are not cities, states, or countries per se. They are regions. Regions are not defined by political boundaries, but by economic resources such as industry concentrations, labor markets and common infrastructure. Regions vary by their relative strengths and weaknesses from which regional specializations and comparative advantages emerge – creating spikes in the competitive marketplace. The perceived zero-sum game between communities within a region trying to out-compete one another can and must be transformed into the pursuit of integration for the purpose of mutual gain.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 63 of 231
  • 64. Applicability: The seven-county area known as Iowa’s Creative Corridor is stretching toward a true regional model of collaboration, communication and cooperation. Established business organizations such as the East Central Iowa Council of Governments, Corridor Alliance, and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance have all moved toward a more regional approach to planning, marketing and communicating. Even more recently, three economic development organizations in Cedar Rapids have come together under one umbrella to begin operations as a single entity called the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. These kinds of inter-connection efforts must expand and continue in order for the Creative Corridor to reach its highest potential and remain competitive on the national and international stage. Instead of competing for talent, technology and capital as single entities, the many moving parts of the Creative Corridor must begin to drive one another’s prosperity forward. Most ICC communities by themselves stand little chance of competing with leading economic regions within the global economy. But clusters of ICC communities, functioning regionally are large enough to achieve a critical mass of companies, institutions, infrastructure and talent – yet still small enough to provide the close interactions among people, firms and organizations that drives innovation. Regional innovation is the key to economic prosperity.Globalization has fundamentally transformed the American economy. Regions—definedIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 64 of 231
  • 65. OUTLINE OF OBJECTIVESTo guide the brand drivers in the process of implementation and management, North Star hasdeveloped a strategic plan consisting of objectives and accompanying tactics. This plan providesa roadmap for success by:  Providing a structure for managing the brand and implementation activities  Creating immediate awareness and identification of the brand  Making the best use of existing resources  Providing a clear and achievable plan for implementationIn addition, the plan has been formulated to provide solutions to the following issues listed aspriorities by the brand drivers:  Give leaders and stakeholders a common identity and message around which to rally  Promote a culture of innovation throughout ICC  Foster an appreciation for thinking and acting regionally  Provide common messaging and extended reach for area economic development and entrepreneurial development  Promote a larger sense of regionalism and the benefits of regional thinking and action  Provide a messaging framework for major area corporations and institutions to frame area assets for recruiting purposes  Promote the University of Iowa as a major asset not only for athletics, but also for commercialization of research products and for entrepreneurial development  Expand support and reach of the region’s entertainment, culture and tourism assets and events  Renew local residents’ appreciation of the areas assets – natural, educational, cultural, and economic  Improve recognition and appeal of Iowa’s Creative Corridor regionally and nationally  Expand tourism market and help maximize tourism potential  Celebrate regional history, industry, innovation and culture  Recruit and retain more young people to live in Iowa’s Creative CorridorIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 65 of 231
  • 66. LIST OF OBJECTIVES AND TACTICSObjective IEstablish an organizational structure for promoting and developing the brand 1. Assemble an Iowa’s Creative Corridor Brand Management Team 2. Create an ICC Brand Manager position 3. Develop brand stationery, presentation folder, toolkit and brand pin 4. Hold on-going meetings with the BMT 5. Train the BMT to speak on the brand 6. Assemble an ad hoc brand idea incubator board 7. Create a media plan for communicating about the brand and brand-related activities 8. Share a grant writer to assist in the search for funds 9. Establish a relationship with a writer, advertising agency and photographer to bring the brand to life and provide consistency 10. Create customized logos for participating organizationsObjective IIEstablish the region as a center of creative innovation 1. Form a Creative Collaborative to advance the brand and support a culture of innovation throughout the region 2. Recruit and organize members of the Creative Collaborative 3. Challenge the Creative Collaborative to define and implement a scope of work to support the innovation imperative 4. Uncover the Creative Corridor’s hidden innovators 5. Provide information about your Innovation Inventory through multiple channels 6. Develop a visual representation of the innovative nature of Iowa’s Creative Corridor 7. Serve as a broker of innovation and spread the word on its importance through special events and programs 8. Measure your innovation in a quantifiable mannerObjective IIIJump start the brand through the members of the Corridor Business Alliance 1. Put the brand to work for the CBA organization 2. Develop a workforce initiative for CBA employers/employees built around innovation 3. Develop a CBA employee version of the brand presentation with an emphasis on the DNA Project 4. Meet with organization department heads to discuss brand roll-out 5. Hold By Innovation Only brand meetings with CBA organization employees 6. Make decisions on the role of the regional brand logo on CBA partner stationery. 7. Develop a branded award or recognition program for employeesObjective IVDevelop a greater sense of regionalism through brand projects 1. Look for opportunities for partnership and influence 2. Be innovative in exploring ways to use the brand with key stakeholders 3. Establish regional opportunities and benchmarks and share them with the regionIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 66 of 231
  • 67. 4. Develop a branded region-wide web portal 5. Provide recognition and visibility for those who support the brand 6. Enter the world of emerging mediaObjective VAttract, support and retain business on a regional basis using the brand as a rallying cry 1. Establish a regional economic development presence with a branded website 2. Develop regional economic development communication materials 3. Launch an economic development e-newsletter 4. Upgrade your data with infographics 5. Support your culture of innovation with imaginative strategies 6. Infuse energy into your entrepreneur sector with updated look and programming 7. Grow your economy through a grassroots peer-to-peer recruitment campaign 8. Gain exposure and potential entrepreneurs through a combination recruiting and social media awareness event 9. Provide tools and resources for local corporations in recruiting new employeesObjective VIIntegrate the Iowa’s Creative Corridor brand into regional community infrastructure and initiatives 1. Create branded merchandise/promotional items 2. Take the brand on the road with a pop-up retail brand space 3. Incorporate the brand into signage throughout the region 4. Expose the brand to riders and drivers throughout the Creative Corridor 5. Export the brand with your local products 6. Develop brand strength through local sports facilities 7. Invigorate your surroundings by incorporating the brand logo, heritage or values into community fixtures and buildingsObjective VIIAttract and retain college graduates with the brand 1. Convene a broad-based group of enthusiastic and forward-thinking college and grad students and young professionals in a GeNEXTics Creative Summit 2. Use the brand to connect with college students and post-grads who are longing for home 3. Upgrade your technology quotient 4. Connect with students via meaningful internships and community service opportunities 5. Initiate a Summer Internship Program 6. Provide incentives for students to stay 7. Engage area high school and college students and equip them for success 8. Develop creative work spaces that encourage innovationIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 67 of 231
  • 68. Objective VIIIAchieve tourism goals through brand-based initiatives 1. Integrate a regional viewpoint, brand message and logo into visitor experiences and marketing touchpoints 2. Recognize and develop regional itineraries and assets that support the brand identity 3. Make sure that your Visitor Centers offer convenience and a positive brand experience 4. Wow visitors in hotel rooms with branded goodies and region-wide knowledge 5. Develop and market an ICC Art and Innovation Trail 6. Grow your agritourism market 7. Put together some golf getawaysObjective IXGather your regional stories of innovation and transformation and share them via a structured publicrelations strategy 1. Establish a plan for collecting your regional stories 2. Contract with a part-time public relations writer, if needed 3. Create a media plan for communicating to the media about the innovative people, institutions, initiatives, organizations, and corporations in Iowa’s Creative Corridor 4. Develop a comprehensive editorial calendar 5. Develop an electronic media kit 6. Develop a general and customized media list 7. Send branded merchandise and schedule FAM tours for key writersIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 68 of 231
  • 69. BUDGET ESTIMATESNo firm budget figures have been attached to these recommended tactics because it is notpossible to do so at this point. Too many variables regarding current relationships, currentbudgets and how the region will proceed remain unknown. Where possible, North Star hasattached price ranges for recommended Tactics for planning purposes.The Creative Corridor BrandAMP is fiscally flexible because it can be adapted to match yoursituation. Tactics are rated Priority 1, 2, and 3. Priority 1 tactics must be executed in order toeffectively implement the brand. Priority 2 tactics are recommended but are optional. Priority 3tactics are “icing on the cake” if you have the funding. Most Priority 3 tactics are undertaken viafunding partnerships with private sector organizations.Whenever possible, the ICC BrandAMP piggybacks its suggestions onto an existingcommunication initiative. Costs involved are only those of branding the existing initiative sincecontent development and production of the piece was an existing cost.In some cases, the BrandAMP may make recommendations that will require decision-making onthe part of community governments. For example, we recommend branding some existingmunicipal or county infrastructure. Clearly, it wouldn’t be in the region’s best interest to brandevery piece of community-owned property. The BrandAMP makes recommendations, but ananalysis of priorities, partnership opportunities and other ongoing initiatives will need to beconducted by leadership before making a final decision.In other words, the Creative Corridor BrandAMP is not written in stone. Consider it a guidefor effectively implementing your brand with enough flexibility to adjust for changes in theregion’s economic or political landscape.Please see APPENDIX D for a budget outline.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 69 of 231
  • 70. OBJECTIVES AND TACTICSOBJECTIVE IEstablish an organizational structure for promoting and developing the brandSituation:Brands don’t grow and thrive if no one takes responsibility for them. Successful implementationof the ICC brand will require accountability, passion, understanding and respect for thebranding effort. It will also require cooperation and partnership among City and Countyofficials, administrators, area organizations and businesses, and other regional stakeholders. Tactics 1. Assemble an Iowa’s Creative Corridor Brand Management Team  It is critical that the potential major users of the brand come together and create a 5-9 member regional Brand Management Team (BMT). Support-building and eventual fundraising for the brand will start with the BMT and move outward to other organizations and the general public. The formation of such a group will help insure that the brand has broad reach and acceptance across multiple audiences.  Brand Management Team members might include representatives of: the corporate/business community, the geo-political community (cities and counties), arts and culture, education, tourism, non-profit and philanthropy. Economic development organizations and Chambers of Commerce should have representation on the team. These will be the thought leaders who work together to determine brand priorities, draft an implementation schedule and develop guidelines/strategies for future funding sources. Each member should be agreeable to investing personal and staff time in the success of the brand. Visible cooperation and support across organizational/governmental lines will positively impact public acceptance of the brand and will build support throughout the region. Eventually, this group will merge into a broader-based coalition that North Star suggests be called the Creative Collaborative (see Objective II).  It is North Star’s suggestion that Chuck Peters be asked to chair the BMT. His familiarity with the region, regional interest and marketing/media expertise will all be valuable to the brand’s integration and acceptance.Responsibility: Former brand driversPriority: 1Timing 3 monthsCosts: MinimalIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 70 of 231
  • 71. 2. Create an ICC Brand Manager position  The Brand Manager will have primary responsibility for working with the Brand Management Team, including developing the annual budget for branding, pursuing the specific brand strategies, building a network of supporters for the brand, and overseeing and evaluating the effectiveness of the brand in the region.  North Star recommends that Kim Johnson, Vice President of Continuing Education and Training at Kirkwood Community College be named Brand Manager. Kim has extensive experience in regional workforce development and economic development, both in her positions at KCC and as a member of the regional planning work group for the Comprehensive Regional Development Strategy. In addition, the regional resources and exposure available through Kirkwood will be invaluable in the introductory phase of brand integration. To formalize the position of Brand Manager as part of the Vice President responsibilities, the title should be changed to Vice President of Continuing Education and Training/ICC Brand Manager.  For the purpose of our discussion of brand integration we will abbreviate this title as simply Brand Manager (BM). In this expanded role, the Brand Manager would be expected to conceive, plan, implement and coordinate fundraising efforts, develop and manage community awareness campaigns/events for neighborhoods, maximize brand integration throughout regional businesses and organizations, plan special events, and provide cohesion and continuity for communications across all brand partners.  Appropriate support staff for the position should be provided both through Kirkwood Community College and also by other members of the Brand Management Team. Kirkwood already serves as an engine for forward progress and prosperity within the region. Adding a centralized Brand Manager function will broaden the institution’s impact and role within the community and will provide a respected and neutral regional resource as home to the brand.  It is critical that the Brand Manager be a seasoned and skilled professional. Skills necessary for the job include marketing, budgeting, writing, management, team building, public speaking, consensus building, media relations and community relations. (See APPENDIX E for Brand Manager job description and a branding organization chart.)Responsibility: BMTPriority: 1Timing: ImmediatelyCosts: Some salary increase may be commensurate with additional responsibilities of managingbrand interpretation/implementation.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 71 of 231
  • 72. 3. Develop brand stationery, presentation folder, toolkit and brand pin  Produce brand stationery, business cards and presentation folders for the Brand Manager and BMT members to use when corresponding officially on behalf of the region. See the samples below:  The Brand Manager should work with a graphic designer and writer to develop a professional PowerPoint presentation for the brand. The presentation should summarize research, insights, brand strategy and creative and should be customizable for different audiences (i.e., should allow presenter to add the benefits and uses of the brand for firemen, teachers or business owners.) Use the brand narrative as you craft language for these presentations. (See page 11 earlier)Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 72 of 231
  • 73.  Use the presentation to tell your story. This branding initiative was developed with a long-term vision in-mind. Others need to understand that vision. Show a few slides of valuable insights gleaned from the research. Build up what you learned from the process. o Why was this project started? o Who else was involved? o Why did you choose North Star? o What did you learn from the research? o Review the strategy – your strategic brand platform. o Show the creative work. Tell others what it allows you to do. Why were the colors/images/words used? o How do you plan on using the brand immediately and long-term? o How can others get involved in the brand integration process?  North Star client, Lima-Allen County, Ohio, chose to implement their new regional brand through economic development channels first. They produced a compelling DVD targeting CEOs and other economic development leaders. This presentation explained the branding process, goals, and suggested how business leaders could participate and benefit. A professionally scripted and filmed video, using local stakeholders or industry leaders, may be more compelling for more sophisticated viewers or for large audience presentations. The downside to videos is that they are not easily customizable for different audiences and are more expensive to produce. Please follow the link below to the Lima-Allen County DVD presentation.  In addition to the presentation, put together an ICC Innovation Activation Toolkit that can be used as a leave-behind following presentations. The toolkit can be packaged on a thumb drive with camera-ready art for the primary logo, customized logos when relevant, a one-page slick highlighting the brand and examples of how the brand can be customized for local businesses or incorporated into premium items. Be sure to include a graphics standards manual in the toolkit so that users will know how to display the brand appropriately (See APPENDIX X for Graphic Standards).Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 73 of 231
  • 74.  If funding allows, provide toolkits for attendees at brand presentations and for participants in one-on-one brand meetings. Toolkits should be given to appropriate personnel at the county and municipal levels, local officials, major regional stakeholders, non-profit leaders, business leaders and other organizations over the course of the first year. Offer toolkits to major employers and industries. Be sure to order adequate numbers to maximize cost savings. In addition to the thumb drives, you may choose to make your toolkit available on-line. (In fact, if money is tight, you may choose to offer the toolkit ONLY on-line) A good example of an online brand toolkit can be found at the brand website of North Star client Dayton, Ohio. Check it out at: Notice how the Dayton toolkit provides usage guidelines, creative ideas and downloadable art.  An excellent national brand toolkit is the Big Brand Book, an online resource for the partners of the Nova Scotia brand. The book, which contains guidelines, suggestions and examples, is available to brand partners in a password protected portion of the brand website: The partners’ resource page also includes downloadable art for various brand applications. (To view the Big Brand Book, see APPENDIX F, a complete version can be found on the BrandAMP CD accompanying this report.)Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 74 of 231
  • 75.  The Brand Manager, the BMT and other passionate ambassadors of the brand should meet one-on-one with regional stakeholders and business owners over the next year to reinforce and answer questions about the brand (using the PowerPoint or video presentation). You may also choose to schedule larger meetings of like-minded groups such as major employers or government leaders. At the conclusion of each meeting, present the attendees with the toolkit and a promotional item such as a brand pin (sample on the right). Ask for their support of the new brand, both through their business or organization and on a personal level. Such meetings pay off in unexpected ways. A developer in McKinney, TX who sat in on a presentation contacted the Brand Manager several months later asking permission to fly branded flags and banners throughout his upscale retail area and its parking lot. (See page 173 for images of McKinney development)Responsibility: BM, graphic designer, writer, video production companyPriority: 1 for brand presentation, 2 for brand toolkitTiming: 2-3 months to be presentation readyCosts: Personnel cost depends on whether qualified writer/designer are available on staff. Thumb Drives: $50 -$100 for thumb drives (depends on final size of your media list). Given the design suggestion in North Star’s recommendation included in this tactic, additional fees may apply. 4. Hold on-going meetings with the BMT  The Brand Manager and BMT should agree to meet regularly to set priorities and provide direction for brand implementation. Initially, you may need to meet monthly. Eventually, you should be able to cut back to quarterly gatherings.  The Brand Manager should hold a planning and organizational meeting with the BMT. Your initial meeting should address the following types of issues: o Resources available in the BMT organizations to support the brand o Brand implementation strategies outlined in the BrandAMP o BMT implementation priorities o BMT organization member projects where brand messages might be integrated o Speaking schedule for BMT members o Scope of work for the year  Review marketing plans and organizational goals of all BMT members as they may relate to brand implementation and messaging. Facilitate a discussion regarding which activities might be coordinated amongst the organizations – both to save resources and to create a bigger impact in the marketplace. For example, several organizations might beIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 75 of 231
  • 76. interested in placing an ad about the new brand in local or regional newspapers or on the radio. Rather than five smaller ads, consider joining forces for a full page ad featuring all the organizations. In addition to ads, other clients have had success (and saved money) consolidating resources on annual reports, informational brochures, radio spots, signage, etc. (This “sharing” mindset is one that develops over time. Multiple BMT members may be interested in collaborating on a special event or on a brand- related community service project. (Do not be discouraged if there is not much enthusiasm for it immediately. As the various organizations have success with the approach, they will become converts.)  Identify how various marketing initiatives for each member’s respective organization can be branded. Explore the issue of co-op advertising for billboards, print advertising, signage, and other venues.Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 1Timing: Meetings should be held quarterlyCost: No cost associated with meetings. 5. Train the BMT to speak on the brand  Hold training sessions with BMT members covering the PowerPoint presentation and/or video as well as the brand toolkit.  The goal of the presentation is to begin to gain grassroots support for the brand. BMT members should start support-building with other member organizations from the original brand partnership and with the employees of those organizations. Then move out to other stakeholders (who are not members of the original brand partnership group) and to residents of the region. From there the various organizations will carry the brand message to their audiences in tourism, economic development, healthcare, education and so on.  Taking the time to build grassroots support can pay off in unexpected ways. For example, in Dayton, Ohio, a presentation made during the early months to a community group resulted in a call several months later from one of the City’s iconic pizza parlors. The owner was interested in using the Dayton brand logo on his pizza boxes in celebration of 40 years in business.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 76 of 231
  • 77.  Present BMT members with branded business cards announcing their BMT position.Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 1Timing: 3 monthsCosts: Production of BMT business cards. (Note: to avoid additional costs, add BMT businesscards to next printing order for Kirkwood, or other BMT organization business cards.) 6. Assemble an ad hoc brand idea incubator board  The Brand Manager should organize the creation of a brand advisory committee comprised of the most creative minds within the regional area. The purpose of this group is to provide innovative ideas and extraordinary concepts for brand integration. Their challenge: to dig for genuinely new and powerful brand strategies presented in unexpected ways.  In keeping with their mission and make-up, the group should be dubbed with a creative name relating to the brand (Ideators or Transformers might be options.) Meetings of this group should be fun, free-wheeling and idea-based. Rather than cooping members up in a stuffy board room, set their imaginations free by meeting at interesting and inspiring locations throughout the area.  Schedule quarterly meetings with the BM, BMT and the idea group, to consider brand connections based in history, poetry, language, humor, geography, performing and visual arts, sports, nature, as well as more traditional avenues. Draw the membership of this group from unexpected sources: professors from the areas of arts and humanities, science, technology, psychology and social sciences; University of Iowa students to represent the younger demographic; writers, artists, musicians, ad agencies or marketing firms, dreamers, bloggers, philosophers, athletes, gallery owners, chefs, and bookstore owners. Be sure to include young entrepreneurs in this group.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 77 of 231
  • 78.  Welcome the group with a quick brand overview and an inventive, fun premium item. A quick and easy idea is a Transformers t-shirt using the double helix featured in many of the brand integration ideas. One of the artists in the group might want to design a custom piece like that below. Another alternative would be to design a simple, but fun custom helix pin. (See Objective III for samples of some pins available via an on-line vendor.)  Have some facilitators on hand to take notes and gather ideas – this group is all about brainstorming and helping to push the brand further into the community through previously unconsidered connections. Enjoy the fireworks!Responsibility: Brand ManagerPriority: 2Timing: 6-12 monthsCosts: No hard costs for selection, meeting. Bulk purchasing of regular t-shirts, $1.79/each 6. Create a media plan for communicating about the brand and brand-related activities  The Brand Manager serves as the single source of contact for brand media relations within the region. This centralized approach will help you control the brand message and guarantee that the story you want to see in the media is actually the story that runs in the media. The Brand Manager should also serve as the contact for setting up interviews or arranging comments from area officials, other BMT members or business people asked to provide feedback regarding the brand to the media. Remember to include information from your brand research to provide background on brand development.  Develop a series of talking points and graphics to use for every brand-related encounter with the press. Remember to emphasize the strategy and research behind Iowa’s Creative Corridor (the opportunity to live life more fully and to benefit from the transformative power of art and science). Include points regarding region-wide assets which illustrate the quality of life, the entrepreneurial/innovation culture, the tourism assets and so forth. North Star has provided a sample press release for the ICC once you have begun significant implementation and are ready to publicize your efforts. See APPENDIX G for a sample press release.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 78 of 231
  • 79.  Hold a briefing for those who may be asked to comment on the brand (members of BMT, elected officials, municipal administrators, prominent department heads, arts leaders, Chamber and ED leaders, non-profit community leaders, etc.) to review the talking points and background. (See Objective IX for an in-depth discussion of media relations strategy.)  Use the following vehicles for distributing information about the brand: o News releases, electronic and paper o Fact sheets o Media advisories o News conferences o Tours o Roundtables o Editorial board briefings o Electronic newsletters and e-blasts o Media outlets o Communication departments of area colleges, universities o CBA members and major corporations – including their internal employee newsletters o Websites o County and municipal newsletters and other communication outlets o Social media o Special eventsResponsibility: BMPriority: 1Timing: ImmediateCosts: No hard costs associated with media relations. 8. Share a grant writer to assist in the search for funds  If Kirkwood or other BMT members/affiliated brand drivers do not already have the appropriate expertise on board to pursue grant funding for the brand, explore the idea of adding a grant writer (full or part-time) to the staff to assist with sourcing on-going funds for the branding effort. North Star client Grand Rapids, MN received $75,000 in grant monies for brand programs and former client New Orleans Downtown Development District has received approval for $300,000 as part of a one million dollar grant to emphasize downtown business opportunities and to attract entrepreneurs. While your initial funding will get the brand up and running, additional financial resources will be required in the years ahead.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 79 of 231
  • 80.  If local organizations cannot afford a full-time grant position strictly for the brand, investigate opportunities for partnering the position with other non-profit organizations throughout the region. In addition to locating funds for community events and improvements around the brand, the position could be charged with the following types of additional duties if jointly funded: o Funding for travel and tourism projects o Funding for arts and cultural attractions and programs o Funding for historic preservation and heritage tourism o Funding for agri-tourism o Funding for special events or projects in downtowns o Training other non-profits in the community to successfully write grants and locate funding for tourism, the arts, historical preservation and cultural projects o Funding for economic development initiatives such as educational workshops, mentoring, speakers or seminars o Providing grant writing services to area non-profits at a subsidized rate o The revenue created would be used to cover a portion of the salary expense of the grant writer.Responsibility: BMPriority: 1Timing: 12-18 monthsCosts: Variable depending on way position is set up. Potentially $10,000 - $50,000. 9. Establish a relationship with a writer, advertising agency and photographer to bring the brand to life and provide consistency  As you move forward with brand implementation, it will be useful to partner with a local ad agency and a talented photographer. Use of a single agency and a single photographer will provide consistency across all brand applications and will be most cost-effective.  If possible, piggyback the brand’s creative needs on an existing agency relationship among the BMT members. This will prevent having to establish a new working relationship and will be more affordable.Responsibility: BMPriority: 2Timing: ImmediateCosts: Costs dependent on existing relationships.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 80 of 231
  • 81. 10. Create customized logos for participating organizations  While North Star has provided some customized logos for local organizations/entities as a sample, you will need to develop further custom logos for non-profits, organizations and agencies in the future. Your advertising agency will be able to modify the brand logo for use by all partnering organizations and help with outdoor board placements, periodical or newspaper placements, brochure designs and much more.  To minimize costs, the Brand Manager might aggregate a list of all organizations interested in a custom or partner version of the regional logo. Then, select one vendor to design them all at one time. Individual organizations should assume the cost of creating their custom version of the ICC logo.  The Brand Manager must assume responsibility for ensuring that the artistic integrity and tone of brand messages are maintained by all participants. Uses of the brand logo(s) and message should be seen and approved by the Brand Manager whenever possible prior to production and implementation. The Brand Manager can maintain integrity of brand logo(s) by administering the Graphic Standards recommended in APPENDIX X.Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 1Timing: ImmediateCosts: $5,000 and up for photography and agency creative/media services.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 81 of 231
  • 82. OBJECTIVE IIEstablish the region as a center of creative innovationSituation:Iowa’s Creative Corridor brand rests on the platform of transformation via knowledge, learningand dreaming – just another way to express the concept of innovation. The ICC brandresearch demonstrates that the region is home to a wide variety of creative endeavors acrossmultiple cross-functional lines, including business, education, entrepreneurship, art, economicdevelopment, culture and many, many others.Yet many innovative advances and achievements are achieved in a relatively isolated “silo” styleof development. As a result, the region is missing out on cross-pollinating creative innovationacross jurisdictional, political and disciplinary lines. In fact, initiatives can sometimes be soisolated that those involved with them have never taken the time to evaluate the effect thattheir area of innovation has had on the region, the state or the world.Developing a culture of innovation throughout the region is one of the major imperatives ofthis project. Identifying innovators/innovation and fostering a culture of innovation within ICCwill be critical to brand success. Use the brand to become the Johnny Appleseed of innovationfor Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Tactics 1. Form a Creative Collaborative to advance the brand and support a culture of innovation throughout the region  Launch a region–wide initiative that starts in elementary school and extends to the CEOs of top corporations, leaders of non-profit and other organizations, elected officials, educators, everyday folks and back around to presidents of universities. Call this program the “Culture of Creative Innovation”. (Note that the name of the initiative mimics the i and two c’s in the double helix of the brand logo.)  The CBA, spearheaded by the BMT, should spearhead the Culture of Creative Innovation initiative. As such, they will be responsible for identifying and recruiting potential participants for the initiative. Membership (or participation) should be representative of the various stakeholders within the region. The goal of this group is two-fold: First, to serve as innovation brokers in ICC – fostering and spreading awareness and growth of innovation personnel, tactics and traits within the Creative Corridor and then integrating these talented resources into synergistic relationships. Second, as a part of the process of promoting innovation, to achieve buy-in and acceptance of the brand (eventually resulting in additional funding for implementation). The ripples of these two goals present the opportunity for creating a positive impact on the regional economy.  Call this group the Creative Collaborative (or the Innovation Collaborative). The Corridor’s concentration of writers, artists, performers and thinkers, combined with aIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 82 of 231
  • 83. multitude of high level corporate and manufacturing entities creates a uniquely rich mix of talent within your region. These individuals must come to consider themselves the innovation brokers for the region. As such, they must develop a program of active outreach which puts a human face on the concept of “innovation” and provides background and education on the importance of innovation and where the region currently stands as an innovator.  The tasks of this group will be as follow: Year 1 o Identify the past and present innovators and innovation throughout the Creative Corridor by creation on an ICC Innovation Inventory. o Develop a list of creative, brand-based ideas to share the story of the region’s innovation assets locally, throughout the state, the nation and the world. o Provide indirect support for the ICC regional brand by using brand messaging and identity elements in the Innovation Inventory and Education campaign. o Organize to support the brand with financial and in-kind donations o Develop a broad vision or mission for the group that provides direction for moving forward. Year 2 o Continue to promote and educate locals and outsiders on the culture of innovation in the Creative Corridor. o Develop a longer term (five year) plan to promote and support new networks and strategies for continued innovation in the region. o Continue to incorporate brand messaging in your stories of innovation and in your strategies for growing innovation networks. o Explore ideas for: – Using innovation to improve the community – Using innovation to improve public education – Using innovation to improve employee health – Using innovation to improve quality of life – Developing new innovative products and services  The Creative Collaborative (CC) may be initially chaired by a member of the Brand Management Team. Eventually, leadership can be transitioned to the larger group. This group will serve as the innovation brokers who help contribute the funds, the ideas and the manpower that will “drive” the brand forward through association with the region’s past, present and future innovation initiatives.  Whether public or private sector, an organization or an individual, Creative Collaborative members should be involved in the community, be innovative and enthusiastic, have a bit of marketing savvy and represent a sector of region assets/resources. Initially, innovation brokers will be asked to make a 10-year commitment to involvement in innovation and brand success. In the first year, their knowledge and interest in the region and/or marketing resources/capabilities will helpIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 83 of 231
  • 84. provide resources for the Innovation Inventory (and thus, for the brand). Later, in years two and three of brand implementation, you will come back to your Creative Collaborative members and ask for a financial commitment to keep your innovation story, network and achievements moving forward.Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 1Timing: 6-18 monthsCost: No major hard costs to recruit Creative Collaborative members. 2. Recruit and organize members of the Creative Collaborative  Members of the CBA or the BMT should create a list of assets and organizations throughout the region. The majority of these assets should be examples of innovation, discovery and forward thinking in some aspect. This list will serve as your candidate pool for recruiting innovation brokers for the Creative Collaborative. As, such they should be creative, energetic individuals interested in brainstorming and working to spread the innovation message. The following types of entities and individuals should be considered (this list should start your thinking, but is by no means exhaustive). o Municipalities o Counties o Healthcare o Elementary and secondary education o Colleges and Universities o Students o Small business o Entrepreneurs o Corporations o Manufacturing o Agriculture/farming o Scientists o Philanthropists and foundations o Non-profits o Engineers o Architects o Arts and culture – Writers – Artists – Musicians – Entertainers/actors  You may find it helpful to categorize your prospects into sectors. For example, healthcare, education, industry, arts and culture and so on. The Brand Manager and BMT should compile and prioritize a list of potential members for the Creative Collaborative.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 84 of 231
  • 85. Make sure that you have adequate representation within each sector. Aim for an initial group size that allows at least five representatives with each of your major sectors.  When your prospect list is complete, BMT and CBA members should make appointments with each of the prospects to deliver the pitch for joining the Creative Collaborative. It is most important to emphasize these points: o The history of the ICC brand project and how it has led you to the formation of the Creative Collaborative o The purpose of the Creative Collaborative and the Innovation Inventory o The role of an Innovation Broker o The importance of this particular project at this moment in the history of the region. o How the brand will support the Innovation Inventory and vice versa o The unique attributes of the Creative Collaborative prospect that make him/her an irreplaceable piece of the puzzle o Innovation brokers are expected to contribute more than mere funding o The opportunity to create synergistic networks to advance the region both from an economic and community development perspective o The passion that you feel for the region and the brand o Creative Collaborative members will be expected to contribute to the brand effort in one or more ways: – Volunteer role (the individual or organization has background, manpower, marketing knowledge or relationships that will help advance the innovation initiative and the brand imperative of promoting and growing innovation) – In-kind services or potential high brand visibility (a local marketing or graphic design firm might donate some in-kind services; a developer or college might fund pole banners for parking areas) – Connections to innovators or innovative organizations – Ultimately, a potential funding pledge (establish a minimum financial contribution that can be paid in equal installments over 3-5 years). This will provide the necessary resources to continue innovation/brand activities when your current brand budget is exhausted. Generally speaking, the larger the organization and its resources, the larger the contribution you can target.  As you sign on Creative Collaborative members, you may find that they can be helpful in making the pitch to other prospects. Ask them to come along if they have a personal or professional connection to any of your remaining candidates. o A team approach (including private and public sector members) will help further development and adoption of the concept of innovation as the driving message for the Creative Corridor. It keeps in mind the big picture for the region, it weathers changes in political administrations and it provides additional manpower for implementing brand initiatives. There is no pre-determined magic number of members for the Creative Collaborative. Make sure that all major community sectors have adequate representation, striving to hold initial membership at 30-40 people in order to keep the group manageable. Make the membership pitch to those who will bring value to the table.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 85 of 231
  • 86.  Once you feel you have reached a critical mass of potential members who have privately agreed to become innovation brokers for the region, hold a Creative Collaborative meeting so that members can meet one another and share enthusiasm for the project and begin brainstorming brand ideas for the Culture of Creative Innovation. Members of the Creative Collaborative might sign an Innovation Broker Charter pledging their support to the effort (See APPENDIX H for sample brand charter and partnership agreement.) Members of the Market Gainesville Partnership signing a brand charter  Acknowledge your innovation brokers on the brand portal, in brand marketing materials, in newsletters, in a press release, annually at City Council and County Board meetings and at brand events.  The Creative Collaborative should elect an executive board to be responsible for managing meetings, providing direction and handling communication among members. BMT members should hold at least three seats on this board.  Provide Creative Collaborative members with brand pins, brand toolkits and an Iowa’s Creative Collaborative logo for display and use in their own marketing efforts. You may wish to develop other Collaborative-related premium items such as branded shirts for members to wear at special events, or certificates recognizing Creative Collaborative participation.  Initially, you may need to meet with your Creative Collaborative members fairly frequently. Host a fun, kick-off meeting to introduce the group to one another and set some initial goals. Then, plan to meet on a monthly basis as a group, with sector members meeting independently to plan strategy for unearthing innovation within their strategic area.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 86 of 231
  • 87.  In a year, as you begin to prepare for fundraising from the Creative Collaborative, you will have a firmer idea of brand projects that need funding and can set a total fundraising goal from all Collaborative members. Remember that it is difficult to go back and ask for more money from the same donors. This fundraising effort will likely provide the primary source of funding for the brand after your current brand budget is depleted.  Financial participation for brand drivers should include a minimum financial commitment payable over a three-year or five-year period. Typically, North Star recommends a three year commitment of $5,000 - 10,000.  Brand drivers may pledge in-kind donations or additional grant funding as part or all of their financial commitment. For instance, there may be a local ad agency that can provide graphic design assistance, a printer who can provide brochures, etc. The Brand Manager and BMT should adjust this number as necessary to insure a successful fundraising campaign and to reflect realistic local economic conditions.Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 1Timing: 9-18 monthsCost: Minimal 3. Challenge the Creative Collaborative to define and implement a scope of work to support the innovation imperative  One of the first charges for the Creative Collaborative should be to develop a broad mission or vision to help refine their scope of work. The statement may contain these kinds of objectives: o To define “Creative Innovation”. North Star believes that the answer to this question lies within the brand platform and creative: it benefits the region (on either a macro or micro level) and it represents the transformation of individual, cultural or organizational knowledge to power; it transforms learning into living or dreams to reality. o To identify and recognize creative innovation throughout the region. o To encourage creative innovation both horizontally and vertically throughout the region. o To apply creative innovation to problem-solving and challenges within the region. o To impact the region, the state, the nation and the world with ICC innovation. o To attract and grow the region’s Culture of Creative Innovation. o To create a growing network of individuals, groups, companies, and organizations within the region to support one another in the pursuit of creative innovation.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 87 of 231
  • 88. o To provide the necessary resources within the region to support these networks. o To instill the value of creative innovation in the region’s youth…even as early as elementary school. o To use creative innovation as a mechanism to entice diversity within the region and to connect diverse individuals and organizations around a common goal or issue.Responsibility: BM, BMT, CCPriority: 1Timing: 6-18 monthsCost: TBD 4. Uncover the Creative Corridor’s hidden innovators  The group’s first priority after developing their mission statement should be to develop a first year program of work that creates an inventory of innovation throughout the region. The second priority is to take that inventory and leverage it in order to establish a reputation for the region.  This effort, to be called the DNA Project, will seek out the innovative projects, products and innovators with the region. Creative Collaborative members will support the DNA Project by promoting participation within their own organization, by introducing the DNA Project to colleagues in other organizations and by assisting with strategy and implementation details for the project. Moving this project forward helps to get the region thinking about innovation and is the first step in gathering information about the impact that innovation is currently creating in the Creative Corridor.  Each of the sectors should develop an Innovation Action Plan for uncovering innovators past and present within their operational area. Provide an Innovation Inventory form for brokers to track their contacts, their research and the stories of their discoveries. Methods of gathering information include the following: o Personal interviews with known leadership within the sector o Referrals from leaders to lesser or unknown innovators within their companies, organizations or networks. Interview these referrals and ask for their referral to other innovators down the line.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 88 of 231
  • 89. o Research local, state, national news databases for stories about innovators from the ICC region. Interview these individuals, if still living. o Historical and background sources such as histories of the area, historians, encyclopedias and reference materials.  During the information gathering phase, sectors may need to meet often to compare sources, track progress and compile data.  Forms should be turned in to the Brand Manager at Kirkwood Community College. As the home base of the brand, Kirkwood should manage and maintain the region’s Innovation Inventory.  Be sure that iconic organizations like the Iowa Writers’ Workshop are included in the DNA Project. While interviewers are documenting the innovative activities of the region, they should also try to gather information on the impact of that innovation. For instance, during interviews with North Star, IWW personnel acknowledged that the influence from this great program has never been measured. As part of the DNA Project, ask the IWW to research and document the program’s impact on pop culture and entertainment. For instance, how many television shows, movies or stage productions have been generated from content by the IWW faculty and alumni? What other awards have IWW recipients also received? What else have IWW writers gone on to do? Have any written additional works of lauded literature or poetry? Has their work been interpreted through art? This kind of background should be gathered, documented and stored as part of the Innovation Inventory.  The impact of other regional businesses and organizations should be measured, as well. What information can Rockwell Collins provide that provides insight into the company’s impact on the commercial or military airplanes? How is their technology used in the civilian sector? Who are some of the most innovative or successful alumni of area colleges and universities in areas like engineering, medicine, entrepreneurship, architecture, art, business, philanthropy? What has been the impact of their success? How many patents and inventions have come out of the Creative Corridor? If you trace the agricultural products produced in the region – who and what do they impact and where do they end up?  Look for innovation in unexpected areas. For example, do any of your regional primary and secondary school educators have cutting-edge techniques for teaching science, mathematics or literature? Do any of your regional chefs tout creative cooking approaches? Is there a regional charity that comes at things from a different angle?  Once the database has been created, create a physical map of your innovation assets throughout the region. It will provide an interesting visual of innovation nodes throughout the Corridor. The infographic below is an interesting representation of the Athletic and Outdoor Industry cluster in Portland, OR. Though not organized in a geographic footprint, the poster traces the birth of the cluster through the opening of Nike, Adidas, and Columbia and traces the many affiliated companies, networks,Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 89 of 231
  • 90. mergers, etc. Periodically, the infographic is updated with the names of new companies within the cluster. The Creative Corridor might produce an Innovation Inventory infographic to help communicate the relationships between innovators and the timeline of innovative products, people and organizationResponsibility: BM, BMT, CCPriority: 1for Innovation InventoryTiming: 6-18 monthsCost: TBDIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 90 of 231
  • 91. 5. Provide information about your Innovation Inventory through multiple channels  Promote the DNA Project to local media, both while you are gathering information (in order to increase participation) and after the Inventory is complete to increase awareness of area innovators. Some possibilities include: o Partnering with regional media and bloggers on the publication of a series of articles on the Culture of Creative Innovation and its impact or on the Innovation Inventory. Be sure to contact journalists and bloggers who cover specific beats like health, education, the arts, etc. o Asking company communications departments to include stories about their innovators in employee publications and newsletters to customers. o Scheduling broadcast interviews with DNA Project researchers or with innovators from throughout the region. Consider a weekly series. o Sending out press releases to state and national level innovation and economic development organizations about the Innovation Inventory o Engaging state and national level media in the DNA Project story and what you hope to accomplish through the program. o Establish a speakers’ bureau featuring a variety of speakers and topics, which shares the story of various innovations within the region. Each speaker in your bureau should have a different orientation regarding innovation in order to offer options to a variety of audiences. o Working with writers from UI to produce a series of stories on the reach, impact and influence of top innovations from individuals, organizations, students and individuals throughout the Creative Corridor. Innovations might be anything from books to communications systems to innovative green practices to delivery of social services. o Turn your mobile pop-up into an Innovation Station or send it on an Innovation Roundup. Feature examples of regional innovation, books by IWW writers, and items that encourage innovative thinking and creativity. Sell sets of playing cards or trading cards that feature innovators/innovations/artists/creatives. Set up a listening booth to gather more stories for the DNA Project. Take the Innovation Station on the road to interact with local, regional and statewide residents in a fun and out-of- the-box kind of way.  Consider development of a DNA Project website that details the purpose and outcome of the project. Through awareness generated by the site, you can both collect more stories regarding regional innovators and share the stories that you have already gathered. A less expensive alternative would be to include a section or special pages on the regional brand portal regarding the DNA project. Identify and feature innovators in major sectors like: o Healthcare o Education o Testing and assessment o Arts and culture o SportsIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 91 of 231
  • 92. o Industry o Advanced manufacturing o Patents and inventions o Bio tech o Social change  As part of the DNA Project website, consider adding a unique DNA Test. Through a series of questions, drawing identification and right brain/left brain puzzles, the test might evaluate the innate skills, talents and interests of the test taker. The test should be fun and engaging and provide an interesting snapshot of the test-taker’s IQ (Innovation Quotient). A numerical score might indicate the probability that the test- taker will impact the world, the nation, the state, the region or their own neighborhood in art, science, education, etc. Look to Pearson’s ACT testing headquarters within the region as a potential partner for the project.  Develop a mobile application for the DNA Project that highlights ICC innovators/innovations as you move around the region. The application can either be developed using GPS technology, or be set up using QR (quick response) codes. Either way, at pre-programmed spots throughout the region, information pops up on the smartphone regarding the innovative aspects of a particular organization, person or location. For example, at the Englert Theater, a participant might read: Innovation is woven into the rich history of the Englert Theater…first in the vision of William Englert to provide a stylish venue for vaudeville acts in 1912, through the total reconstruction after a devastating fire in 1926. But perhaps the Englert’s greatest story of innovation lies in itsIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 92 of 231
  • 93. most recent restoration, spearheaded by a group of creative local residents who refused to let the aging dame be turned into a bar. After convincing Iowa City to purchase the property, the group formed the Save the Englert campaign. Five years of blood, sweat and fundraising later, the Englert Theater re-opened in all its glory. Today it serves as an historic home for the arts in downtown Iowa City.  Pay particular attention to stories where the innovation required collaboration among individuals or institutions from different geographical areas or fields of endeavor.  Launch a By Innovation Only blog which features stories, people and breakthroughs from the Innovation Inventory. Each innovation broker can be assigned several innovators or innovations from the Inventory to write about. Using a variety of writers from different backgrounds will insure a diversity of voices, perspectives and stories. It will also help prevent the blog from becoming too burdensome to a single author. Bloggers from the various sectors can write about past and current innovators they have spoken with. As the blog becomes established, it will begin to serve as a source for new submissions for the Innovation Inventory as readers suggest people and projects to cover.  By Innovation Only can also be developed into a YouTube channel. Feature a series of videos highlighting innovations and innovators.Responsibility: BM, BMT, CCPriority: 1Timing: 6-18 monthsCost: TBD 6. Develop a visual representation of the innovative nature of Iowa’s Creative Corridor  The three-dimensional double helix used in your advertising executions is immensely adaptable for showcasing the many elements that come together to create the transformative power of the region. In your advertising deliverable, we featured the award-winning work of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. But the digital three-dimensional helix is endlessly flexible and can be adapted as an original way to promote the innovation of any organization, corporation or initiative throughout the area. Here are several versions that could be developed by various entities to illustrate your regional assets: o Cities and counties that make up the region o All past Iowa caucus winners o All-State athletes from the region o Academic award winners from the region o First names of babies born at St. Luke’s and Mercy hospitals in the last decade o Hawkeye athletes that have turned professionalIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 93 of 231
  • 94. o Names of URL’s licensed through Go Daddy o Names of the 30 Fortune 500 companies o Recommended brand vocabulary (and some of your own) that describe the region o Natural and outdoor assets o Cultural assets and organizations o Assets and attractions of a single community, organization or company o Patents or commercialized products that have come out of the University of Iowa and their researchers/inventors/companies o Women of Influence Award winners o Churches and faith-based initiatives o International elements and diversity o An Iowa’s Creative Corridor helix that highlights the major innovative institutions, assets, inventions and innovators from the area  The helix is created through a process called 3D Modeling. Though the example that North Star is featuring in the ad below uses words to form the strands of the helix, the strands can also be customized using photography, graphic elements and embellishment. The size, shape and proportion of the helix can be adjusted to fit the taste and viewpoint of the user. With additional development and programming the helix can be animated for use in video and on websites where they can turn and twist and be set in motion.  From a single helix, you can zoom in on differing parts of the structure to highlight various functions or forms of creativity. For instance, a hospital might create a complete helix that starts with the innovative components of childbirth and infant care and then continues through health/wellness to disease management and finally elder or hospice care. An ad series might then be developed that zooms in on each of these parts of the helix.  The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art might choose to execute a helix using photos of the pieces in their permanent collection. The helix could also be used by foundations and granting organizations to illustrate their grant recipients or projects or by the Eastern Iowa Airport to demonstrate the connectivity of the region with the rest of the country.  This concept, part of the DNA Project, gives every organization or entity within the region the opportunity to take the brand and truly make it their own. In addition, it demonstrates the innovation within the Creative Corridor and invites creativity on the part of the user. Those who create their own custom version can integrate it into their marketing strategy and their web presence.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 94 of 231
  • 95.  The Creative Collaborative members should all consider participation in the custom helix project. As they meet with and interview innovators throughout the region, they can also provide information about the project and help track those who decide to participate. As helixes begin to proliferate around the region, the Creative Collaborative should record who is participating and the information contained in each organization’s DNA. This action will help further develop the bits and pieces of innovation that are considered the building blocks of the region’s transformative power.  The region’s various custom DNA strands can be inter-changed on the brand portal, with stories about the organization, the development of the strand and the information that creates the organization’s helix. This is similar to the approach taken by North Star client Providence, RI, which uses many versions of the letter P in their marketing materials. Last year, the Providence brand was recognized with an award from Rebrand. Click the link below to see the case study from Rebrand, the brand portal site (creative capital) and the Providence government and tourism websites.  One of the primary charges of the innovation brokers is to develop ideas to communicate the scope and substance of the stories gathered through the DNA Project. Once the DNA Project is established, many interesting and engaging community relations efforts can be built around it: o Annually, the Creative Collaborative can ask area architects, engineers and artists to submit designs for a new version of the helix. Allow residents and stakeholders to vote on the choice for the year, produce it and put it on the brand portal website. o Selected community DNA can be featured in an art exhibit, produced on post cards or commemorated on posters. The Providence P’s above, for example, are original designs submitted (and signed) by local talent. The originals might be placed in aIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 95 of 231
  • 96. permanent exhibit at a local museum, auctioned off for charity or displayed in the lobbies of their originating organization. o Since the cost of producing a 3D model version of the helix may be prohibitive for some organizations, the Creative Collaborative might hold an annual contest in which they call for applications for grant funding for a helix. Applicants would submit a sketch of the proposed helix concept, as well as a story of the innovative and transformative elements of their DNA. Use these stories as background for press releases, economic development materials and marketing. o As DNA strands are developed, enlist the assistance of artists, organizations and architects to stretch the interpretation of the helix into other areas. Think of the Absolut bottle example, where a unique bottle shape enhanced with a variety of fonts, colors and backgrounds has become a cultural phenomenon. See bottle styles below, then a book on Absolut marketing and finally, a poster (and magnet set) of artists interpretations and riffs on the Absolut bottle.  Create a helix whose strands are composed of the many awards and rankings recognition that various communities and entities from around the region have received. As additional awards are garnered in future years, the region has a framework to talk about the award on a regional basis and it can be “added to the strand of past awards”Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 96 of 231
  • 97. by updating the helix. This same concept can work for another IWW Pulitzer Prize winner or a new Fortune 500 company, as well.  Use the double helix, perhaps a colorful glass version, as the physical award for regional innovators in a variety of categories. The award itself should be a colorful glass DNA strand that is an original work of art each year.Responsibility: BM, BMT, CCPriority: 1Timing: 6-18 monthsCost: Static custom DNA helix $1000-$2000 each. Custom helix with motion an additional$3000-$5000. 7. Serve as a broker of innovation and spread the word on its importance through special events and programs  Connect local school children with the concept of innovation by asking them to paint, sculpt, photograph, write or compose music about innovation within their lives. Feature the best submissions on the DNA Project website.  Ask art students to design new versions of the double helix art.  Establish a Creative Corridor DNA Project Literary Award for those who write about the spirit of innovation. The award should be based on the model of the Pulitzer or Nobel Prizes. The competition might be for groups of writing coming from the IWW faculty and alumni (a second category might be for anyone who lives in the Creative Corridor). Start with categories like short stories, poetry, essays, journalism, non- fiction, fiction, screenplay, stage play and biography. Eventually, this could transform into a national prize that is open to everyone.  Become known as a center of thought, leadership and education regarding the impact of the arts on science and innovation by becoming involved with the National Science Foundation’s efforts to introduce art into science education. The Art of Science Learning: Shaping the 21st Century Workforce responds to the increasing number of business leaders that have identified a significant “innovation gap” around workforce preparedness in the areas of creativity, collaboration and communication; areas considered critical to their own companies’ competitiveness. Conferences have been held across the country and initiatives are underway. Kirkwood Community College should take the lead with local corporations and businesses to explore and expand the idea of art affecting science learning, as well as creativity, collaboration and communication in the workforce. Some ideas to consider: o Conferences and workshops that bring artists and scientists face-to-face for discussion and collaborative activities o Art camp for science professors or scientists/science camp for artistsIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 97 of 231
  • 98. o Requiring an art portfolio of some sort for college applications – not just standardized test scores o Team teaching with an artist and a business person o Coalition of artists and scientists working together on increasing innovation. The following links will tell you more about the national initiative:  Consider hosting a region-wide science and art fair that serves as a platform for creativity and innovation. Too Cool for School in Toronto, Canada is an example of an art and science fair. The event, which features 40 exhibitors, is just like a regular science fair except that each project must contain an artistic component. Entries are judged and the top eight are allowed to pursue a bigger art/science project to appear in an exhibition. Toronto also hosts an adult science fair. If there is an existing science fair within the region, add an interesting award category for artistic expression or communication.  Work to bring art and business together. Install the work of emerging artists in public spaces, corporate lobbies, university offices and other walkways. Host a local website to sell the art to local buyers.  Create a network of guest lecturers among all the institutions in the area. Colleagues of all universities/colleges attend the lecture of a single professor and have the opportunity to mingle and discuss at the event.  Create a Green Transformation Program that recognizes and promotes green innovation. The project should reward 100 regional leaders, organizations and companies that are advancing sustainable practiceIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 98 of 231
  • 99.  Consider an annual regional event where the innovative initiatives of the past year are honored, all the DNA Project helix art is displayed, and awards are given for the most innovative, creative, transformative thinking and decisions of the year. In addition, the Creative Collaborative should invite leaders in creative thinking to speak to attendees to inform and inspire them.  When the Creative Collaborative has created a strong storehouse of innovators, stories and testimonials about innovation, it is time to make innovation a topic of conversation throughout the region. Contact local governments, community organizations, business associations and forums to pitch the topic of innovation or innovators for their next get together. Tell the story of innovation in the region through speeches, panel discussions, op-ed pieces in local papers and so on. Or provide a featured speaker for organization board meetings, strategic planning meetings and the like. Use the innovators you have identified to tell their own stories. In this capacity, the Creative Collaborative is serving as the Johnny Appleseed of innovation throughout the Creative Corridor – collecting seeds from one innovator and sowing them in other organizations throughout the region.  Along the way, continue to build your network of innovators and entrepreneurs and to capture compelling stories about innovation including innovative approaches to business (even by those who do not produce innovative products).  These are the individuals who will help your region think in a fresh way about economic and community development issues.Responsibility: BM, BMT, CCPriority: 1Timing: 6-18 monthsCost: TBD 8. Measure your innovation in a quantifiable manner  One factor that ICC should measure annually is your Innovation Index. Since the brand is grounded in the concept of creativity and innovation it is critical that stakeholders throughout the region commit to developing an innovation imperative which is measurable and demonstrable. One measurement method is the Innovation Index provided by North Star in the original research portion of the brand initiative. (For more information on the benchmarking, see Objective IV)  The Innovation Index (presented via the Economic Development Administration and provides leaders and practitioners with the first tool for comparing a regions innovation performance with that of the United States, another state, or other regions. Innovation is a multifaceted concept, so this tool allows the exploration of the different dimensions of innovation. The Innovation Index comprises two broad categories: inputs to innovation, whichIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 99 of 231
  • 100. measure innovation capacity, and outputs of innovation, which measure the results. Variables in the Innovation Index are derived from both official government statistical agencies and several private, proprietary sources, including Moody’s, Innovation Economy 360, and Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. The Innovation Index compares regional performance to the United States and is calculated from 4 component indexes. The weight for each variable is listed below. This index can be recalculated annually using the following website:’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 100 of 231
  • 101. North Star has updated the region’s prior Innovation Index below in a chart that compares the scores from our earlier research and your score in 2011 and contrasts it with other regions. When you gather new regional data such as recalculating the Innovation Index, use the opportunity to reengage stakeholders and the public around the issue of regionalism and the economic health of the ICC. Distribute a press release with comments and insights from industrial, corporate and educational leaders, schedule a series of meetings to gather public input and thoughts, or hold a panel discussion with press coverage regarding strategies to increase the region’s Innovation Index.Responsibility: BM, BMT, CCPriority: 1Timing: 6-18 monthsCost: No cost to calculate online.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 101 of 231
  • 102. OBJECTIVE IIIJump start the brand through the members of the Corridor Business AllianceSituation:As the facilitators of the new brand identity, the CBA organizations should be early adopters,embracing and leading this brand initiative. The same is true for the CBA organizations andbusinesses that have been affiliated with the research and creative stages of brand development.These entities should move quickly to make the brand visible within their organizations and toeducate and involve their employees in the brand. This will involve demonstrating the value ofthe brand platform to individuals, organizations and engaging employees in meaningful initiativesrelated to the brand.Note: The ideas presented in this Objective for CBA organizations are equally applicable toother businesses, organizations and non-profits within the region. Initial energy should be spenton CBA organizations, then begin moving brand implementation activities outward in ever-expanding rings to major employers, non-profits, local governments, etc. Further strategies forthese organizations are covered later in this document. Tactics 1. Put the brand to work for the CBA organization  One of the cornerstones of the brand implementation strategy is pursuing an innovation imperative throughout the region to enhance recognition of the creativity and imagination that drive prosperity throughout the Creative Corridor. Out of this creative thought comes the innovation and knowledge that can affect lives, companies and economies.  An immediate action to recognize and provide exposure for this innovation imperative is the addition of the concept to the CBA name. You are not simply a business alliance – you are a creative business alliance. You don’t merely want to encourage regional planning and development – you want to encourage innovative thinking about regional planning and development. To that end, live your purpose through adoption of the name Creative Corridor Business Alliance (CCBA). This repetition of the regional name throughout your group activities will help cement acceptance of the brand.  As you have throughout the brand project, update your CBA website with news and highlights of the implementation plan, starting first with the name change.  North Star has provided an adaptation of the ICC logo for use by the CCBA. Add the logo to the CBA website as soon as possible. In conjunction with the debut of the logo, provide background on the meaning of the identity elements and the logo’s relationship to the brand strategy. Post a portion of the brand narrative on the CBA site, as well.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 102 of 231
  • 103.  In addition to the Corridor 2020 site, CBA members should move to integrate the brand quickly in some simple ways. Following are some ideas: o Integrate custom brand logo or partner logo into: – Websites – Social media – Stationery and business cards – Newsletters – Marketing pieces – Signage o Produce and install: – Pole banners for parking lots, streets, buildings – Flags for flagpoles – Flags/banners for indoor lobbies o Record phone messages for institutions or offices: “Thank you for calling Kirkwood Community College, a Creative Partner in Iowa’s Creative Corridor…” o Use part or all of brand narrative on: – Back of business cards – In lobby – At the bottom of, or watermarked on, stationery – On websites and social media – On press releasesResponsibility: BM, CBAPriority: 1Timing: 3-6 monthsCosts: Custom Flags: Custom Pole Banners: 18x24 = $62.75 24x48 (Two Sided) Qty 50 = $33.00/each 36x60 = $129.00 Qty 150 = $25.00/each 60x96 = $263.00 Qty 250 = $20.00/eachIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 103 of 231
  • 104. 2. Develop a workforce initiative for CBA employers/employees built around innovation  CBA organizations should introduce the new brand with an internal connection to the DNA Project, named after their company (the Alliant DNA Project, for example). The campaign is designed to both introduce the brand, provide a structure for integrating brand value, and to capture and encourage innovation within the business. The campaign calls on all employees within participating organizations to recognize and value innovation – at work, home or within the community. The cumulative impact of one innovative person or one innovative organization can create a deep and meaningful influence on the region.  This campaign ties back to the larger DNA Project, encouraging and emphasizing innovation on both the individual and organizational level. Call on every employee to become an innovation broker within their own area of influence. Encourage employees and managers to submit stories of innovation and transformation to their department managers, who should then provide them to a central source within the company or organization. Use these stories in employee pubications, in media releases and be sure they are submitted to the Brand Manager for inclusion in the regional innovation database.  In preparation for the introduction of the campaign, each CBA organization should decide how they would like to use the campaign internally. The program should emphasize the power of the individual and provide ways for employees to recognize and report innovators or innovative actions in the workplace. Set up a structure for employees – it might be a form to turn in, a page on an employee intranet, or a log where they can jot down an observation anonymously. Innovations can be tiny or huge, but they must represent a new approach or way of doing things. Some areas you may want to suggest for consideration of innovation reporting include: o Customer service o Productivity enhancement o Sustainability, energy efficiency or recycling o Employee benefits (innovative wellness programs or educational programs, for example) program o Community service project o Fund-raising/membership campaigns o Collaborative efforts between departments o Collaborative efforts among regional organizations, non-profits and fellow CBA businesses in other parts of the regionResponsibility: BM, CBAPriority: 1 for development of DNA Project at CBA organizationsTiming: 3-6 monthsCosts: No hard cost for program development.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 104 of 231
  • 105. 3. Develop a CBA employee version of the brand presentation with an emphasis on the DNA Project  Develop a brand presentation for CBA employees called Iowa’s Creative Corridor: By Innovation Only. This presentation should tell the story of the Creative Corridor and brand development through the lens of innovation – the many innovators and innovations in the region (past and present), the transformative decision to approach the future in a regional mindset, the development of a regional brand and now the regional DNA Project.  Emphasize the importance of the DNA Project: the value of innovation in the workplace and in the region to remain competitive on a state, national and international scale. Each CBA entity should include a customized slide that lists a few bullet points highlighting basic examples of innovation within the organization (examples might be: providing innovative training programs for employees, offering educational scholarships, vacation policies or personal days for relaxation or rejuvenation, corporate or organizational community service or philanthropy, annual employee events, discount tickets to local cultural attractions or assets).  When you make the announcement, be ready to provide specific methods for employees to become involved in reporting and promoting innovation within their department.  Be sure to let employees know how you will share the results from their innovation monitoring. Here are some ideas: o Add a regular DNA Project feature to employee newsletters o Send a regular e-blast to employees about the Project o Publish a company or employee blog titled It’s In Our DNA that tells the many great stories of innovation that you uncover through your research o Sponsor DNA Project or Innovation Awards for employees and/or departmentsResponsibility: BM, CBAPriority: 1Timing: 3 monthsCosts: Creative costs to hire writer and possibly designer for development of professionalquality PowerPoint or video presentation. If you are contracting development of yourPowerPoint presentations, use the same vendor for all versions to insure homogenous feel andcost savings. 4. Meet with organization department heads to discuss brand roll-out  Each CBA member should preview the CBA brand presentation with department managers. Use this opportunity to explain and discuss the brand, the DNA Project and plans for launching the program. Let managers know that the initial phase of the DNA Project involves gathering data on existing examples of innovation and promoting thatIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 105 of 231
  • 106. innovation throughout the organization and the region. Some companies may find it helpful for the Brand Manager to attend these manager meetings.  You may want to run a teaser campaign for your employees. In employee newsletters and/or on banners or posters, ask the question: What’s in Your DNA? OR What’s in Our DNA?  Present each department head with a brand toolkit and a brand pin or alternatively, with a branded polo or t-shirt. Ask department heads to start wearing their brand pins or shirts at the onset of the teaser campaign. These could be the standard ICC brand pin or a special DNA pin. See some examples of DNA pins available commercially below (also available in round shape).  Allow time for discussion of the current company/organization brand and how the regional brand will be customized, integrated or co-branded. Emphasize the importance of creating a powerful, standardized, effective umbrella brand for the region. Discuss how and why CBA employees should lead the DNA Project.  While meeting with the department heads, brainstorm physical assets within their company or group where the brand might be displayed for additional visibility. Examples might be vehicles, uniforms, premium items, departmental awards and recognition,Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 106 of 231
  • 107. shipping materials, employee publications/newsletters, branded glassware for conference centers and so on.  Each organization should consider whether or not to form an internal Innovation Inventory Team (or DNA Team). The need for this will be based on the size of the organization and the scope of the brand initiatives that the department managers have brainstormed.Responsibility: BM, CBA members, and their department managersPriority: 1Timing: 1-6 monthsCosts: Branded polos for department heads Quantity of 25 @ $7.31 = $182.75 5. Hold By Innovation Only brand meetings with CBA organization employees  Now that they have been fully briefed and are on board with the brand, CBA department heads should hold a series of orientation meetings with their employees to present the employee version of the Brand PowerPoint or video. If available, the Brand Manager can also attend.  Following the presentation, lead a group discussion on the value of innovation and how it has affected/improved your organization. Review how employees can become involved in the DNA Project and ask for suggestions regarding how the company or organization might enlarge the scope of the project or put the brand to use. Discuss the importance of being an ambassador for the DNA Project within the company and eventually the community. Get the brainstorming started by sharing any ideas already developed for incorporating the Project or brand messaging into the organization’s structure and operations.  Produce t-shirts or brand pins for employees. On the shirt front, consider one of the following: o Iowa’s Creative Corridor o It’s in our DNA o Be creative. Be twisted (logo screened back behind). Be transformed.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 107 of 231
  • 108.  On the back of the shirt, include the name of the company or organization (if they desire) and the brand logo.  Hold quarterly or semi-annual meetings for new hires to introduce the brand as employees come on board.  Hold ongoing brainstorming meetings regarding integration and advancement of the innovation brand. Each CBA organization should identify an internal BMT to serve as a delegate to a CBA brand council. This will be a working group responsible for connecting their organizations with the brand. (Be sure that young professionals are included and represented).Responsibility: BM, CBAPriority: 1 for employee meetings; 3 for t-shirtsTiming: 3-6 monthsCosts: T-shirts: Two-color screen printed logo, one side only, Hanes tagless , 1,000 @ about$6.59 each = $6,600.00Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 108 of 231
  • 109. 6. Develop a branded award or recognition program for employees  It is important to create an initiative for BMT and brand driver employees that rewards individuals, committees and departments for behavior that exemplifies the character of the brand (innovation, creativity, knowledge, learning, transformation).  Develop employee service awards to recognize exemplary employees or departments in CBA organizations. With so many DNA Project submissions, each organization should have many examples of innovation to celebrate. You may choose to focus on one major award or to present several awards in various categories. Employee awards should be called Innovations in ( … ) with customization within each department/company. This allows the brand to extend across all variations in award titles. For instance, awards might be Innovations in o Safety o Customer Service o Community Service o Research and Development o Education o Productivity  Annually, present the employee awards in some kind of public forum – at an annual all- employee meeting, for instance, with appropriate fanfare and press coverage.  Provide winners with a token of their award – a plaque, t-shirt, or specially designed award.  Showcase award winners in employee communications, on the organization website and in press releases.  When you roll out the brand on a larger scale to other employers within the region, provide the award artwork in the brand toolkit so that other employers can implement their own awards program within their organizations.Responsibility: BM, CBA, department managersPriority: 2Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: Cost for additional premiums TBD based on items selected. 7. Make decisions on the role of the regional brand logo on CBA partner stationery.  During the brainstorming process, organizations should discuss how they might co- brand their existing communications with the new Iowa’s Creative Corridor logo. For instance, the ICC logo could be added at the bottom of current letterhead when it is reprinted. Rather than using the logo itself, some companies or organizations mayIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 109 of 231
  • 110. choose to integrate brand narrative language on the back of their business cards or on their stationery.  Existing brochures, recruitment packages, visitor’s information, etc. will also need to be reprinted with the new logo. Eventually, these pieces should be reworked entirely to reflect the new brand in copy and tone. Some organizations may choose to brand or co-brand only their letterhead or business cards; others may find it useful to carry the brand theme throughout their internal and external communications vehicles.  Work with CBA members to determine a timeframe for departments and organizations within which to use up old materials and order new materials in the spirit of the brand.Responsibility: BM, CBA, department heads/managersPriority: 1Timing: 6-12 monthsCosts: To be absorbed into individual organization’s regular printing budgets.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 110 of 231
  • 111. OBJECTIVE IVDeveloping a greater sense of regionalism through brand projectsSituation:Developing a regional mindset is the most important aspect and one of the most challengingaspects of your collective future as a region. It is the foundation on which regional successrests. While you are an area that shares a labor force, environmental assets and culturalamenities, the prevailing attitude is still one which stresses individual community identity. Totruly work as a region, businesses, institutions and individuals must begin to identify with theirregional assets and issues as well as their hometown resources and concerns.While the Corridor Business Alliance has made strides in generating conversations and projectsto advance regional thinking, much work remains to be done. North Star research revealedthat while a majority of residents and stakeholders acknowledge there is value in a regionalapproach to economic and community development, there is also a distrust of what regionalismmay mean to local identities.Under the flagship of the brand, the Creative Corridor should grow a more dynamic sense ofregionalism through development of regional communication vehicles, identification andassessment of regional imperatives and collaborative cultural and social projects across theregion. Tactics 1. Look for opportunities for partnership and influence  The new regional brand provides the Creative Corridor a mechanism around which to structure partnerships and provide input on projects throughout the State and the region. The State of Iowa is restructuring, streamlining and re-evaluating the State’s approach to economic development. The business enterprise and research expertise of the region, though dispersed and operating with an independent mindset, include the key components for an innovation hub. Stakeholders and thought leaders within the region have moved to consolidate organizations and efforts in a more effective and efficient structure. These developments offer a new horizon of opportunity for Iowa’s Creative Corridor.  Several major opportunities for synergy were uncovered in North Star’s research and site visits. Among them is the reorganization at the Iowa Department of Economic Development privatization of the Iowa Innovation Corporation. The message from the State and the message from the Corridor are in alignment: innovation is the imperative. The State’s message of Iowa Life Changing intersects usefully with the ICC’s transformative qualities.  Through a meeting with the State Economic Development Director, the EDC has been updated on the regional approaches developing within ICC. Stay in close contact with the State office to continue development of this relationship on a regional basis. Iowa’sIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 111 of 231
  • 112. Creative Corridor should position itself as a leading regional model consistent with the State’s new plans to guide innovation investments and emphasize regional economic development. Strategies for maintaining communication might include: o Add State level officials to the distribution list for all regional economic development related activities, including updates from the CBA, Corridor 2020, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, ICAD and newly developed brand publications. o Review the membership of the Iowa Innovation Council (IIC) for adequate representation from the region. Make sure Iowa Innovation Council members from the region are fully briefed on the regional brand, community and economic development issues and achievements. This should include proactive steps like supplying ideas for the success stories section of the Iowa Innovation Council website (uncovered through the research of your Creative Corridor); periodic meetings with Iowa Innovation Council members by regional representatives; adding Iowa Innovation Council members to regional distribution, press release and event invitation lists; and annual Iowa’s Creative Corridor FAM tours for Iowa Innovation Council members. o As you uncover examples of innovation throughout the Creative Corridor, focus on the life-changing ripples that may have been created as a result—either in the life of the innovator or organization, or in the lives of those who use or are affected by the innovation. Take these stories or case studies to the State and suggest they be included in future publications, workshops or feature stories of Life Changing moments in Iowa. o Place ICC ads in State Innovation Council publications like the Innovation Guide to increase State-wide exposure. The ad might include a DNA variation featuring the unique innovations associated with the region. Include powerful copy about how creative innovation is in the DNA of the Creative Corridor and so on.  Another opportunity for alignment exists with the multiple regional branding initiatives underway throughout the region. The Creative Corridor brand should bring together representatives of these projects to discuss synergy of messaging and identity elements among all the new projects and the ICC brand. While each of these initiatives will have a clear individual identity, maximum impact will be achieved if there is a discernable relationship and some consistent themes among the major players of the region. Obviously, the primary ICC brand message of innovation, transformation, and creativity are easily applied to all of these entities. Make sure the regional brand voice is heard during planning sessions for these new brands. Brainstorm projects for co-branding, co- op advertising and supporting one another in messaging. Among the brand projects currently in progress are: o University of Iowa’s first brand research and development project o The State’s new reorganization of the EDA and Innovation Council o Collaboration of three Cedar Rapids hospitals to create a destination Medical Quarters facilityIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 112 of 231
  • 113. o Consolidation of the economic and community development organizations in the Cedar Rapids area into the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance o Rebranding and updating the messaging of the Eastern Iowa Airport o Though not an actual rebranding effort, it appears that the City of Cedar Rapids is prepared to let its long-time, often misunderstood Five Seasons brand expire.  Throughout the region, groups such as Chambers of Commerce and the CVBs are not currently well organized around collaborative efforts. Even if the region is not prepared to launch into a major regional restructuring for these kinds of organizations, there is great value in collaborating on messaging and group partnerships. Look for small steps toward a more regional focus such as bringing all Chambers together to talk about approaches to brand messaging from a business perspective or how to help members market themselves regionally in a business-to-business campaign with a regional emphasis.  Organization around a regional identity, coupled with collaborative efforts at many levels to combine resources and operate at a more effective scale, should offer new opportunities for funding for the brand and for the region. Increasingly, funders (whether private or public) are drawn to regional visions and partnerships. With a greater regional emphasis, Iowa’s Creative Corridor becomes a stronger contender for funding such as the following: o Newly developed State funds for investment in innovation strategies at the state level o US EDA plans to launch a national competitive regional grant program to provide federal investment money in high quality innovation regions. The ICC, supported by the State, will make an attractive target for these federal dollars. o Private foundations are also becoming more regionally focused. Research and approach local, state and national foundations with emphasis on innovation and collaboration as potential funding sources. (See Objective I for recommendation on hiring a grant writer)Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 1 for establishing regional strategy prioritiesTiming: 3-6 monthsCosts: No hard cost for initial priority development and conversation. 2. Be innovative in exploring ways to use the brand with key stakeholders  Once the DNA Project is well underway, Creative Collaborative members should begin to move forward with planning for more complex strategies and initiatives. At this point, host a brainstorming meeting for the Creative Collaborative membership to help draw out ideas for brand projects for Creative Collaborative members and major regional stakeholders. North Star client Lima-Allen County, OH did just that with community leaders and reaped a host of synergistic ideas. Their brand, built on the platform of “real American strength”, inspired the local symphony director toIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 113 of 231
  • 114. commission an original score interpreting the concept. The superintendent of the public school district, also at the meeting, asked if a simplified version could be provided for student groups to learn and perform – and a community partnership was born. The local hospital decided to use the concept of strength when discussing the strength of staff and patients in combating illness. As the session went on, ideas began to flow more freely. These sessions may start slow, but with some exploration, should pick up steam as the discussion becomes more creative.  Gather your regional stakeholders together and discuss ideas that may be feasible for the region. Here are some to consider as you get started: o Rebrand the airport as Iowa’s Air Corridor – Immediate opportunity:  Change the name of the facility to Iowa’s Air Corridor. If you feel it is important to maintain a geographic reference, make it Eastern Iowa’s Air Corridor. As the primary airport in a large geographic area, it is important to tie the name of the facility to the name of the region to increase name recognition for both. Like Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the expectation is that, over time, the airport would come to be called Air Corridor.  Develop new signage for both external and internal use. – Longer-term opportunity:  Travelling is a transformative experience – ask regional artists to interpret the power of travel through their art. Establish a permanent collection at the Eastern Iowa Airport. Follow the link on the following page to learn more about the art at Indianapolis International Airport. Note that the permanent collection features the words of six poets imposed over semi- transparent free-form stained glass designs that are installed in the large windows of the airport. This would work well at the Eastern Iowa Airport in the Corridor where international flags now hang. If you prefer, use passages from some of the Pulitzer Prize winning IWW books, particularly if they interpret or reference creativity, innovation or transformation. In Indiana, the Airpoets (as they were called) travelled together giving readings of their work and a book was produced highlighting the work of the poets and that of the visual artist.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 114 of 231
  • 115. o Involve the universities and colleges in the brand and the innovation imperative. Few other entities within the region have as many resources, opportunities and innovation stories to tell as those at your institutions of higher education. – Immediate opportunity:  Meet with communications and sports information personnel at all area universities and colleges to brief them on the new regional brand and the DNA Project. In addition to gathering stories of innovation, encourage communications staff to reference their institution’s location in Iowa’s Creative Corridor on letterhead, websites and in publications. Closing paragraphs should be developed for press releases to reflect the institution’s importance and relevance within the region. In addition, the Brand Manager should work with communications staff to develop brand narratives for use throughout the campus. Brand language and narrative should be incorporated into university/college/community college ads, catalogs and marketing materials.  Reflect the brand at college, university and medical meetings, conferences, consortiums and other gatherings. Provide a toolkit for research entities that includes a brand narrative, customized logos, fun merchandise and a branded video welcome message that celebrates the spirit of innovation in both research and in leisure.  Kirkwood Community College has an established reputation for its flexibility and innovation in supporting area industry and business through workforce development. Work with Kirkwood to add brand language and messaging about innovation or transformation to marketing materials for these programs. Co-branded testimonials from area businesses or former students could be featured on the Kirkwood or regional economic development web portal.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 115 of 231
  • 116. – Longer-term opportunity:  Identify key alumni from local colleges to serve as innovation brokers throughout the region and the world. This diverse group of professionals should speak on their personal stories of transformation and innovation within the region, including how the university or college prepared them for success and innovation in their adult life. Those who live out of town or out- of-state can host and/or attend alumni gatherings and talk about innovation. These Innovation Ambassadors should receive special perks for their service, including preferred seating at University events, tickets for guest lectures and so on.  Establish a Center of Innovation (or Transformation) at Kirkwood Community College or the University of Iowa. At the Center, focus on scheduling events, speakers and classes that focus on the process of building innovation within individuals, within organizations and within communities. Each semester’s speaker series might focus on innovation within a different area. o Connect and claim the creativity and innovation in your local theaters, performance groups, museums and galleries with your regional brand. Few institutions are as full of creativity as those that involve artistic endeavors. – Immediate Opportunity:  Develop an ICC Creative Partner plaque that can be displayed on Innovation Inventory assets like museums, art studios, restaurants, corporate headquarters, advertising agencies, theaters and so on to indicate their contribution to innovation within the region. The plaque should be designed so that it can be displayed either outside by the entry or inside in a lobby area. (Organizations which contribute money to the brand effort should also be included in this recognition initiative, even if their work product is not considered “creative”.)  Provide the Creative Partner artwork to performing groups, museums and theaters so that they can develop additional partner signage for exhibits, special pieces, particular performances, catalogs and so on. In addition to the Partner art, provide standard brand-related sentences that can be included in press releases, catalogs and programs. – Longer-term Opportunity  Highlight your Grant Wood connection and have a little fun by reimagining the classic American Gothic in new ways. This should be a fun and accessible event with opportunities for every age level to participate. Consider a range of reinterpretation categories for entries, including pointillism, politicalIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 116 of 231
  • 117. incarnation, celebrity parodies, images made entirely of corn products, digitally re-imagined images, macaroni art and editorial cartoons. Include categories for high school and college level artists and grade school art classes. For the opening, add a costume contest. Exhibits from the contest should appear in regional malls, museums, Visitor Centers, schools and so on. You may want to auction off the entries upon completion of the event with proceeds donated to an art-related initiative within the region. o Engaging your regional communities and counties will be an important component of success for the DNA Project and for the brand. Every town, city and county should want to affiliate with an innovation initiative in order to appear competitive within the marketplace. Here are some strategies for getting them involved. – Immediate Opportunities  Be sure there is a sector group working with all communities – including your outlying and smaller towns -- to gather stories for the Innovation Inventory. Every community has stories of innovators – be sure you don’t miss any. EICOG would be a good partner in this effort.  Provide Creative Partner plaques for government buildings such as city halls, courthouses and county office buildings.  Demonstrate simple, low-cost methods that communities can use for co- branding: double pole banners, partner icons for websites, linking back and forth with the DNA and/or brand website, adding the ICC logo to municipal/county stationery and publications.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 117 of 231
  • 118. – Longer-Term Opportunities  Partner together to hold a regional conference on Innovation in Government. For ideas and excellent reading on local government innovation, subscribe to Innovators Insights, a publication of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. See APPENDIX I for some sample newsletters and visit their website:  Look for new and innovative ways to engage your residents on a regional basis and to involve them in region-wide conversations on how to improve their home. One of the newest methods of engagement and crowdsourcing is gathering ideas via the internet. Change By Us, an initiative in Philadelphia, asks residents how to make their neighborhoods smarter, safer and greener. Residents provide input and stay informed via the website and Twitter. The effort is supported by the Mayor and funded in part by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Knight Foundation. Residents may propose a project and start a discussion group around that topic, or join groups for projects they are interested in. The website also displays the photos and titles of Philadelphia politicians and staff members in charge of collecting information from Change By Us and considering implementation of projects. @ChangeByUs_PHL.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 118 of 231
  • 119.  Design a structure for regional innovation and collaboration programs. While a variety of events are sponsored at either one end of the region or the other by Chambers or economic development groups, and regional events are periodically scheduled by the CBA, there is no formal, on-going structure that encourages collaboration and conversation among peers within the Creative Corridor. Consider developing some of the following ideas to encourage a more regional mindset: o ICC Research Directors Council: Create an association of scientific and research leaders (academic and commercial) in the region. Arrange for the group to meet for monthly luncheons to network and hear presentations on topics of common interest. It is critical that the speakers be high quality and of interest to most of the participants. For instance, consider thought leaders in the fields of innovation and discovery, representatives from commercialization efforts affiliated with other universities, experts on research policy or the environment necessary for successful high-impact research and so on. Consider high level speakers such as Nobel Prize winners, university chancellors, CEO’s of corporations with major research initiatives, etc. Below is a membership form for a similar type of group in the Research Triangle. – Innovation in ICC: This free series of monthly talks could be held as a lunch and learn type event featuring discussions by leaders from a variety of ICC companies. Topics might focus on new innovations and trends within or across industries, ways a company encourages innovation among employees or obstacles to innovation. Consider topics such as social networking, green practices, renewable energy, innovative industry clusters or whatever the group seems to gravitate toward. Support the series with a LinkedIn group to allow discussion to continue outside of the scheduled meetings. – Marketing Collaborative: Develop a monthly series featuring thought leaders and industry experts discussing strategies to leverage innovative marketing concepts and tools. This should be an opportunity for creative marketers to strengthen their marketing efforts, form a collaborative community, foster the sharing of ideas and to build brands and businesses throughout the region.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 119 of 231
  • 120. Again, the quality of the presenters and of the attendees will make a difference in the value of the program. – Regional Innovation Awards: come together annually for a gala event and prestigious awards recognizing those who inspire, innovate and move the region forward. Recognition might go to organizations, institutions, individuals, groups or non-profits. Make sure the quality of the event and the awards match the importance of the celebration. Custom helix jewelry may be one idea for honorees.Responsibility: BM, CBAPriority: 1 for brainstorming ideas and developing prioritiesTiming: 3-6 monthsCosts: No hard cost for program development. See page 103 for pole banners. Premium itemand award costs (jewelry) TBD upon selection. 3. Establish regional opportunities and benchmarks and share them with the region  Iowa’s Creative Corridor must learn to think of itself as an interdependent region – the sum of all of its parts, rather than many independent entities acting alone. In order to think as a region, stakeholders must identify regional assets, opportunities and threats; develop strategies to affect these issues; and then measure the effectiveness of those strategies.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 120 of 231
  • 121.  This approach, if many voices are engaged, will help push regional collaboration to the front of your public and private agenda by calling attention to regional needs and goals.  While there have been successful regional data gathering and planning initiatives such as the Regional Economic Development and Transportation Plan, the branding initiative and the Flood Recovery initiative, the Creative Corridor should now move forward to outline its on-going opportunities and goals AND to package them in an accessible, understandable method for general public consumption and conversation. In addition, the region should plan an annual benchmarking exercise to assess the impact of strategies and the on-going health of the region.  The West Michigan Strategic Alliance ( is a region that has experienced success with this approach. Formed in 2000 as a catalyst for collaboration and cooperation, the group started with a 40-person Leadership forum that included public, private, education and non-profit leaders. These WMSA leaders launched a two- year initiative to assess regional strengths and weaknesses in ten core areas: o Environment o Economy o Education and research o Health and human services o Tourism o Arts and culture o Land use o Infrastructure o Transportation/logistics o Governance  In each core area, a Leadership Forum member chaired an essential activity committee of community volunteers with expertise in that area. (250 total committee volunteers). This process resulted in the 2002 publication of a document called The West Michigan Common Framework that described the present state of the region for each essential activity. The report also outlined six priority recommendations for regional collaboration: o Create a regional mindset o Foster a prosperous economy o Strengthen community through diversity o Ensure a sustainable environment o Revitalize urban centers o Develop a regional growth strategy  Regional mindset was intentionally listed as the first priority since success in all other areas eventually would rely on creating a shared sense of region in an area not known for collaborative thinking. The three cities within the region each operated withIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 121 of 231
  • 122. independent strategies for industrial development, growth and land use. People identified themselves as from Holland or Grand Rapids, not from West Michigan.  Calling for a change in mindset is much easier than actually achieving it. However the WMSA worked to focus on this change in two key ways: design and distribution of The Common Framework publication and the use of on-going community engagement.  The Common Framework served as an eye-opener for many within the region. For each of the 10 essential activities, graphics illustrated how the communities within the region were connected. Positioned as “information and maps for community decision- makers”, leaders throughout the region have used the document as a basis for discussion at dozens of community forums where they heard feedback on the recommendations and recruited volunteers. Every year, the WMSA implements regional listening sessions to test and refine its priorities. Below is an illustration from the West Michigan Common Framework.  Progress on the six priorities for regional collaboration has not always been straightforward or easy. For example, creating effective partnerships across government sectors has proven challenging. While the economics make sense, it has taken longer than first anticipated to develop sufficient community support and social capital to overcome resistance to political collaboration.  In moving forward with initiatives over the years, WMSA has learned that specific and measurable goals help build coalitions that can overcome barriers. For example, a stagnant Green Infrastructure Strategy has been re-energized with an expanded Green Infrastructure Leadership Council (GILC) comprised of 30 members representing theIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 122 of 231
  • 123. geo-political and demographic diversity of the region. Specific goals have been embraced for dune preservation, trail development, farm land preservation, brown field development, metropolitan planning and acres of land conserved. Thus far, of the 18,000 acre goal, more than 3,000 acres have been protected.  Collaboration among environmental and planning entities within the region (13 total) includes shared best practices and regular, established communication channels. Multi- jurisdictional charrettes have brought together neighboring governments to establish a shared vision for revitalizing adjoining areas.  The WMSA has now institutionalized its strategies for civic engagement and initiative development and follows it systematically to move regional vision to successful implementation.  The second publication that plays a significant role in the success of the WMSA is the annual publication called Vital Signs, which uses regional indicators to measure trends in Economic Prosperity, Environmental Integrity and Social Justice. This information is compared to the benchmarks of competing regions and used to help residents understand the bigger picture. See sample benchmark from Vital Signs Below:Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 123 of 231
  • 124. For more on the WMSA and other regional case studies, consult the following links (a copy of the following PDFs are included on the Final BrandAMP CD):  North Star recommends that the Corridor Business Alliance consider adoption of a similar strategy to the WMSA in engaging the public, enlarging the volunteer pool, indentifying issues and priorities and then developing consumer-friendly documents which create a compelling picture of the regional imperative. Benchmarking against competitive regions is a critical factor in the equation, as it both allows for recognition of success and provides a sense of urgency for areas of concern. While the Corridor Business Alliance has previously compiled some regional data, these statistics were not interpreted in terms of any regional vision nor compared with specific competitor regions.  Collection, comparison and discussion of data keep regional conversations and commitment energetic and focused. When deciding on factors to benchmark, be sure to include the Innovation Index calculations in your findings (See Objective II)  In the first year, expand the leadership base of the regional effort to bring in more voices and more participation. Use the input from these participants to define the core areas critical to the prosperity and lifestyle of the region. Then form study or advisory groups for each area. These groups will focus on the health and needs of their study topic. From these study groups and their findings, distill the factors into priority actions for regional collaboration. Keep this number manageable – remember that Western Michigan had only six regional priorities and ten essential action categories.  As part of the project, develop a series of good, consumer-friendly maps that can be used to discuss the issues and assets of the region. Each map should include the brand identity graphic elements. You may want maps that cover the following kinds of topics: o Tourism, hospitality, arts and entertainment assets o Outdoor activities: trails, lakes, rivers, parks, etc. o Environmental issues o Economic development clusters, assets o Demographics, and population shifts o Educational assets o Healthcare assets  In year two and beyond, publish your findings in a compelling document that serves as both a wakeup call and a roadmap for the region. You might title it The Innovation Imperative. Then use the document to expand community knowledge and engagement in regional issues. Once areas of common interest and importance have been indentified and action plans developed, move forward with benchmarking to gauge yourIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 124 of 231
  • 125. progress. Your annual benchmarking publication could be called Innovation Vital Signs or ICC Vital Signs.Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 1 for establishing a group to lead the benchmarking initiativeTiming: 12-24 monthsCosts: No hard cost for discussions. 4. Develop a branded regional web portal  In this electronic information age, websites are absolutely critical to any communications plan. As computers become more affordable and high-speed access readily available, web usage will continue to increase (Americans currently average more than 100 hours per person per month online). Already, the internet is the fastest growing new information medium of all time. In addition, internet communications are an extremely affordable way to share your message and reach both residents and visitors – at the time and place most convenient for them.  As part of your new coordinated approach to messaging, a single Iowa’s Creative Corridor website should exist as a central resource. While this site should be primarily aimed at economic development issues and information, it should also provide links and background on quality of life assets within the region. This central portal should reflect the brand in both design and content and should be reciprocally linked to the following types of organizations: Local governments Area Chambers of Commerce Area economic development organizations Area CVB’s Regional foundations, non-profits and philanthropies Entertainment, athletic, art and culture/Cultural Corridor site Educational assets such as school systems, colleges and universities DNA Project webpages or site or mobile application This type of centralization allows internet users to easily find and access comprehensive information while each organization maintains their independence. Linking your hub portal to all of these assets (and vice versa) will increase the search engine potential of all the websites.  The following domain names are currently being held as potential web addresses for the portal: o o o o Iowascreativecorridor.comIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 125 of 231
  • 126. o o  Use the portal to tell the creative innovation story of your region in interesting and unique ways. Employ interactive elements like video, photos, graphics or surveys to engage your users. Feature a version of the custom helix designed by a local artist or one that was developed to be used by a local corporation.  The Brand Manager should be in charge of managing the brand portal, working with an advisory group of regional economic development professionals. For more on the regional web portal, see Objective V.Responsibility: BM, BMT, ED and business organizationsPriority: 1Timing: 3 months to initiate discussion with partners about site design and contentCosts: Design and construction of an attractive, interactive website: $50,000 and up. 5. Provide recognition and visibility for those who support the brand  Develop a designation (and logo) to recognize those organizations, entities and individuals that support your branding efforts through partnership funding, publicity or in-kind donations. This list should include the Creative Collaborative members. Partner logos should be featured on the websites of those who are assisting with the brand and on the ICC web portal. In addition, provide partners with the ICC Creative Partner Plaque for display on their building, in their lobby or in their office (see Tactic 2 above). See two examples of Partner icons, one from Kansas City and one from Columbus, Indiana.  For a look at the way Nashville, TN recognizes their brand champions, see APPENDIX J.Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 1Timing: 6-24 monthsCosts: Minimal production costs for adding Partners to websites. Production and printingcosts for decals and POP signs. 6. Enter the world of emerging media  Make it a priority to monitor and participate in the arena of emerging media (also called social media). Among the platforms in this category are Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Wikipedia.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 126 of 231
  • 127.  Wikipedia, the crowdsourced on-line encyclopedia and reference site is often a forgotten resource in this group. But as of May, 2010, 53% of American internet users turn to Wikipedia to find information about a topic of interest (Pew Research Study). That number is up from 36% in 2007, a substantial increase. Every community and its organizations should remember to check their Wikipedia entry on a regular schedule. Since anyone can contribute information to the entry, facts can sometimes become skewed. The importance of this task cannot be overemphasized – prospective businesses, potential new residents, college students, and trailing spouses are all likely to turn to Wikipedia as one of their first sources of information. Write and submit a reference article about Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Include both background information and statistical information. Detail newly collected regional data and benchmarks. Share a list of local innovators and innovations and their impact on the world.  The popularity and functions of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn and YouTube continue to grow. Once thought to be the domain of high school and college students, recent research shows that the fastest growing user demographic on Facebook is 35 years and up. And Twitter has experienced an exponential rise in participants of all ages, with growth of 1400% in the past year. 70% of marketers in a poll by Mash able indicated they planned to increase their social media budget by at least 10% in the next year.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 127 of 231
  • 128.  Use branded social media sites as a way to disseminate information, receive feedback and call residents to action. Establish social media accounts for Iowa’s Creative Corridor across all platforms (in both Facebook and Twitter you can subscribe to a vanity URL such as innovationcorridor). In Flickr, YouTube and LinkedIn, you simply name your channel. In addition to using these tools for brand communications, allow all regional communities to use the sites as a way to announce community events, promote resident engagement, increase special event participation or conduct surveys.  Add links for your brand social media sites as icons embedded underneath the signature of employees in local government jurisdictions e-mails. Facebook also has a free widget for promoting your Facebook page on your website. List your web address on your social media sites and vice versa. This provides visibility and encourages readers to click through to the sites immediately.  Set up a Facebook non-profit page with an eye-catching landing page encouraging your fans to “like” you. Here you can post photographs, embed surveys, update readers, link to blogs and websites, “like” other regional organizations, engage with fans, hold contests, get feedback and discuss issues around the Creative Corridor.  Use the power of YouTube to promote the brand message and to bring the power of video to your communications. Here are some ideas for videos: o Profiles and interviews with entrepreneurs, innovators, athletes, artists and other interesting residents o Quality of life videos showing the many great ways to Create, Innovate and Play in the ICCIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 128 of 231
  • 129. o How-to videos from area chefs demonstrating how to make a restaurant quality dish at home o Video competitions among high school and college students for short films interpreting quotes or phrases form Iowa Writers’ Workshop books or poems o Marketing videos that demonstrate visually why ICC is a wonderful place for tourists, entrepreneurs, and young people o Videos made by and for young professionals that highlight interests and activities for young professionals and creatives o Tourism videos highlighting outdoor activities, natural beauty, arts and culture, and so on. o Economic development related videos that demonstrate the competitive advantages and inspiration of the region  Implement Twitter for all kinds of announcements, reminders and updates. Continue to expand your use to other applications, as well. Below are some ideas currently being used by other cities: o Grand openings and special events o Updates on special campaigns and public initiatives o Real-time information during festivals and events regarding traffic congestion and detours, o Economic Development: announcements of new projects, new sites available, quality of life and amenities, special events o A Day in the Life: 24 hours of Tweets from venues around ICC o Promote events and provide color commentary and updates from local festivals o Call residents to action for a community service day  Establish a Flickr page for the Creative Corridor. Many of your smaller communities have few photos on their websites or Facebook pages. Providing a location for photographers to post their area photographs will provide you with an opportunity browse through available photos and purchase usage rights, often at a very affordable cost. It also showcases the assets of your region when Flickr users search for you.  Get going with Foursquare, an app for phones that allows users to share their location with friends by “checking in” at locations around town. An easy way to recommend restaurants, exhibits at museums, new stores or to see if any of your friends are attending the same concert you are. Those who check in most often at a venue become the “mayor”. Participating attractions and retailers offer a variety of discounts for Foursquare users: o Mayor Specials: Daily discounts or freebies for the mayor o Check-in specials: unlocked when you’ve been to a venue multiple times (Foursquare says you’ve visited 10 times – that means a free drink for you!) o Wildcard Specials: verify extra conditions to qualityIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 129 of 231
  • 130. – (Show me your “Foursquare Swarm Badge and get 10% off. Foursquare players earn their swarm badge by checking into a location where 50 other people have checked in during the last three hours – a sporting event, for instance.) Check how your venue is performing over time using Foursquare analytics.  Social media is a great real-time marketing option to achieve a specific objective within a defined time period. Calgary, Canada was nominated as a potential location to be featured on the game board for a new Hasbro Monopoly Canada edition. Those cities to feature and their position on the Monopoly board were to be determined by voters on a Hasbro website. Calgary set the goal of obtaining one of the most coveted spots – Boardwalk or Park Place. The mayor launched the campaign with a press conference, dressed as the Monopoly banker. Calgary staged a campaign for votes using special accounts on Facebook, Twitter, a local blog and personal interaction. The City established a Facebook page especially for the campaign posting regular updates, encouraging residents to like the page, share with friends and tweet the updates. On Twitter, the City also established a Tweet schedule, setting special hashtags for the contest and asking residents to retweet the updates. The Mayor/Monopoly Banker wrote about the contest in a regular City of Calgary blog post.  How did Calgary do? They took first place in the contest and earned themselves the coveted spot on the Monopoly board. And then used social media to notify the many residents who had participated in the voting of the location of a special celebration to commemorate the event. Be sure to note how Calgary continued to promote its message of high quality of life and clean, safe City as they campaigned for the prize.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 130 of 231
  • 131.  For instance, Mt. Vernon’s Chalk the Walk Festival might announce a contest for a chance to have your portrait drawn in chalk at the event. To be entered in the contest, residents have to “like” the brand page. Promote the opportunity on Twitter as well.  Social media is also an excellent platform for discussing community issues like the Change by Us campaign or a community health campaign being sponsored by local business. In the early phases, use Facebook and Twitter to stimulate discussion of stories for the Innovation Inventory. Ask residents to vote for favorite innovators of all time in a Facebook survey. Once the campaign begins, use Facebook and Twitter to provide updates and information, share photos and videos.  Give away shirts in a prize drawing or to those who submit story ideas or post photos.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 131 of 231
  • 132.  Setting up, monitoring and updating social media outlets is an important, but time- consuming job. Some North Star client communities devote a full-time position to this responsibility. It would be beneficial for the members of the BMT to meet and consider whether or not it might be to your advantage to share a New Media Coordinator position. This staff person could handle the gradual introduction of new media techniques for the brand and coordinate efforts among participating entities. (See APPENDIX K for a sample New Media Coordinator job description and APPENDIX L for a bibliography of Social Media White Papers and resources.)Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 2Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: Minimal hard cost for using social media unless a coordinator position is created.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 132 of 231
  • 133. OBJECTIVE VAttract, support and retain business on a regional basis using the brand as a rallying crySituation:Iowa’s Creative Corridor is a region with much to offer businesses in the way of location,affordability, workforce and quality of life. While economic development may continue to beaddressed independently by the many separate communities and organizations within theregion, it is important to the region and to the brand that stakeholders continue to push forprogress in this endeavor. In the meantime, centralizing some marketing and communicationresources will help aggregate and focus information about your many assets. Not only doesthis give a better perspective on the positive attributes of the region, it provides a single pointof entry for the potential customer. Tactics 1. Establish a regional economic development presence with a branded website  The single, most important priority for the ICC brand should be the development of a compelling, interactive, informative and engaging regional economic development website. In today’s world, the internet serves as the primary economic development marketing vehicle. Your website can be the communications engine that drives economic progress throughout the region. Consolidating regional assets into a single economic development portal provides a more comprehensive view of the region’s assets.  A single, central phone number should be established and provided on the site that connects to someone who has a thorough working knowledge of all the assets, opportunities and entities within the region. This might be a cell phone that can be shared by top personnel within current ED organizations. This number and the people who answer it will be the front line for those making contact with the region through the website. As such, they must be accessible at all times, have both depth and breadth of knowledge about the region, and be prepared to make referrals to appropriate agencies and organizations.  The economic development portal itself should be based and managed at Kirkwood Community College through the Brand Manager unless and until the time that some umbrella-type economic development organization or personnel are developed for the region.  The regional portal should provide information from a regional perspective. Therefore, data will need to be aggregated and organized for the ICC as a whole. (Community- specific ED information should continue to be available on current ED websites.) To start, use some of the regional statistics presented by CBA in the Regional Data Report. As you develop more of a regional approach and begin benchmarking regional issues on a regular basis, add some of this information to the site.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 133 of 231
  • 134.  Create a custom “word DNA” for regional economic development demonstrating all the regional assets and services available in terms of support, resources and assets: ED and business organizations, shovel ready sites, size of workforce, educational opportunities, art, culture and sports assets, top business sectors, small business support, rankings. Feature the helix on the ED website. For added emphasis, the word helix can be animated.  The language, look and feel of the site should reflect the tone and message of the brand. Since the brand is rooted in the tradition of innovation within the region, headlines and body copy should do the same. Messages should revolve around words such as discover, create, build, innovate, grow, learn and transform. Layout should be contemporary and dynamic, with compelling infographics, engaging photographs, interactive mapping, and video.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 134 of 231
  • 135.  Headlines on interior pages should be active and branded: Ignite Innovation or Transform your Bottom Line, for example.  As the essence of the brand, innovation must be featured and emphasized throughout the site. On the landing page, feature rotating stories and photos of innovators from within the region – innovators might be either an individual or a business. Or feature quotes from regional CEOs and entrepreneurs on how the region has influenced their success. Other items on the landing page should include: o A link to the Innovative Advantages page (see below) o A link to regional maps and data o A list of upcoming innovation related events around the region – or a news summary of innovative developments o Video(s) about regional innovation and transformative assets o An opt-in button for an electronic regional economic development newsletter (For more information see page 140) o Links to a page with listings and contact information for all the economic development and business related entities within the region o Links to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook sites when established o Link to community/quality of life assets o Link to tourism assets o Link to the DNA Project and the Innovation Inventory o Link to press releases, photo inventory and media coverage o Password protected area for brand partners to access bugs for links, logos and other partner assets o Link to small business resources o Link to information about the Creative Collaborative o Link to awards and recognitions o Link to green business initiatives o A page titled Creating Success that highlights your major corporations and cluster members. Use company logos as representations on a map of the region o Links to special reports about the region that would not be available from national data sources  In addition to listing the advantages on your website, print the competitive advantages statement as a branded one-page slick for use by all economic development entities in prospect mailings, meetings or at conferences. See samples and links for Competitive Advantage statements in APPENDIX M.  Be sure to register the site through search engines and keep all information on the site updated. Remember, in tone and feel, the site should utilize brand colors and messaging.  Include embedded video to give viewers a better sense of the ICC. This might be interviews with some innovators from the DNA Project or with CEOs of two or three of your major corporations. Or it might be a quality of life video about living an inspired life in the Creative Corridor. Video quality is important, so hire a professional writerIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 135 of 231
  • 136. and producer for the project. Thanks to YouTube and Vimeo, you can show all sides of innovative living and working in the Creative Corridor.  See APPENDIX N for examples of clean and well-organized economic development websites and APPENDIX O for examples of economic development videos.  Your By Innovation Only blog should either be a part of your hub website or be linked to it. Include economic development issues and news as topics in the blog. Highlight those who live innovative personal lives as well as those who are innovators professionally. Add economic development personnel to the rotating blog schedule. Include top-level executives, researchers and entrepreneurs as guest bloggers. A blog lends the website a bigger personality and broadens perspective. Topics might be women and minority businesses, impact of the University, spouse relocation, arts and culture, flood recovery, regionalism, etc. The many voices of the blog do not (and should not) sound the same. Some posts may be serious, others humorous. The blog itself should become one more example of innovation in ICC.  For an example of a regional blog based in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina, click the following link: Note the variety of viewpoints, occupations and hometowns represented in the blog. Also of note is the age of the contributors.  Your website is also the place to include downloads and links to more comprehensive ED publications. These might include material like the Common Framework report published by West Michigan or an annual profile of the region. It might be a lifestyle publication highlighting the many awards and rankings of the region or a Visitor’s Guide for tourism. Providing on-line copies for download dramatically increases readership and provides a ready reference. (See APPENDIX P for links and examples of IEDC award-winning publications to consider.)  While you are developing a strong regional economic development brand presence on the website, work with area organizations like Chambers and ED organizations to upgrade their own web presence. If a prospect enters at the regional web portal and follows a link to a local economic development organization, you do not want the reader to feel a change in quality of information or presentation.  Develop a mobile version of the ICC site so that prospects, businesses and others can have quality data, statistics and regional information at their fingertips.Responsibility: BM, ED personnel, web design firmPriority: 1Timing: 3-12 monthsCosts: $50,000 and up for website design and implementationIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 136 of 231
  • 137. 2. Develop regional economic development communication materials  The best brand in the world will not be noticed unless it is backed up by an organization living the brand promise and by marketing materials guided by good design and compelling language. Design and produce some basic communication tools to emphasize your new regional perspective. In addition to your brand stationery, develop an ICC economic development presentation folder.  Produce the folder in quantities large enough to be used by all economic development organizations throughout the region. In addition to the regional brand, the folder should be co-branded with names of economic development and business-related groups within the region who may want to use it. These might include (but are not limited to): o Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance (when new logo is complete) o East Central Iowa Council of Governments o Iowa City Area Development o Iowa City Chamber of Commerce o Other local chambers in the region o University of Iowa and/or University of Iowa Research Foundation  Print hard copies of your Innovative Advantages one-page slick for inclusion in prospect folders.  Produce a one-page summary of the DNA Project, including highlights of innovators and innovations.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 137 of 231
  • 138.  As soon as current supplies of the Pick Your Pace relocation piece are exhausted, produce a new brand-based regional recruiting/relocation piece. This piece should be structured around creating your own innovative lifestyle, inspired by the many wonderful assets, places and people of the Creative Corridor. Highlight examples of one-of-a-kind festivals, iconic local restaurants with innovative cuisine, crazy and creative Hawkeye fans and so on. Order this publication in quantities suitable for use by all economic development and business-related groups within the region. For cost savings the economic development folder and recruitment packet could be one in the same with the inserts specific to the exact purpose.  When local area economic development organization reprint their own marketing pieces, they should evaluate the look, feel and language in order to maximize the impact they can achieve by coordinating with the regional brand tone and message.  With the many awards, recognition and rankings achieved by various communities within the Creative Corridor, you may also find it helpful to create a “brag mag” that highlights these areas of recognition. In addition to rankings, be sure to include various Innovation Inventories developed during the DNA Project. For instance, you might include films and television shows based on IWW pieces; medical innovations developed at UI (and estimated number of patients who have benefited), US Presidents and vice- presidents who have spoken or appeared in the Creative Corridor, famous alumni of local colleges and universities, patents held by Rockwell Collins (or other major manufacturers) and so on. Title the publication: Innovation Impact. Produce hard copies for inclusion in prospect and recruitment folders, as well as distribution as a newspaper insert. Link the publication to the regional web portal for long-term on-line reference. See the link below to a Des Moines publication for one version of a regional brag mag: 41&SubSectionID=121&ArticleID=15236Responsibility: BM, ED orgsPriority: 1Timing: 6-12 monthsCosts: Replace current materials as they are depleted.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 138 of 231
  • 139. 3. Launch an economic development e-newsletter  Launch a monthly regional economic development e-newsletter called The Breakthrough. In it, cover economic development trends and data (unemployment, population, real estate sales, sales tax data, and so forth). In addition, share status updates on new construction projects, expansion of local businesses, small business workshops, business expansion, plans for regional infrastructure improvements and redevelopment projects.  The newsletter will provide a regular channel to reach out to your business constituents, keeping them connected to the region, promoting a regional mindset and disseminating information throughout the Creative Corridor. The publication also provides an easy way for local business leaders to forward articles of interest about the region to peers (locally, regionally and across the world).  Each issue should feature highlights on innovative practices and practitioners around the region and their impact on the region, the state and the nation. While this is a business related publication, it should be accessible in tone and information.  To create your initial database, ask local economic development and business-related organizations to share their electronic mailing lists. Submit these lists to an e-mail marketing firm like Constant Contact to manage and merge the lists. As you move forward, ask local non-profits, hospitals, university/college alumni offices and similar organizations to share their mailing lists and add them to your mix.  Newsletter registration opportunities should be provided on the regional web portal, local government websites, economic development and Chamber sites, and higher education sites.  Your first issue might highlight the brand research which led to the development of the DNA Project and discuss the regional push for innovation. Encourage involvement by providing an avenue for readers to submit stories of innovation via the publication.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 139 of 231
  • 140.  The community of Lancaster, CA chose to debut their brand research and new brand identity in their economic development newsletter to very positive results. They shared the results of the brand research and the brand strategy and platform. See the full issue of the publication in APPENDIX Q.  After the first issue, topics can include updates on trends in the region, expansion of existing businesses, major new companies in the Creative Corridor, data on economic development- related topics (tax revenues and so forth), workforce training opportunities, entrepreneurial efforts, community development and redevelopment, stories about infrastructure and so on.  An example of BizBites, a weekly economic development e-blast from the City of Dayton and DEconomy from Dallas, TX can also be found in APPENDIX R. Back copies of the newsletters can be found on the economic development websites of these communities.  Though electronic communications are the most cost-efficient and time-sensitive methods of communicating with constituents, you must build an accurate e-mail database for your communications to have reach and power. Start immediately to grow your electronic databases. Ask all ED-related partners within the region to submit their databases to the Brand Manager to be merged. Capture addresses from the permitting, licensing and planning/development offices; from the Chambers of Commerce; and from regional economic development organizations. Include elected officials – local, state and regional. Be sure to provide opportunities to register for the publication on all affiliated websites, particularly on economic development pages.  “The Breakthrough” should be distributed to the following: o Prospect lists o Political leaders at the state, regional and local levels o Top management of all major employers o Leaders in education, including public and private elementary and secondary schools, colleges, universities o Healthcare leaders o Non-profit leaders o Culture and arts organizations o Chamber officials o Chamber mailing lists o Creative Collaborative members o CBA members o Realtors, site selectors and developers – local, regional, state and nationalIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 140 of 231
  • 141. o Economic development consultants o Economic development publications o Economic development agencies – regional and state o Media: local, regional and state  Compiling the mailing list and accompanying addresses is an excellent project for an intern. Mail management firms such as Constant Contact are relatively inexpensive and can simplify the distribution process and management of the database.Responsibility: ED orgs, BMPriority: 1Timing: 3-9 monthsCosts: Newsletter design by brand ad agency or graphic designer. Use intern to help compiledatabase. 4. Upgrade your data with infographics  When your brand is built on the basis of innovation and creativity, it becomes extremely important to live the brand in all aspects of your marketing communication. That includes details like graphs and data reporting. Economic development data and statistics can be dry and uninteresting. Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information and knowledge presented in an engaging format that tells the story. More than a typical bar graph or pie chart, they present complex information quickly and clearly. Infographics has quickly become widely accepted as the standard for data presentation. Abandon the rudimentary bar graphs, pie charts and line graphs now used on economic development and Chamber websites for eye-catching and exciting infographics that better communicate your innovative approach to business. Below are some examples of different types of infographics relative to existing graphics in use within the region. Traditional means of presenting data, shown below: Priority One website, 2011 Demographic ReportIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 141 of 231
  • 142. ICAD Group 2011 Existing Industry Report Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce Cutting-edge infographics, shown below: Comparing two related factorsIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 142 of 231
  • 143. Comparing multiple related categories and related percentages Comparing related questions Using real objects to make a graphIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 143 of 231
  • 144. Looking at a lot of information in a compelling way This graphic shows the many assets and locations that can be accessed from the City Center of Singapore in a 37-minute bus ride (or less). A similar graphic would provide an interesting snapshot of the quick accessibility of all of the resources and lifestyle assets of the Creative Corridor – advancing awareness of regionalism and breaking down transportation obstacles. Displaying comparative data in a format other than a bar graphIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 144 of 231
  • 145. The infographs above offer a powerful way to look at the impact and popularity of an everyday product – the internet. This approach would be an excellent way to visually demonstrate the impact of the Creative Corridor region on everyday life for people around the world. Choose a time span (50 years, 25 years, 10 years, 1 year?) and consider information like the following: o Number of people who have read an IWW novel, poem or seen a movie or show produced from an IWW winner o Number of bowls of cereal consumed around the world that were manufactured in the Corridor o Number of freshman college students admitted who took the ACT as an admissions requirement o Number of commercial flights (or military missions) flown using Rockwell Collins technology o Number of Hawkeye fans who have attended UI sporting eventsIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 145 of 231
  • 146. o Number of patents developed in the region o Number of lives saved through technology or techniques developed in Creative Corridor healthcare facilities o …and so on MVdP4UdzwTc30Nb3AVej4PcPAMc34IcjkPej0Pcz0MciMQd3gRd3AUc30N&aag=true&f req=weekly&trk=eml-tod2-b-ttl-0&ut=1TjZ8E28aw_501Responsibility: ED orgs, graphics department or outside agencyPriority: 2Timing: 3-9 monthsCosts: Variable based on information and use of in-house vs. agency staff 5. Support your culture of innovation with imaginative strategies  Ask each of your major industries, assets or employers to create a rendition of the helix via their own industry, medium or interpretation. For instance, Quaker Oats might choose a mosaic made of pieces of cereal. Rockwell Collins might use bits and pieces of airplane display and navigation parts. Pieces can be displayed in corporate lobbies or board rooms. The universities and colleges might use lab materials or books. Or a sculptor might create a piece that speaks to the innovation throughout the Creative Corridor. Create an exhibit of these pieces that travels to special events, to trade shows and is displayed in the lobby of office buildings, schools and hospitals. Corporations or institutions might also be encouraged to commission helix sculptures for their corporate or educational campus and for installation on public trails and in parks throughout the region.  As momentum builds for this public art phase of the DNA Project, the art itself will become an Art and Innovation Trail throughout the region. At that point, produce a hard copy and on-line guide to the DNA art featuring photos/names of the pieces, locations and sponsors. Promote the Art and Innovation Trail as a cultural resource and a tourist attraction. The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance should be your partner in this endeavor. CBA members should be expected to become early participants. Some examples of helix art and sculpture are shown below. For more ideas, see APPENDIX S.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 146 of 231
  • 147.  Focus the attention of top economic development prospects on ICC with branded premium items. For instance, send qualifying prospects binoculars with the brand logo. Create a card reading “Iowa’s Creative Corridor: Focused on Innovation”. Inside the card include your key selling points and copy about Igniting Innovation in the ICC.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 147 of 231
  • 148. o For a more high-tech approach, give a GPS or smartphone to highlight your guidance and community resources. Pre-program the device with everything a prospect would need to find in the region – from business services to local culture. Be sure to add the brand logo and a message like “Find your way to an innovative future”. Program the device with the following types of information (depending on the type of prospect): – Small business resources (names of printers, suppliers, government offices, utilities, etc) – Continuing education opportunities (universities, community college, training resources and consultants, Entrepreneurial Development Center) – Educated/skilled workforce (temp agencies, headhunters, SBD resources etc.) – Communities (program with realtors, City Halls, Chambers, ED orgs, permitting and zoning) – Dining (unique eateries) – Cultural assets (theatres, performing arts groups, galleries, museums) – Rewarding recreational opportunities (golf courses, classes, parks locations, professionals sports teams, outfitters, bike rentals, etc). – History (program with historical sites and societies, museums and so on). o A 3D custom thumb drive conveys the regions spirit of innovation and provides a practical item for the prospects use. Load the drive with regional data, compelling stories from the DNA project and one or two of your economic development videos. o Surprise a top-level prospect with a unique piece of Creative Corridor helix art. Invite the prospect to contribute to the DNA of future innovation within the region.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 148 of 231
  • 149. o You might also create a custom version of the digital helix with all of the prospect company’s innovations or achievements used as the building block of words. Print the piece on stretched canvas and present it to the prospect with an invitation to add to their history of innovation in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. You could also develop a custom presentation folder, designed specifically for the major prospect. For your most significant prospects in addition to the custom word helix and canvas, consider printing a prospect-specific version of your ED folder filled with data and information specific to their needs.Responsibility: BM, ED orgs, ChambersPriority: 3Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: Design and production of branded applications. $200-600 for GPS system orsmartphone. Static custom DNA helix $1000-$2000 each. Custom helix with motion anadditional $3000-$5000. Custom prospect folder pricing TBD depending on in-housecapabilities and quantity. Custom printed binoculars includes one color/design in any location. Qty 15 @ $37.85/each Qty 50 @ $32.70/each Qty 100 @ $31.65/eachIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 149 of 231
  • 150. 6. Infuse energy into your entrepreneur sector with updated look and programming  ICC has many important resources for entrepreneurs, including the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the University of Iowa and the Entrepreneurial Development Center (EDC) in Cedar Rapids. Both of these organizations serve a valuable function within the entrepreneurial community and provide important services. Unfortunately, the internet marketing materials of these groups are extremely traditional in their approach, and do little to ignite the imagination or present a feeling of energy and opportunity within the Creative Corridor.  A webpage for entrepreneurs must be innovative and eye-catching and display a sense of entrepreneurial spirit at first glance. In addition to design that catches the eye, there must be interesting copy and exciting events that capture the mind of the entrepreneur.  Compare the EDC and JPEC websites with the sites of The Idea Village in New Orleans, Jumpstart in Cleveland, OH and the Southwest Minnesota Center of Rural Entrepreneurship. If ICC wants to break out of the perception of being a traditional mid-western area, then regional organizations must be encouraged to be more innovative in their marketing presentation.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 150 of 231
  • 151.  Note the difference in look and feel of the three sites below as compared to those above. While the website of the JPEC may be largely dictated by UI, the new regional brand, development of a regional economic development focused website and the rebranding at UI all present an opportunity for change. ICC should also meet with the EDC to discuss a potential “freshening up” of their website. These sites are the most important link between ICC and current/potential investors and entrepreneurs. Make sure they are interactive, energetic, and innovative. ICC may need to offer some grant funding in order to facilitate these positive changes. For a live look at the New Orleans site, click on: JUMPSTART website – non-profit in Cleveland, OH Center of Rural Entrepreneurship’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 151 of 231
  • 152.  As part of the makeover of these entrepreneurial sites, ask the Entrepreneurial Development Center and/or JPEC to offer an on-line Entrepreneur’s Toolkit. Including practical reference materials or templates provides a reason for entrepreneurs to visit and revisit your sites, thus maintaining a connection with events and opportunities in the region. Include the following types of downloadable PDF documents in your toolkit (make sure that they already co-branded with the ICC identity). o Tips for delivering an elevator pitch o Executive summary template o Investor pitch PowerPoint deck template o Guide to forming an advisory board o On-line workbooks or workshops on topics like financing, marketing, building your own website and so on o Registration and or meeting information for local and regional on-line forums, meet- ups, workshops, co-working space, jellies and other resources  Provide an on-line location for your regional entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and service providers to mingle, connect, exchange ideas and solve problems on-line. The space should provide a private, password protected on-line dashboard working area where entrepreneurs can house business plans, marketing plans, financing strategies, etc – which can be reviewed and commented on by selected mentors. One site operating under this model is IdeaCrossing, an offshoot of Jumpstart in Cleveland.  Participants register on the site as either a mentor, investor, entrepreneur or service provider and create an on-line profile much like LinkedIn. Investors, other entrepreneurs and service providers can all contact the use with resources and ideas. In addition, entrepreneurs create a private workspace, where they can invite mentors to preview and comment on ideas and business plans. The site also maintains a library of articles and current entrepreneurial news, schedules on-line events and sponsors an IdeaCrossing discussion group on LinkedIn.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 152 of 231
  • 153.  Entrepreneurs can be matched to accredited investors and business mentors  Investors can find deal flow that fits their investment criteria  Business Mentors can find startups to advise on a pro bono basis  Service Providers can promote their services to the entire community through listings available in the Service Provider Directory of the Resource Center  After your Innovation Inventory is complete and ICC has made progress on defining and communicating regional issues, stage an annual Innovation Week in the ICC. This event should be heavily promoted in business and entrepreneurial schools across the country and through the web. The entrepreneur event should be planned and sponsored by all of the entrepreneurial and economic development assets/organizations and is designed to acquaint entrepreneurs with the assets of the region and to provide an educational and networking opportunity for attendees.  Consider some of the following types of activities for Innovation Week: o Annual Challenge Presentations – Innovation Challenge: Invite a select group of regional entrepreneurs to partner with Innovation Week (or the ICC) to identify and address key regionalism challenges. This multi-month program should culminate during Innovation Week with a presentation by the participants outlining their challenges and proposed solutions. – University of Iowa Challenge: Focused on supporting startups led by staff and students. Pair commercialization and tech transfer personnel from the University with outside funders, developers and existing businesses through a series of pitch events and mentor match-ups with national and international companies. – Education Challenge: Focus on supporting those who nurture and educate our young entrepreneurs. Consider partnering with groups such as 4.0 Schools and Teach for America. Outline a specific challenge each year (i.e. closing the achievement gap between rural and urban schools…) o An annual competition for Entrepreneurs-in-Residence: Solicit applications from seasoned executives from across the country to spend a year or two in ICC serving as mentors for area entrepreneurs and as advisors to the Challenge Group participants. Salaries to be paid through sponsorships and housing to be provided. EIR’s should participate in a variety of workshops, lectures and panel discussions throughout their tenure, as well as meeting with University personnel on commercialization issues. o Discovery sessions and roundtables by nationally and internationally recognized experts o Pitch events and elevator speech contests, twitter pitches, digital connect pitches, education entrepreneur pitches, social entrepreneur pitchesIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 153 of 231
  • 154. o Social entrepreneur networking and idea exchange. o Opportunities to become acquainted with regional innovators and assets like the University of Iowa, local healthcare facilities, research and development sites, advanced manufacturing locations, entrepreneurial development assets. In addition to networking events, schedule roundtables and panels using the regions brightest politicians, educators, CEOs and entrepreneurs and other assets like a panel of IWW winners, researchers from the University, or well-known artists and performers. o Downtime to enjoy regional lifestyle amenities like a Hawkeye game, a Kernels game, a concert or theater production, a visit with IWW etc. o An event like this, if well done, can have a far-ranging impact in increasing awareness of ICC as an entrepreneurial region. It can also serve to help attract top talent from around the country. To read about Entrepreneur Week programs in other locations, check the following links: entrepreneurship-week-2011.aspx  A simple way to connect your entrepreneurs in real time and allow them to share information is to form Google or LinkedIn groups. Create ICC Entrepreneur Groups, then promote them via newsletter, web, public relations and social media. Some examples of Google Groups can be found below. BM, EDC, JPEC, ED orgs, ChambersPriority: 2Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: Potential subsidy costs can be shared among all partners; grant funding may also beavailable for Innovation Week; sponsorships should be possibleIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 154 of 231
  • 155. 7. Grow your economy through a grassroots peer-to-peer recruitment campaign  Launch a business-to-business, peer-to-peer recruiting campaign. This is a chance for manufacturers to approach suppliers, industry leaders to approach friends and colleagues, and CEOs to contact fellow executives.  Follow the lead of Dallas, who initiated an aggressive CEO recruitment campaign, “Bold Moves.” Led by the Mayor, the initiative is a unique business-to-business recruitment effort using a custom programmed Apple iPhone and the CEOs of Dallas as salespeople. Targeted prospects receive the pre-programmed iPhone in a custom box with a password protected website code for information specific to potential relocation (including tax savings, cost of living comparisons, etc. prepared for that particular prospect). o The phone and website feature videos from the Mayor and local executives selling the competitive advantages of the Dallas area and the reason they maintain their business in Dallas. The phone arrives preloaded with contact information for Dallas CEOs, the Mayor and other advocates. These stakeholders also keep in touch with the prospect, e-mailing, texting and calling from time to time. Phone service is pre- paid for 90 days – providing Dallas economic development personnel a direct line to the corporate decision maker they are trying to influence. o Pre-loaded apps on the phone are all related to the Dallas area – weather, maps, photos, contacts, news, clock, event calendar, entertainment, restaurants, and the custom Bold Moves website as the home page. A Dallas concierge is available 24/7 to answer questions (about the phone or the city!) or to troubleshoot. The program is a partnership between the City of Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas Economic Development Office and Downtown Dallas. http://www.dallas- Economy.pdfIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 155 of 231
  • 156.  Launch your own version of the Dallas campaign, calling it Make an Innovative Move or Create a New Future. Meet with government leaders and key executives and CEOs in brainstorming and focus groups to develop targeted prospects. Ask for lists of suppliers, customers, friends and affiliates. Help focus the discussion by coming prepared with market comparisons between the Creative Corridor and key competitor regions of the country. Look at areas where economic indicators such as cost of living, quality of life, operating costs, transportation costs, utilities, workforce quality and availability stack up in ICC’s favor.  Seek sponsorships or grants to help cover the cost of the iPhone. The importance of the phone cannot be underestimated, as it both puts information at the prospect’s fingertips and provides members of the recruiting committee a direct communication line.  If you cannot afford the expense of creating a locked and customized prospect website, e-mail or text market information to the prospect after they have received their phone.  To help sweeten the pot for existing ICC executives, offer a new iPad to anyone who refers a prospect that makes an innovative move to the Creative Corridor.  Engage the media to cover the program as it reinforces innovation and fresh ideas from the Creative Corridor.Responsibility: BM, CC, Chambers and ED orgsPriority: 3Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: Hard costs include iPhones and apps. Sponsorships and grants may be available. 8. Gain exposure and potential entrepreneurs through a combination recruiting and social media awareness event  The Creative Corridor is in the midst of resurgence from a natural disaster, as well as a surge of interest in regionalism and entrepreneurial spirit. Young professionals and entrepreneurs all get satisfaction out of the process of building something new and meaningful.  Host an event which provides the outside world with a glimpse of the energy and entrepreneurial spirit which fuels the region. Fund a contest which chooses and funds the visits of several well-connected entrepreneurs to come to ICC during Innovation Week. The winners should be well-connected, active users of social media. In exchange for their ticket (including airfare, lodging, food and entertainment) to the event and VIP exposure to area opportunities, assets and innovators; the participants would be expected to write, tweet, blog and film their experience and their opinions of the region.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 156 of 231
  • 157.  ICC could even go a step further and film a documentary of the participant’s as they experience the area for the first time, meet with locals and learn about entrepreneurial opportunities.  In 2010, North Star worked with the New Orleans Downtown Development District and their partner Idea Village to design a similar program designed to show that New Orleans was, in fact, open for business again after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Funded by a federal grant, 25 well-connected entrepreneurs within four targeted business sectors (arts-based businesses, biosciences, digital media and sustainable industries) will descend on the city as special guests for New Orleans Entrepreneur Week 2012 events. The initiative is named NOLAbound, as winners will be bound for New Orleans in 2012 with all expenses paid.  During their all-expense paid visit, the participants will meet with top leaders in respected industries, explore the city, network with entrepreneurs, and be immersed in the local flavor of New Orleans’ people and culture. Winners of the contest come from across the country and a variety of backgrounds. Their task is to assess the status of New Orleans as a model of new business progress and thinking. But the most innovative part of the event is that the 25 participants, selected in part for their active participation and large networks on social media, will share their experiences and opinions with the world, unfiltered and in real-time via their personal social networks and the contest’s NOLAbound website.  The entire five-day program will be filmed and a documentary will premiere in New Orleans in October 2012.  The groundbreaking portion of the event is the story being generated and the information to be shared around the event as participants take to the website, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and personal blogs to share their thoughts. Participants are expected and encouraged to interact with locals and the participant that best communicates his or her impressions of the city and its business climate will win another all-expense paid trip to the premiere.  The city has already received much positive national and regional press for their innovative approach during the application period.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 157 of 231
  • 158. Note: Instead of a standalone event, this type of exposure could also be worked into a summer internship program. (See Objective VII). Use social media connectedness as a selection criteria for the interns, then expect them to blog, tweet and YouTube about their experiences. Make sure that they are thoughtfully exposed to the movers and shakers in the community and to the many great redevelopment projects underway.Responsibility: BM, CC, Chambers and ED orgsPriority: 3Timing: 18-36 monthsCosts: hard costs include marketing of event, participant expenses, documentary production ifevent is filmed. Sponsorships and grants should be available. 9. Provide tools and resources for local corporations in recruiting new employees  Employee and spouse recruitment has been noted as a challenge within the region, particularly for higher level opportunities like professors, physicians, researchers, engineers and technical positions such as those at Rockwell Collins. In order to gain traction in this critical arena, the region must work together to leverage its regional assets as fully as possible.  Develop a recruiting portion of the economic development website that is easy to use, visually attractive and paints a compelling portrait of the region. Of course the site should include typical relocation data such as cost of living, housing prices, education and testing statistics and so on. But just as importantly, it should provide the flavor of living in the Creative Corridor and tell the stories of those who have successfully relocated and now happily live within the region.  One of the best ways to communicate the vitality of the region is through professionally produced video embedded in the website. Use video tours and profiles to highlight various lifestyles within the region, demonstrating that no matter what kind of life you’re looking for, you can create it within ICC. Profiles should cover interests like philanthropy and non-profit involvement, outdoor lovers, careers and job opportunities, arts and culture options, raising families, and interesting activities for young professionals. Be sure that some of the videos feature the spouses of employees who have relocated.  In addition, to the video profiles, develop written Q and A interviews that can be placed on the website, featured in relocation packets, and highlighted in ads. See an example of an executive interview and an executive spouse interview at the Ohio State of Balance website: interviews/index.php interviews/cathy-mantilla-falkenberg.phpIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 158 of 231
  • 159.  Develop a fun and innovative mobile recruiting website with a particular emphasis on spouses’ questions. Spouses might enter a favorite interest or job category and the site would provide a referral to a local resident who can provide further information on the topic. These residents can communicate how their transformation to Creative Corridor resident occurred, answer questions and serve as a personal advisor. There might even be a humorous section of the site that allows the user to input fears and receive witty answers that help allay their concerns. For example: I’m afraid …. there is no culture in Eastern Iowa. No culture?! Quite the contrary! Iowa’s Creative Corridor is home to more than a dozen of cultural organizations ranging from the symphony to children’s dance. On any given night of the week, there are performances throughout the region. And we sport some of the best performing venues anywhere! Still not convinced or want information about a specific activity, call Sue at xxx-xxxx.  Your Brand Barometer indicators demonstrated that residents have a much higher likelihood of recommending the region as a place to do business than the national average. Harness this enthusiasm by creating a Relocation Concierge team briefed and trained to promote the quality of life within the Creative Corridor. This well-informed ambassador group should be familiar with neighborhoods, schools, universities and colleges, cultural opportunities, and childcare; special groups for moms, dads, women and men; churches, volunteer and philanthropy opportunities; sports and athletics for kids, adults and fans; healthcare, and so forth. In addition to general ambassadors/concierges, train specialists who can provide in-depth information about specific areas like the arts or non-profits or the job market.  When prospective executives and their spouses come to the region, they should have dinner with their Concierge, who will listen to their interests and concerns, and then design a custom tour of the region based on that input. As part of the tour, prospects should be offered the opportunity to meet with other executives/spouses who have relocated.  Consider organizing a social group of relocated spouses who have found unexpected professional and personal achievement or satisfaction. Tell their stories through video and print interviews. Or provide them with flip cameras and let them tell their experience firsthand. As the group grows, they may want to plan organized activities like attending a Hawkeye game, attending a concert, going to the Lincoln Café for dinner, or attending a Kernels minor league game. This group can be part of the Ambassador/Concierge effort, but should also remain available to newcomers for a year after their relocation to serve as a conduit for networking and settling in.Responsibility: BM, CC, Chambers and ED orgs, major employersPriority: 3Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: TBD based on final strategy. Minimal start-up cost for website development and launch$20,000.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 159 of 231
  • 160. OBJECTIVE VIIntegrate the Iowa’s Creative Corridor brand into regional community infrastructure and initiativesSituation:One of the goals for ICC stakeholders in undertaking this branding initiative was developmentof a consistent, unified regional identity and to begin to embrace the idea of thinking,collaborating and cooperating on a regional level. This kind of switch in mindset occurs over aperiod of time and must be incubated via repeated exposure to the concept of a regionalidentity. Your brand identity (logo, color palette, and graphic design) are the key visual tools inuniting the diverse assets, signage and infrastructure throughout the region.Infrastructure strategy addresses the unique opportunity ICC has to use your infrastructure asa three-dimensional medium for showcasing the brand to residents, businesses and visitors.When considering opportunities to showcase the brand, think outside the box and beyond thebuildings. Your infrastructure includes water towers, public vehicles, sidewalks, parks, buildingfacades, signage, lighting, airwaves, the sky . . . even the backs of your citizens. In the CreativeCorridor, there are limitless innovative ways to bring your regional brand to life. Tactics 1. Create branded merchandise/promotional items  Whether it’s a lapel pin, t-shirt or bottled water, branded merchandise is a tangible, memorable way to keep the regional identity message top-of-mind with residents, visitors and businesses. Work with the BMT and Creative Collaborative to brainstorm ideas for unique branded premium items.  Brand merchandise should be carried at all of ICC’s cultural, nature/outdoors and sports destination gift shops and at the CVB Visitor Centers in the Amanas and at Coral Ridge Mall, Armstrong Visitor Center and at the Cedar Rapids Visitor Center when construction is complete on the new convention center. Merchandise should also be featured and sold at special events and festivals throughout the region. Work with local merchants (particularly in the various downtowns) and ask them to carry brand merchandise, as well. On-line stores are also a great venue for brand exposure. Here are some examples of attractions and events for distribution or sale of branded merchandise: Englert Civic Theater Hancher Auditorium UI Medical Museum Landlocked Film Festival Summer of the Arts events Hotel gift shops Iowa Children’s Museum Riverside Theater Marion Heritage CenterIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 160 of 231
  • 161. Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Brucemore African American Museum of Iowa Riverside Casino and Golf Resort Area golf course pro shops Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center Museum of Natural History US Cellular Center (when renovations are completed) Old Capitol Museum Area sporting events/teams: UI Hawkeye Athletic events Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball CR Roughriders Pro Hockey CR Titans Pro Indoor Football College and university bookstores: University of Iowa Kirkwood Community College Coe College Mount Mercy University Cornell College  T-shirts and lapel pins are often a community’s initial premium selection as they are relatively inexpensive and can be an important visual component to the brand education effort for employees, residents and stakeholders. T-shirt ideas include: o A lighthearted version of the double helix, customizable for various audience/organizations. (The double helix is composed of words or drawings related to each organization or event.) Shirts can be designed for individual communities, school systems, colleges and events. In each case, the ICC logo should be included. If desired, the back of the shirt could be used for statistics or awards regarding the topic on front) for instance: – Hawkeyes are in our DNA (a helix of Hawkeye-related words or photos) – Art is in our DNA (could also be culture) (helix of art events, attractions, museums, famous local artists) – Health is in our DNA (local hospitals, major research, famous UI physicians) – Science is in our DNA (major employers involved in advanced manufacturing, research, bio-tech, etc.; science magnet schools. Science award winners; major researchers) – Literature is in our DNA (Books, authors, award winners to come out of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, libraries from throughout region, bookstores, UNESCO City of Literature award) – Sports are in our DNAIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 161 of 231
  • 162. (Kernels, Titans, Roughriders, Hawkeyes, other collegiate sports teams, local high school teams, popular regional participatory sports such as hockey, soccer, etc.) – Agriculture is in our DNA – Education is in our DNA – ( insert name of City or County here) is in our DNA – (Attractions, iconic organizations or establishments, geographic features or activities that make the town, city or county featured on the t-shirt unique) o Beyond t-shirts, there are endless creative and interesting ways to involve the community in the brand with specialty items. Here are some ideas: – Baseball or golf caps – Reusable canvas or recycled plastic shopping bags for the grocery store, the Farmers Market, garden stores, bakeries, shops, etc. – Java wraps or disposable placemats for area restaurants and coffee houses. If desired, include a quote about innovation, knowledge, inspiration, etc. – Die cut photo magnets of historical structures or beautiful landscapes in ICC – Custom playing cards with logos of innovators or innovations from the region – Kaleidoscope with colorful, moving helix patterns – Water bottles – Binoculars o At concession stand stands of athletic facilities, sell a variety of brand-related items including t-shirts, water bottles, mini hockey sticks and souvenir pucks, mini-bats.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 162 of 231
  • 163. o Develop ICC bookmarks and distribute through libraries, bookstores, schools and IWW events.Responsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 1 for selecting premium items for gift shops, stakeholdersTiming: 6-12 monthsCosts: Branded Water Bottle pricing 24oz 100 @ $2.56 = $256.00 250 @ $2.48 = $620.00 500 @ $2.39 = $1,195.00 1000 @ $2.42 = $2,420.00 Custom printed binoculars include one color/design in any location. Qty 15 @ $37.85/each Qty 50 @ $32.70/each Qty 100 @ $31.65/each Custom Printed Bookmarks (7.25”x2”- 4 Color Front) Qty 250 = $40.00 2. Take the brand on the road with a pop-up retail brand space  As we mentioned in our Trends update, pop-up retail continues to surge in popularity. Pop-ups seem intimate and local at a time when consumers are craving more connection. The surprise of an unexpected brand experience creates good will and enhanced reputation. For more on the psychology of pop-up follow the link below (or see APPENDIX T). it-worksIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 163 of 231
  • 164.  Pop-up is particularly important for the Creative Corridor because your geographic area is widespread, encompassing multiple municipalities. In order to reach into the many communities and events of the region, consider developing a unique, moveable venue for branded merchandise and a brand experience. A mobile brand space/visitors center can easily transport the brand message throughout the region including events in Washington or Tipton, the fun of a Hawkeye tailgate, a summer game of the Cedar Rapids Kernels, a festival in Liberty City or Marion, and the Olympic Trials at UI. It can travel to grand openings, groundbreakings, festivals and events, hospitals, athletic contests, graduations and block parties serving as an ambassador for ICC. Your pop-up can travel to Kirkwood Community College or to Coe College to welcome students on the first day of class (pop-ups are very popular on campuses). The limited-time, moveable aspect of the venue helps create buzz, mystery and interest.  Moveable pop-ups extend your reach far beyond the boundaries of the region. Take yours to concerts or special events in Des Moines or Dubuque, to a Cubs game in Chicago or to Iowa State to do some employee recruiting.  Louisville, KY (Possibility City) sends a large RV to events throughout their region. For instance, the RV and a troupe of brand ambassadors attended the Big 10 Basketball Championship in Indianapolis last year. The Ambassadors distributed Possibility City marketing materials, talked to people at the games and on the streets, handed out promotional items and coupons and placed posters around town. In addition, the group sponsored tailgates in the parking lot, distributing samples of Kentucky food and beverages and entertaining with live music. The Louisville Brand Ambassadors also take to the road for major out-of-town athletic events for the University of Louisville Cardinals.  Take the ICC brand on the road when local students or teams participate in major out- of-town competitions for academics, the arts or athletics. Or take the brand with you to tourism conventions, government meetings and gatherings in other cities or states, or to economic development meetings and recruiting events. Another option, set up in the parking lot of the Eastern Iowa Airport on busy travel days to provide entertainment and a tasty morsel from the region to weary travelers.  Pop-up venues may be RVs, trailers (like Airstream), food truck type vehicles, Jeeps, Hummers or school buses. Below is a photo of an eBay mobile pop-up.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 164 of 231
  • 165.  Your pop-up should represent the essence of the Iowa’s Creative Corridor brand and might be called the Innovation Station. Stock merchandise from local craftsmen and companies. Offer the best of your brand premium items. Feature locally produced food items such as jams, jellies, sauces from local restaurants or small producers, local wines or beer, books by local or regional writers (including the Iowa Writers’ Workshop), items from local arts groups or artists, CDs from regional recording artists, and books and toys that represent regional history and culture. In addition, there should be some sort of interactive experience involved – ideas might be hula hoops in brand colors, connect-the-dots or kids’ watercolor sheets of local landmarks, or other fun things to do. Interactive games where you try to match famous folks from the region with their name, invention, career, etc. Consider a recording booth where pop-up visitors can tell stories and anecdotes of how a transformational moment has sent ripples through their lives, or an example of how a bit of knowledge provided the power to provoke change or stories of how art and science intersect. Include some right brain/left brain activities.  Whenever possible, include an entertainment or performance element in your pop-up. Consider a local singer, high school or community bands, choirs or ensembles, local dance studio troupes, or local whittlers, woodworkers, painters or potters. Take along a local chef who can prepare tasty bites made from local ingredients. Invite regional authors to perform readings from their books.  On your Creative Corridor portal homepage, include the pop-up appearance calendar. Or provide clues regarding the location of an upcoming appearance. To see an on-line ad for promoting pop-up appearances, follow the link below: lax.gifResponsibility: BM, BMTPriority: 2Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: Acquiring, equipping, decorating and stocking of venue. A vintage 60’s or 70’s AirStream might run from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on condition. Repurposing for retail mayadd another $1,000 to $5,000. An alternative would be to purchase a ready-made portable,pop-up trade show booth, which would run $2,000 to $5,000 with custom brand graphicsincluded. 3. Incorporate the brand into signage throughout the region  Residents and visitors need visual clues to help them establish the boundaries of their region. Entry signage on major highways or at prime interstate exits is one method of reminding drivers that they are entering the Creative Corridor. In addition to signs for Iowa’s Creative Corridor, work with area cities, towns and counties on updating their own entry signage to reflect some aspect of the brand. This might be done by addingIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 165 of 231
  • 166. the ICC logo across the bottom of an existing sign with the line A Creative Partner of Iowa’s Creative Corridor.  Pole banners are another affordable, eye-catching and attractive method of providing visibility. Partner with local jurisdictions, non-profits and private business/industry to develop a customized pole banner strategy. For instance, consider pole banners at: o City halls and government buildings o Libraries o Park facilities o Museums o College campuses o Shopping centers/strip malls o Private sector corporations o Hospitals o Sports facilities o Bike paths or trails o Eastern Iowa Airport parking lot and terminal  Develop a complete brand strategy for pole banners, taking into consideration issues like: o Develop a banner installation priority plan with guidelines on how and where banners are to be used and placed. Include in your pole banner plan a list of private sector corporations, businesses and developments to contact as possible locations and banner sponsors.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 166 of 231
  • 167. o When you have completed your strategy, formalize it in a pole banner standards guidebook.  There are several approaches to partnering with other entities or events on pole banners. One method of co-branding is by alternating brand banners with partner banners. To the right is an example in which St. Louis alternated its City banners with special event banners for the Final Four basketball tournament. This same approach could be taken with municipalities/counties/events/corporations and developers.  In lieu of alternating poles, consider double banners – brand banner on one side and partner banner on the other side of the pole. This strategy would be very effective with municipalities throughout the region, or with institutions like area hospitals or universities.  A basic wayfinding system is a great way to provide visual consistency throughout the region and to promote the concept of the Creative Corridor as a single geographic entity. Signs should be simple, straightforward and designed in the brand color palette. A wayfinding system can be a unifying method to identify top companies, organizations and assets. A color-coded system which identifies directions and mileage can also be a recruiting tool for major economic development prospects whose location could be added to the wayfinding initiative.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 167 of 231
  • 168. Include the following types of assets in the effort: Municipalities/communities o Healthcare facilities o Government offices o Art, culture, sports and entertainment facilities o Visitor Centers o Educational assets o Major innovators/corporations/businesses within the region  The Creative Corridor is a region that is undergoing great transformation with flood recovery projects moving toward completion, major healthcare facilities under construction, and cultural icons being rehabilitated and brought back into use. Stimulate public interest and curiosity with the use of old-fashioned construction fences on development and redevelopment projects. Use the fence for safety purposes and to encourage passers-by to stop and take a peek at the innovation under construction throughout the region. Use the banner whenever a project calls for a safety fence that can support a banner. On the following page is a construction fence design for North Star client Jamestown, NY. Another way to encourage interest in these types of projects is through live webcam coverage. Later the footage can be sped up to demonstrate the evolution of the project in just a few minutes of footage.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 168 of 231
  • 169.  Signs don’t always have to be beside the road…sometimes they can be ON the road itself. Communities throughout the Creative Corridor can spruce up their downtown areas by incorporating the brand into crosswalks at important intersections. Decorative crosswalks can provide a sense of arrival into a municipality or at a special venue such as a major park or museum. Each jurisdiction might use their own custom version of the double Cs or helix, in colors that work with their own municipal brand. Design might be in pavers, special asphalt paint or for special events – in chalk. See the suggestion below for the Creative Corridor along with crosswalks in Glendale, CA, a North Star client.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 169 of 231
  • 170.  Sometimes, the most wonderful location for a brand installation is right under your nose in an existing structure. Involve the brand in local agriculture by partnering with farmers to place it on barns or other structures. See example from Santa Rose, CA.  Use the brand to bring life to industrial or agricultural structures. Below is an example of grain silos in Midland Harbour, which have been painted and turned into works of art evocative of the area’s history.  In Omaha, Nebraska an art project called Stored Potential provided an opportunity for local artists to submit agriculturally related designs to be produced on giant removable banners which hung on the silos. More than 500 entries were received by Emerging Terrain, a non-profit which marshals corporate, government, artistic and educational resources to combat blight and decay.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 170 of 231
  • 171. elevators/Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 171 of 231
  • 172. This compilation of the various approved designs made a lovely commemorative poster.  The Creative Corridor region has many agricultural and industrial facilities which would make excellent background for artistic interpretation. Quaker Oats iconic grain elevators and towers have long been a visible part of the Cedar Rapids landscape. Approach the company about partnering with the brand to provide some graphic interest. Below is a concept for a graphic treatment of the brand logo across multiple silos. A contest for banner art like that in Omaha would also create visual interest in the landscape.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 172 of 231
  • 173.  Look at all the industrial and agricultural facilities in the area with a fresh eye for the art that they might become.  From the ground to the sky – add brand flags to flagpoles at both private and public locations. Flagpoles provide a visible and relatively inexpensive location for brand display. Inventory local flagpole options and approach property owners/organizations/local governments about sponsoring a brand flag.  North Star client Lauderdale Lakes, Florida combined a brand flag with flags of the various nationalities found in the city in a celebration of diversity. Client McKinney, Texas (below) partnered with a developer to fly the City’s brand flag in his high-end shopping district. A local church in Zionsville, Indiana flies the brand of the town along with the flags of Indiana and the United States. Look for similar opportunities at the Eastern Iowa Airport, City Halls through the region, area churches, athletic facilities, parks, cultural centers, schools and shopping areas.Responsibility: BM, City Planning, CCPriority: 1 for pole banner program and first steps of wayfinding/entry signage initiativeTiming: 6-12 monthsCosts: 18x24 = $62.75 36x60 = $129.00 60 x 96 = $263.00 4. Expose the brand to riders and drivers throughout the Creative Corridor  In today’s fast-paced world, traditional media reaches fewer and fewer people. One of the most cost-effective means of reaching residents and visitors continues to be outdoor and transit-related exposure. Bus wraps for vehicles moving throughout the region are a perfect canvas for branded language and graphics.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 173 of 231
  • 174.  Put the brand on outdoor boards to reach commuters, carpooling parents, businessmen and women, tourists and errand runners. Use the boards to introduce the brand, to promote your sense of community, to promote tourism or to attract and support economic development efforts or special events/brand activities.  All boards should contain the new brand logo and use brand language.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 174 of 231
  • 175.  You may also find it advantageous to rent outdoor space in areas where you are trying to increase economic development or tourism awareness. This might include interstates that connect easily to the region near the state line as visitors enter Iowa. It may also be advantageous for recruiting purposes to place billboards on college campuses which major employers recruit regularly or taxi toppers in large cities used for recruiting/awareness. If your Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus have data on metropolitan markets that pull heavily for tourism, taxi or transit boards in those areas can provide a very effective return on investment.  Don’t forget to consider partnerships with community organizations like schools to communicate award-winning programs and noteworthy achievements via outdoor boards. Co-brand such efforts with both the ICC logo and with the school logo.  Consider contracting with an advertising agency to maintain a consistent tone and feel for all your billboard messages and to insure appropriate use of the brand logo.Responsibility: BMPriority: 2Timing: 3-12 monthsCosts: Excellent opportunity for sponsorship or partnership with area transit and outdooradvertising companies. For area transit estimates (excluding design) see APPENDIX U. Outdoor Board Pricing: Lamar Advertising Des Moines, IA – 20’x60’ (4 week flight) = $1,560 Dubuque, IA – 10’6”x36’ (4 week flight) = $2,232 Madison, WI – 20’x60’ (4 week flight) = $2,600 Chicago, IL – 14’x48’ (4 week flight) = $8,500 5. Export the brand with your local products  For local handcrafts, chocolates, jellies and jams, food products, etc., produce Made especially for you in Iowa’s Creative Corridor or Something Special from Iowa’s Creative Corridor stickers. Distribute these stickers to the artists, craftsmen and cooks producing and selling crafts and locally made syrups, jams, jellies and baked goods in the Amanas and elsewhere and to the boutiques, shops and farmers markets where local goods are sold. Orchards like Honey Creek Acres which has its own gift shop and sells its own honey are perfect partners with this program, as are vendors at area Farmers Markets. You can also approach craft brewers, local wineries and artisanal cheese makers about participating.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 175 of 231
  • 176.  In the photo to the right, notice the round stickers depicting the State of Indiana. These are used by a specialty foods store in Indiana that carries quality locally produced food products. The copy on the sticker reads: Something Special Made in Indiana. As part of an agricultural area, it is important that you claim recognition and ownership of the many wonderful food and craft products grown, canned, preserved, and created locally.  Giving credit where credit is due doesn’t have to stop with handcrafted products and food however. Work with local manufacturers to add the brand logo to product packaging or to the product itself. Add the following line – A product of Iowa’s Creative Corridor.  The region’s central location makes the Creative Corridor a prime location for trucking and shipping companies. Roll your brand down the road by partnering with local or regional trucking companies like CRST or Con-Way in Cedar Rapids. In fact, demand for truck drivers has led Kirkwood Community College to amass a mini-fleet for their driver training program. In addition to commercial companies, the Kirkwood fleet is also a prime location for regional brand visibility. Put the logo on the truck cab or on the trailer and watch your brand rack up the miles. A trucking company in the Lima- Allen County region of Ohio (a North Star client) approached community leaders to incorporate brand elements on its national fleet. The regional brand is now visible on highways nationwide.  Fine art is a product, just like manufactured goods. Work with area museums to make sure that a custom ICC brand logo is included in exhibit marketing materials such as the catalog, the information tags with each piece and in exhibit signage. Produce wall placards for museum exhibits in the region which feature Creative Corridor artists. The placards might read: From Iowa’s Creative Corridor or Certified Original of Iowa’s Creative Corridor. In addition to exhibits within the region, export the regional brand identity when pieces from ICC museums travel around the country or around the world. When pieces are shipped out and information provided for catalogs on travellingIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 176 of 231
  • 177. exhibits, be certain that the ICC logo and background information about the brand is included.Responsibility: BM, CCPriority: 3Timing: 6-24 monthsCosts: Round Stickers 1.5” Round, Full Color Stickers 20/sheet @ 100 sheets = $3.85/sheet or $385.00 2,000 stickers = $0.19/sticker Costs for trucking decals and museum exhibit materials depend on size and quantity. 6. Develop brand strength through local sports facilities  ICC is fortunate to have some top-notch sports facilities available to residents. Associate the brand with your sports venues by making sure it is visible to athletes and spectators in a variety of ways.  Introduce the brand to a new young market by partnering with private skate parks and board shops. Partner with local skateboard shops to create custom branded skateboard decks. Below is an example of custom shop boards with the logo of the shop. Work with the shops to co-brand some custom deck boards.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 177 of 231
  • 178.  Reach further into the recreation market by adding the brand logo to skate parks, swimming pools, ice rinks, water parks, basketball courts, and athletic fields. Hanging a banner provides a cost effective solution, but if possible, partner with the public or private facility to put the logo somewhere interesting like the side of the bowl in the skate park, in the center circle of the basketball court, on the bottom of a pool, under the ice or on the Zamboni at skating rinks. Not only does this idea provide brand exposure, it reinforces the idea that ICC supports young people and active youthful energy.  In addition to recreational sports, partner with local pro teams such as the Kernels, the Roughriders and the Titans for greater exposure to area fans and visitors. Prepare a custom version of the logo for programs, put a banner on the fence, hoist a brand flag or add the logo to the playing service. The same principles apply to college athletics. See examples below of logo use with athletic facilities.  Take the brand one step further by applying the logo to uniforms of local recreational sports leagues. Either supply a patch to teams at the beginning of each season, or supply the logo and design guidelines for the logo to be screen printed on the t-shirt. Read about a community who took this approach at the link below:  Tap into the rabid fan base of the Iowa Hawkeyes by becoming a part of Kinnick Stadium’s legacy of innovative card stunts. The YouTube link below shows the Hawkeye fans in action as they first convert the stadium into a patriotic panorama of stars and stripes, then transform into the black and gold of the Hawkeyes.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 178 of 231
  • 179.  Partner with the University to include the brand in a pre-game or halftime show next fall. Include a card stunt that turns the double helix on its side. Movement or color change with the cards should bring the helix to life in waving fashion or move it around the stadium. Involve the band in the show as well through a marching routine where members intertwine and weave the double helix on the field. The band might play a specially commissioned piece based on the theme of innovation, knowledge, or transformation.  Build-up to the game with a week of events, activities and lectures emphasizing the connection of knowledge and power, the intersection of art and science, the innovators and innovations affiliated with the University or the transformations that occur at the University. UI (and other area colleges and universities) are perfect partners for the brand message, which underscores their institutional value as educators and researchers.Responsibility: BM, CC, UIPriority: 2Timing: 6-24 monthsCosts: TBD based on application. Great opportunity to partner with private sector or publicschool system. It is important to establish the brand in at least one or two facilities the first orsecond year.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 179 of 231
  • 180. 11. Invigorate your surroundings by incorporating the brand logo, heritage or values into community fixtures and buildings  Use your new logo to dress up public venues and claim them for the region. To the right is an example of a brand logo painted on a band shell in Jamestown, NY, a North Star client. Examine your community gathering places with an eye toward incorporating the brand. Consider for instance, the possibilities at the new Cedar Rapids Riverfront Amphitheater or at the Riverside Theater.  Turn your standard public fixtures such as benches, trash cans and bike racks into works of art that are uniquely from the Creative Corridor. Bike racks, branded benches and even sidewalk fixtures offer a way for every location or municipality to claim a bit of the brand for themselves. They can be installed in downtowns, college campuses, elementary schools, malls, museums, parks and more. See some samples from other communities below.  A custom branded bike rack is an excellent infrastructure item for an innovative region like ICC with several universities and walking/biking trails. Design the rack in the shape of a helix. Add a branded sign at the end of the rack that says one of the following: Green Living: It’s in our DNA… Healthy Living: It’s in our DNA Biking: It’s in our DNAIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 180 of 231
  • 181.  The Creative Corridor is the home place or birthplace of a fantastic array of inventors, writers, musicians, athletes, politicians and historians. Showcase these individuals through a large format poster program throughout the region. The purpose of the program is multi-fold: 1) to foster civic pride by recognizing the many achievements/achievers from the region 2) to provide visual interest and a fresh look for buildings or structures in downtown areas that may currently be lacking in visual appeal and 3) to reinforce the brand message of innovation, creativity, invention and passion. A similar program called Hometown Heroes has proved a huge success in the Louisville area over the last 10 years.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 181 of 231
  • 182.  Note that the grand format posters can fill the side of an otherwise blank wall, cover the side of a multi-story parking garage or jazz up a currently unused building. In Louisville, each Hometown Hero poster is sponsored by a local business that pays printing and installation costs. See all of Louisville’s Hometown Heroes and read about the program at the link below:  Make a celebratory media/public event of poster installations. Provide background on the person, the size of the poster, the sponsor, how the giant posters are printed. At (or near) the installation, set up a brand venue and hold a festive viewing party with the sponsor and the public. Bring your pop-up venue for branded merchandise sales, incorporate street performance artists, sell refreshments and offer interactive brand activities.  The posters do not have to be grand format. You may choose to do some smaller ones to place in more intimate venues that need sprucing up. Or size a series or posters for vacant windows along a single street.  Create a link on your portal website where all posters can be viewed. Over time, you will have quite a collection. Also consider a poster and/or postcard series for sale in gift shops, on the website, etc.  Incorporate the brand into planning for future developments and public amenities. Follow the link below to see an animation video for Indianapolis’ new Helix Park. The Park will be part of a new live, work, play redevelopment project designed to expand the City’s life sciences corridor.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 182 of 231
  • 183. Helix Park – a new park that will run through the corridor New Tech Corridor development Indianapolis BM, CCPriority: 1to begin discussion on interest and feasibilityTiming: 9-24 monthsCost: Minor production costs associated with program organization and promotion.Production costs for macro posters range from $15,000- $40,000 in the 30’ to 40’ height range(and depending on whether poster is black and white or color). Smaller posters for indoorvenues or street level installation would be considerably less ($3.50/sq. ft.).Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 183 of 231
  • 184. OBJECTIVE VIIAttract and retain college graduates with the brandSituation:The Generation Iowa Commission is faced with a conundrum. Iowa is one of the top fivestates drawing in college students from around the nation and around the world; and on a percapita basis Iowa has more high school graduates than 49 other states. Yet Iowa is the number-two state in losing college-educated youth (only North Dakota loses more). Or to look at it inthe opposite fashion, the 49th worst at retaining college students.Brain drain and brain gain have become a high-stakes game of economic poker for cities andregions throughout the United States. In addition to sustaining highly skilled workforces,studies show that education levels influence median wages in a community, and drive wealthcreation through the creativity and innovation of college graduates. While the driving factormay lie in economic development factors like job creation, competitive wages and availability ofjobs for college grads, there is much the region can do to connect with and support its collegepopulation. Studies have shown the following factors to be of primary importance in retainingand attracting college grads:  Job opportunity: Perceived job availability, understanding of specific job opportunities including wage levels and advancement options. In this respect, INTERNSHIPS play a very important role in introducing the college student to opportunities in the local market.  Affordability: Second only to jobs in choosing a location after college.  Housing: Availability, type, cost.  Geography: Proximity to other cities, family and friends.  Feel of the city or region: Quality of life, urban atmosphere, climate, diversity, arts and culture, recreation, entertainment, nightlife.  Transportation: Ease of auto ownership, extensive and accessible public transportation and short commutes all increase likelihood of retaining or attracting college graduates.  Percentage of native students: Graduates who attended high school in the region where they attend college are more likely to stay in the area upon graduation.  Internships: A 2011 survey by North Star client Dayton, Ohio, revealed that internships were the single largest distinguishing factor between those who stayed in a region after college graduation, versus those who left. Without a regional strategy on internships, you are missing a regional strategy on talent retention.The Downtown Development District in New Orleans, another North Star client, also recentlycompleted additional research on criteria that are important to the Creative Class/YoungProfessional demographic and identified the following critical factors (this study was not limitedto first jobs out of college):  Lifestyle and jobs were of the greatest importance to this group.  Cost of living was not a significant motivator in this sample.  The Creative Class want the freedom and confidence to move down the street for a job (density of opportunity is key).Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 184 of 231
  • 185.  Lifestyle amenities that are valued include: o Unique neighborhoods o Diverse, compact neighborhoods o Acceptance and tolerance of differences o Third spaces o Density of corporations and firms for collaboration o Reliable, convenient public transportation o Authenticity o Convenient, compact, safe and walkable community o WiFi that flows like water o Green spaces. Tactics 1. Convene a broad-based group of enthusiastic and forward-thinking college and grad students and young professionals in a GeNEXTics Creative Summit  Gather ICC’s most energetic young go-getters, hipsters and entrepreneurs to sit down together for an annual young creative’s summit to provide diverse young talent a louder voice within the region. Who are the young creatives? They are the next generation of the creative class: o Anyone between the ages of 18-40 who creates for a living (or would like to upon graduation). This includes engineers, poets, lawyers, computer programmers, scientists, artists and architects, among many others. o The creative class accounts for 30% of the population and over 50% of all wages and salaries. Where young creatives choose to live and work will determine the regions and businesses that are successful in the next decade.  Dayton has been hosting an annual Young Creatives Summit since 2009, as part of an initiative called updayton (the name comes from the rising pool of young talent that leaders hope will lift the future of their community). Updayton’s purpose is to attract, engage, connect and empower young creatives throughout the region.  At the annual summit, participants spend three hours networking, brainstorming and strategizing. In 2011, the young creatives looked at the topics of nightlife, diversity, jobs and neighborhoods, identifying an action project and an existing organization they might partner with throughout the upcoming year. o Nightlife: Attendees partnered with the Downtown Dayton Partnership, designing a monthly First Friday Scavenger Hunt which encouraged participants to move about among downtown galleries, restaurants, bars and other hotspots following a clueIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 185 of 231
  • 186. sheet. Those who visit five establishments participate in a free party following the hunt. o Jobs: After updayton’s annual survey revealed internships were the top predictor of retaining local college students, the committee has focused on better marketing of regional opportunities. In early 2012, an internship site will launch for the region as a result of their efforts. o Diversity: The diversity group has hosted potluck dinners to connect immigrant families with local ones to provide support and information. Now the group is working on Welcome to Dayton packets that provide school, employment and housing information, library information and coupons for local merchants. o Neighborhoods: Clean up and beautification of a neighborhood park near downtown Dayton’s emerging new art and entertainment district has been a priority for the group. Now that the park is cleaned up, the group will host an art event at the location this spring.  Projects from previous summits include o The People I Know: A video project in which flip cameras were passed from one young creative to another in order to videotape highlights of their lives. Videos were edited and posted on-line. Now the group is working on compiling the individual videos into a single recruiting tool for local companies and corporations. o Entrepreneur of the month: A monthly interview with a successful young entrepreneur on the popular blog Dayton Most Metro. Articles include key strategies and hints for aspiring entrepreneurs, and also tell the great stories of the risk-takers that make the Dayton region a great place to be.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 186 of 231
  • 187.  In addition to the Young Creative’s Summit, another activity of updayton is their Annual Report which features the results of their yearly survey of college students and a summary of the year’s activities. Using the survey, they track perceptions, attitudes and decision-making factors for the region’s college students regarding Dayton’s appeal as a place to live, work and play. _The_Dayton_Regions_Talent_on_the_Rise.pdf  One of updayton’s current projects is in conjunction with an initiative called Activated Spaces, which is designed to help fill downtown store fronts. Activated Spaces solicited applications for holiday pop-up stores for three vacant downtown Dayton storefronts during the holidays: a collaboration of artists and crafters selling baked goods, poetry, books, music and handcrafted items; a satellite store of the Dayton International Peace Museum selling fair trade, slave-free and eco-friendly merchandise; and a day spa that will provide nail care, waxing and make-up services. updayton will help publicize the shops in its First Friday Scavenger Hunt.  As you prepare for your first GeNEXTics Creative Summit, make a special effort to reach out to existing groups of young professionals like the Impact CR group of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and ICAD’s ICCReatives (many of who are under 35). At the time of North Star’s last visit, another young professional group was evolving in the Iowa City area. If this group is operating (or if other groups have evolved) in the region, be sure to include them all. In addition to inviting organized groups, use Facebook and the media to encourage turnout of individuals. The meeting should be sponsored by several area businesses and organizations that are prepared to stimulate discussion and partner with any work groups that are formed.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 187 of 231
  • 188.  One of the priorities that should come out of the first Summit is the formation of a region-wide group of young creatives who are focused on on-going issues and improvements – with the caveat that this is not a social organization, but a gathering of inspired and ambitious professionals who want to change attitudes and affect the future of their region. The group will need a name, a mission, and some sponsoring organizations.  A second priority that should be addressed is the implementation of an annual survey of area college students and alumni regarding their perception of ICC as a place to live and work. Once implemented, this data should be included among the benchmarks of the regional Innovation Vital Signs publication. University and college alumni offices will be important partners in this regional endeavor.  As Dayton did, the ICC group should consider the creation of a web presence directed toward young creatives. This might just be a page or two on the brand portal or an expansion of the current ICCReatives site. Note that the Dayton site provides a list of events throughout the region. This should be a top priority for the strategy group as it provides a “home” for information and collaboration.  Learn more about the Dayton programs by clicking on the link below: http://updayton.comResponsibility: BM, BMT, colleges and universities, Impact CR and other Young Professional typegroups and individualsPriority: 1Timing: 12-18 monthsCosts: Minimal cost to organize group. 2. Use the brand to connect with college students and post-grads who are longing for home.  Sometimes Young Creatives (YCs) or young families are actually eager to move back home, but the obstacles seem too difficult to overcome. One region in Virginia has helped smooth the road back home with the creation of a “Return to Roots” full-service website. The site, recognized for its innovation by the Ash Institute of Government at Harvard, offers job listings in the region, a higher education directory and resources, upcoming high school reunions and their organizer contacts, information about assets, lifestyle and resources within the region; and allows job seekers to post their resumes. In addition, the group will offer resume tips and sends out e-blasts to both employers and job-seekers.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 188 of 231
  • 189.  The site was established in an effort to connect with the 30,000 southwest Virginia high school alumni who had moved out of the region over the last 20 years. The effort was launched with a direct mail postcard campaign and is a non-profit organization funded by a state tobacco grant and company sponsorships. A flyer describing the Return to Roots program can be found in APPENDIX V. Click on the link below to see the website:  Use the Virginia site as a launching pad for thinking about how you might connect with your area alums – both high school and college. Use direct mail to connect with your far-flung alumni. Working with local high schools, Kirkwood Community College, UI and other regional institutions, put together a database of street addresses and e-mail addresses of alums that live outside the region. When your website goes live, reach out to this target market with a “Wish You Were Here” postcard campaign that features innovative changes around the region (new restaurants, galleries, flood recovery, and so on). Copy might read that “It’s time to come back and invent a better life” or come back and discover what’s new”. If you launch a website in conjunction with the campaign, include the web address and information about the site’s features on the post card.  As part of the campaign, send your former residents the DNA test. By taking the test and submitting their answers, you can then target their need for information more directly. For instance, you might find they need background on higher education opportunities, entrepreneurial support systems or a job in healthcare. After assessing their results, invite them back to the Corridor to discuss their test and provide appropriate local connections and resources for them to talk with during their visit.  Increase the impact of the campaign by including a Be a Part of Our Creative DNA, Discover the New You or Invent a New Life Facebook page and Twitter account.  Throughout the postcard campaign and on the website, incorporate brand language where feasible. Refer to the brand narrative for tone and ideas.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 189 of 231
  • 190. Responsibility: BM, BMT, CC. Sponsors for website, e-newsletter and special events wouldinclude: major employers, colleges and technical schools, reunion planners and services,realtors, local media outlets, moving companies, career planners. Grant opportunities may beavailable.Priority: 3Timing: 18-24 mos.Costs: TBD ($20,000-$40,000 for website development and design) 3. Upgrade your technology quotient  No one is more connected to technology than today’s Young Creatives. As a region fostered by innovation, ICC should make a concerted effort to upgrade the “tech quotient” of local businesses, events and infrastructure and to offer the latest and greatest in technology throughout the Creative Corridor. To make sure everyone has maximum possible access to WiFi, follow Los Angeles’ lead. LA provides a Wi-Finder map that locates free internet access and also links to Experience LA’s interactive WiFi locator that tell you where portals are in each district throughout the City. These WiFi portals are provided by the City of Los Angeles.  Work with communities throughout the region to catalog and map the regions WiFi access. Then add an Iowa’s Creative Corridor Wi-Finder map to your brand portal.  Many local websites are old school, lack interactive features and are short on photos and visual appeal. In addition, only a few local municipal jurisdictions are venturing into the world of Facebook and Twitter in a meaningful way. Develop a comprehensive social media strategy for all ICC communities. Up-to-date use of these tools will immediately give the region a more contemporary and welcoming feel, which appeals to Young Creatives.  Develop a website especially for YCs as discussed in Tactic 2.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 190 of 231
  • 191.  Audition YCs with a knack for verbiage to initiate a blog geared to YCs. The site should discuss living in the Creative Corridor from an YC perspective with thoughts on events, activities, job hunting, great neighborhoods, good restaurants, etc. While the blog should contain constructive criticism and opinion regarding life in the region, the overall tone should remain positive. The blog manager may also choose to feature guest bloggers from time to time.  Schedule events and activities that use technology to show off regional assets and provide fun events for YCs entertainment.  Host a QR code or bar code scavenger hunt. QR codes are those square bits of digital information that link you to a website or other information when scanned with your smart phone. Work with an area tech company to sponsor a Scanvenger Hunt to introduce QR code technology throughout the region. Place the QR codes in popular locations throughout the downtown areas of regional communities. When scanned, participants receive either a clue to the next location or a trivia question. The Scanvenger Hunts should not all be held on the same day. Instead, schedule them in conjunction with a major downtown festival in each community. This allows more participants to be exposed to the assets of each community. Offer the opportunity to win a fun and innovative prize to all those who finish the hunt. For instance, all finishers might be entered in a drawing for an iPad or similar device.  You can host the same kind of event using barcodes. At special events and festivals, give away an inexpensive premium item with a Stickybits bar code. When participants scan the code, they will see a message, photograph or video that provides information about the scavenger hunt. Players can add their own comments or photos to the event thread at each location. Stickybits is a mobile application that uses barcodes printed on stickers to make everyday objects scannable by smartphone. Stickybits have been used at the San Diego Zoo where guests scan in photos and comments at each exhibit, throughout the remodeled Gatwick Airport to point out new features/improvements and in London to host a scavenger hunt. You can also link your Stickybits campaign to other location- based social networks such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places. CelebritiesIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 191 of 231
  • 192. host Stickybits events too – Reggie Bush used a Stickybits/Foursquare/Facebook giveaway at the start of last year’s NFL season. Reggie gave away autographed footballs to fans that checked in via Foursquare or found his Stickybits clues around New Orleans. Note: Stickybits aren’t just for scavenger hunts. You can add a Stickybits barcode to your business cards, too. When a contact scans the code with their phone, they can receive a custom message from the business or from the brand. Order bar codes directly from Stickybits and add your own message or video content. App-315232105 hunt-in-your-local-community/  Encourage Creative Corridor event organizers, retailers, schools, attractions and governments to register for Foursquare. Foursquare is a mobile device-based location game where users earn badges for checking in at popular locations. Check in often enough and you can be “mayor” of Hawkeye Stadium! The service can also be used to share tips and reviews about establishments. Facebook has also launched its own location based game service called Facebook Places, which should be included in this initiative.Responsibility: BM, BMT, CC, young professionals group if you establish onePriority: 3Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: Minimal expense for ramping up social media. WiFi costs to be absorbed by localcommunities or by private sector. 4. Connect with students via meaningful internships and community service opportunities  Ramp up your chance of making connections between qualified young people and area employers by establishing and promoting a comprehensive internship program within the Creative Corridor. Studies have shown that often, students who intern with a company and have a positive experience would like to either work for the company or stay in the area following graduation.  Initiate an internship program featuring a centralized database of regional opportunities. Using local media, non-profit organizations, the Creative Collaborative and personalIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 192 of 231
  • 193. contacts, put out a call for all area employers to consider developing internship opportunities within their organization. Compile these positions into an Iowa’s Creative Corridor Intern database. For examples of quality databases, check out the following links: Indiana: Upstate New York: Philadelphia:  Recognize that the creation of quality internships in the region’s industries, businesses and non-profits is an important part of your economic development strategy. As such, it should be allotted appropriate resources for success, including education and recruitment of potential employers and marketing to regional students. Members of the Creative Collaborative, local government jurisdictions and your top employers should all help blaze the trail by establishing meaningful opportunities within their organization.  In addition, encourage area employers to post entry level jobs and internships at, a database that students can search by geographic location or by job type. This resource is used also by journalists to rank a community’s attractiveness to college grads. While many of the Creative Corridor’s major employers like Rockwell Collins and the City of Cedar Rapids are using the site, smaller businesses may not be familiar with the resource.  Provide meaningful community service opportunities. Young Creatives enjoy being involved in service projects and making a difference in their region. But to hold their interest you must provide options that offer meaningful involvement, not just busy work.  As you are speaking with employers regarding internships, raise the question of community service. There are many tasks where Young Creative involvement will be beneficial, here are some to consider: o Non-profit boards or committees: Often, museums and non-profits will sponsor a Young Professional committee or board to support their cause. Survey your non- profits for involvement of “next generation” individuals (including local governments). If there is not enough demand for an entire committee or group, then ask each organization to designate one seat on their board to a young creative representative (age 30 or under).Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 193 of 231
  • 194. o Social media: No one knows more about social media than today’s young people. Take advantage of that knowledge by asking a group of Young Creatives to help design a social media program to reach out to their peers and increase involvement in the region. You could also invite them to help design and implement a social media program for the new ICC brand. Or host a 24 Hour YC Social Media Marathon. Match teams of your Young Creative volunteers with non-profits and businesses who want to implement social media. Over a 24-hour period, the YCs create a social media campaign for the organization as a public service activity. o Include your emerging leaders in planning for the brand. Appoint Young Creative members to serve on the brand think tank committee to help generate brand ideas of interest to young people. Consider appointment of a Young Creative representative on the BMT to provide perspective from the Next Generation demographic. o Ask Young Creative members to write a blog and/or write a handbook about innovation in the Creative Corridor from their perspective. As part of this project, they might develop criteria for an innovative workplace. Recognize employers that meet the criteria as an ICC Young Creative Best Place to Work. o Assemble a team of Young Creatives to clean up and improve blighted areas or vacant buildings. Name the group the CAT crew for their Creative Acts of Transformation across the region. o Provide entrepreneurial support for creative students and alumni from the region and attract interest in downtown areas by using pop-up retail shops. Open the shops for limited 2-3 month runs (as an innovative way to fill vacant spaces among permanent tenants), alternating locations between communities with viable shopping areas. In your retail pop-up, feature unique items from alumni (works from the IWW) and current students including art, jewelry, clothing, shoes, fashion photography, illustration, furniture, accessories, literature and more. The shop should be operated by the students with support provided by the hosting municipality, colleges and universities and the brand. The London College of Fashion sponsored a very successful pop-up this fall, offering unique and one-off creations from current students and up-and-coming alums for three weeks. The shop was set up as a boutique with stock rotating daily and signed certificates of authenticity from the creators. The shop also sold branded organic cotton canvas shopping bags and limited edition postcards. The endeavor was named by the students, who settled on The College Shop. Fashions and accessories from the shop are shown on the following page.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 194 of 231
  • 195. o To learn more about involving young professionals and college grads in your community, see APPENDIX W.Responsibility: BM, BMT, CCPriority: 2Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: Minimal costs for brainstorming and involving Next Gens in decision making. Seeksponsorships and grants for programming and events. 5. Initiate a Summer Internship Program  Ramp up your internship program another notch with a formal regional summer internship program called Innovate, Learn, Earn. Model the program after Greater Louisville’s Intern to Earn program, a comprehensive summer intern program designed to attract college graduates to Louisville. The program not only connects employers and interns, it offers a summer full of activities including welcome lunch, career workshops, and social events with the other summer interns and opportunities to sample a variety of summer activities around Louisville. The program recruits quality students by attending Career Fairs at colleges throughout Kentucky and surrounding states and through the draw of paid work experience and a built-in social network. In Louisville, the program is managed through the Greater Louisville Chamber of Commerce. Learn more about the Intern to Earn program through the following links (note that the tone of the site is young and fresh):’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 195 of 231
  • 196.  House all of your summer interns in one location in an urban area. The optimal scenario would be apartments. If not, the interns could be housed at UI in dorms. When choosing a location, remember that YCs like walkable, authentic neighborhoods with a variety of accessible activities and public transit. You would not want an intern to have to turn down a position because they did not have a car. Dayton operates a similar summer intern program called Summer in the City. ory/news/local/2007/06/04/ddn060407internsinside.html?c xtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=16  In Dayton, the summer interns meet weekly in the evening for dinner at different restaurants, receive tickets to area baseball games, volunteer together at a local non- profit, and attend festivals and special events throughout the summer. Remember that young professionals think regionally, so it is important to expose them to recreational and cultural assets throughout region. Enjoy a weekend of outdoor adventures on the lake or river, attend a Kernels game or tour Hawkeye athletic facilities. Do a gallery tour, attend an outdoor concert or go to summer festival.  Continue to work to add opportunities to your internship list and to make connections between employers and students. As previously noted, positive internships have been statistically shown to be powerful predictors of remaining in a geographic area after graduation. (In Dayton, the Chamber of Commerce has assumed responsibility for putting together the internship database, while the Summer in the City program is operated by the Downtown Dayton Partnership. This represents a decisive and positive opportunity for ALL regional Chambers/Downtown groups and/or economic development organizations to work together.)  Grab some headlines for your internship program through an innovative contest to select participants. Accept applications via the microblogging site Twitter, asking interested students to tweet the reason they should be considered for an Innovation Internship in 140 characters or less. The tweet should contain the hashtag #ICCintern. Use the Twitter submissions as your initial screening tool, requesting further information from those who send innovative tweets. The University of Iowa used a Twitter Contest to choose a $38,000 scholarship recipient for the Tippie College of Business MBA program. Applicants were encouraged to include links to blogs, videos or Facebook accounts to provide further information. Kentucky Fried Chicken hosted a similar contest for a college scholarship and achieved great participation and positive media coverage. scholarships_1_tweet-scholarship-program-sree-sreenivasan?_s=PM:TECHIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 196 of 231
  • 197.  As part of the programming for the summer interns, hold a budgeting work session to help the students understand the cost of living in ICC. Include categories for rent, entertainment, dining out, transportation and so on. Compare these costs to the cost of living in a larger metropolitan area to drive home your affordability and accessibility.Responsibility: BM, BMT, Chambers/Downtown groups/ED orgsPriority: 2Timing: 18-24 monthsCosts: TBD based on events. Seek sponsors to help subsidize intern’s summer rent and officialintern activities. 6. Provide incentives for students to stay  Make it financially worthwhile for students to consider staying in the area after graduation or after their internship: o Ask local colleges, local/regional economic development/business organizations or foundations to provide a tuition discount for current students who sign an agreement to work within the region for a specified number of years after graduation. In addition to the tuition discount, students who participate in the program should receive career counseling and assistance finding a suitable job after graduation. o Ask area developers and property owners to offer a “Post Graduate Discount” for students who want to rent in the area after graduation. Discount could be contingent on a long-term lease, but should offer an appreciable mark-down. This is a particularly beneficial arrangement for property owners who have a backlog of available apartments or condos. o Provide tax incentives on the purchase of a first home.Responsibility: BM, Economic Development/Chamber personnelPriority: 3Timing: 18-24 monthsCosts: Minimal if partners are found within the local developer, banking/investment, and collegecommunities.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 197 of 231
  • 198. 7. Engage area high school and college students and equip them for success  Connect regional high school students with the innovation of the region through a summer camp where area CEOs and entrepreneurial leaders teach how to build and grow companies. Throughout the week of camp, high schoolers would enjoy the unique opportunity to visit a different company each day and interact personally with the business leaders. Startup High in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, uses a faculty of 50 business leaders in its summer camp programs, which are designed to help students discover their passion and uncover an entrepreneurial spirit. Camps are organized by industry focus, so that students can choose the weeks of greatest interest to them. Learn more at:  Engage area college students with a college arm of the Young Creatives regional initiative. Involve them with real world regional problems, solicit their input, ask them to help with the annual survey, enlist their ideas and support for the summer internship program and so on. College students are eager to make a difference in the world around them, but like to be involved in projects where they feel they are having an impact.  Use college students to turn otherwise uninteresting public spaces into areas of public engagement and reflection. For example, turn biking or walking paths around the region (and particularly on or near your college campuses) into Career Paths with the help of a few stencils, some spray chalk and willing student activists. Spray paint stencils on the paths that say: When I was little I wanted to be _______. Now I want to be _______. Leave chalk on the path for passersby to stencil in their responses. As people pause to write in their answers and read the responses of others, the path becomes a natural gathering place for strangers to share a moment of conversation or recognition. (Be sure to provide stencils and instruction in multiple languages to recognize diversity within the region (particularly on campuses.) Below, see example of a similar project in Finland designed by Candy Chang, artist, urban planner, TED Fellow and Urban Innovation Fellow. This project was developed as part of Finland’s European Capital of Culture event and was conducted on a biking and walking path leading to the area university.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 198 of 231
  • 199. Installation Ready to unveil Multiple languagesIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 199 of 231
  • 200. Stopping to engage and reflect “When I was little I wanted to be a paleontologist. Today I want to be happy.” “When I was little I wanted to be kind. Today I want to be an air hostess.” “When I was little I wanted to be a truck driver. Today I want to be??” ”When I was little I wanted to be a cowboy. Today I want to be a designer.” “When I was little I wanted to be a secret agent. Today I want to be a psychologist.” “When I was little I wanted to be a teacher. Today I want to be a teacher.”  In addition to walking paths, stencil the Career Paths on high school and middle school sidewalks as a way to connect with their aspirations. See below for a similar idea executed in Finland. On all installations, include the brand logo for identity purposes. For more information on Candy Change and her projects, click the link:  Collaborate with Kirkwood, UI and other area institutions to provide tools for grads that help them hit the ground running. Develop a Creative Kickstart post-grad careerIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 200 of 231
  • 201. or entrepreneur kits for various specialties. For instance, the Rhode Island School of Design has begun providing art and design grads with an Artrapreneur Kit including: o A device for processing credit card payments anywhere o Free six-month account with an online portfolio service o Portfolio subscription o Free on-line software for transmitting large art files o A free section on Kickstarter to help gain funding and visibility o Opportunity to win a $1,500 fellowship from Etsy (an on-line art sales site) to attend a small business conference in Berlin  Co-brand your Innovative Afterlife Kit with the educational assets of the region. Focus on areas where grads are most likely to strike out on their own – this might be entrepreneur or business majors, art and design, film production, or writing. Solicit national sponsorships from on-line services.  Spread the word that the Creative Corridor is a great place to locate after college with a guerrilla Afterlife campaign. Send your pop-up mobile brand space to area college campuses, armed with successful post-grads. Their purpose is to wage a campaign demonstrating that there is life after college – and that ICC is the place to live it! Innovative Afterlife ambassadors might troll college campuses and bars wearing t-shirts that say: Innovate Your Afterlife. Provide ambassadors with fun premium items and with information kits on housing, social life, and job opportunities, along with an invitation for an Innovative Afterlife Meetup in the Creative Corridor. The pop-up might also pay visits to campuses around Iowa and in neighboring states.  Equip the pop-up with a short film titled Living an Innovative Afterlife. (Partner with a local college or university for development.) The film should focus on the Creative Class attributes where the Creative Corridor is strongest, including authentic neighborhoods, two urban areas, affordability, outdoor amenities, accessibility and convenience, dining and shopping, arts and culture and so on.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 201 of 231
  • 202.  Highlight stories of successful graduates who have located in the region and become successful. There are many local success stories to choose from in your targeted clusters. Here is an example of promoting hometown success in Nashville, TN within the animation arena. McClain-Animation-scores-big-video-company?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Business  Sponsor a regional Job Crawl for area students or recent graduates. StartUp Foundation Des Moines recently held a Start Up Job Crawl through their tech corridor, then toured the tenants of a local incubator, then visited another area of the city for more start-up tours and a look at a freshly opened cowork space. Sponsor a similar event within the Creative Corridor. Schedule a quarterly or semi-annual job crawl so that participants can spend adequate time meeting and learning about each potential employer or location. In Des Moines, there was no charge for the event, which was open to all current students and any recent college graduate (defined as out of college for 12 months or less). job-crawl-is-nov-16Responsibility: BM, CC, industry clusters, area universitiesPriority: 2Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: TBD based on scope of program, sponsorships and partnerships. 8. Develop creative work spaces that encourage innovation  ICC has indicated an interest in attracting the Creative Class, young professionals and growing entrepreneurs. To support these creative efforts, provide creative spaces and continue to incorporate creative work and meeting space into the region. The new co- work space in Cedar Rapids is a good example of entrepreneurial support facilities. Encourage continued development of such spaces throughout the region. The photo below shows a co-work space for writers and home-based business workers who just need a quiet place to plug in a laptop and work. In ICC, work with providers of co- work spaces to insure that the Creative Corridor brand is integrated into the space. This might include a helix and the Ignite advertising copy painted on the wall, or it might be a piece of helix art or sculpture.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 202 of 231
  • 203. In addition to co-work office space, assess the need for creative shared meeting spaces. See photos below of a rehabbed meeting/conference shared space near Cincinnati, Ohio. Note the toys and props for stimulating discussion and brainstorming. Access to third spaces like these makes communities more attractive to creative businesses and young professionals. Boost! The raw space before being furnished and the small group breakout area after furnishing  In addition to the more traditional meeting space, incorporate a Creativity Room in your downtown meeting area. This is a meeting room filled with creative gadgets, images, music and interactive objects designed for creative brainstorming meetings. Many creative businesses already understand the value of a room of this sort; you can introduce the concept to more traditional industries, as well. Talk with your municipalities and assess interest and ability to seed this kind of space throughout ICC.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 203 of 231
  • 204. Hats, balls, bean bag toss and other toys from the creativity area of Boost!  The Thinkubator in Chicago is another creative meeting space. Big rooms, high ceilings, expansive views and fun toys all contribute to a sense of freedom and creativity: BM, CC, ChambersPriority: 3Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: TBD based on location and facility. Could be funded as a private project with grantassistance.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 204 of 231
  • 205. OBJECTIVE VIIIAchieve tourism goals through brand-based initiativesSituation:Iowa’s Creative Corridor offers extensive tourism resources including the cultural heritageexperience of the Amana Colonies, the cultural and athletic events of the University of Iowa,outdoorsy activities such as golf and hiking, arts and culture, tournaments and sporting events,and the opportunity to experience artists in the region’s multitudinous galleries from well-known American painter Grant Woods to lesser known rising stars. In addition, the regionoffers significant meeting capacity on both an intimate scale at the meeting and conferencecenter in Coralville and on a larger scale at the Convention Center currently underconstruction in Cedar Rapids.Implementation of a new regional identity provides an opportunity to begin to market thesevaried resources regionally, rather than as individual areas. The CVBs were the most reluctantof the groups North Star met with regarding regional collaboration efforts, feeling that in manycases they were either in direct competition or were pursuing completely different markets.Still, it is important to begin to develop a regional tourism identity and each of these partnersshould participate in an organized effort to cross-promote and to incorporate the brand inmarketing materials. As a region, tourism and hospitality offerings are varied and plentiful.Exploring regional marketing messages does not have to mean consolidation of CVBs, but itdoes produce a greater impact locally, regionally and nationally. In addition, it aggregates assetsfor markets such as employee (and spouse) recruiting and economic development lifestylemessages.The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance serves as a successful example of consolidation of art andcultural information and marketing in a single location. Though each partner retains theirindividual identity and budget, the Cultural Corridor serves as a central resource for residentsand visitors to the region.Integration of the brand into convention, sports, meeting, healthcare, leisure and culturalmarketing will expand the impact of existing efforts and uncover new opportunities for thefuture. Tactics 1. Integrate a regional viewpoint, brand message and logo into visitor experiences and marketing touchpoints  One of the first priorities for tourism, hospitality and cultural entities should be the addition of quick and easy ICC identity elements to existing marketing materials. This simple step involves placing the region name, logo and brand language on websites, brochures, social media channels and Visitor Guides. These contact points offer an important opportunity for the region and the brand to gain broad exposure to a variety of audiences locally, nationally and even internationally at minimal cost and effort. TheIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 205 of 231
  • 206. Brand Manager and BMT should meet with the CVBs and with Iowa’s Cultural Corridor Alliance to discuss simple ways to integrate the brand into the visitor mindset.  The logo might be simply the standard Creative Corridor logo, or the CVBs and hospitality entities might like to develop a custom hospitality partner version with language like Iowa’s Creative Corridor: The Innovative Vacation Destination (or Convention Destination or Cultural Destination). Another alternative would be: Hospitality Partner in Iowa’s Creative Corridor (or Cultural Partner, etc.)  Brand language can be added to headlines, teasers, press releases, promotions, event listings and body copy on websites, social media and print publications (update as reprints are needed) by incorporating copy that evokes transformative experiences, a sense of discovery, innovative activities and entertainment options and so on.  A regional flavor and overview can be achieved by placing a Discover the Creative Corridor “bug” on all CVB and hospitality-oriented websites. When clicked the bug would re-direct the viewer to a page of regional itineraries and regional promotions. This shared space will provide a high-quality regional asset that captures visitor opportunities from one end of the Creative Corridor to another in a consistent and engaging format. In this way, individual CVBs do not each have to keep creating and recreating their own page of regional assets and suggestions, as is used in the current approach.  This same approach should be taken in Visitor Guides across the region which should all contain a regional Iowa’s Creative Corridor Innovative Vacations section (or insert). This standardized section should use brand language to provide the flavor of the region as a whole, approached from the brand viewpoint of learning, discovery, creativity, innovation, how things are made or created and so on. The section copy should be lively and entertaining and should bring out a sense of discovery in the reader.  Both Visitor Guides and website regional common areas should include good regional maps crafted from a visitor viewpoint highlighting regional assets for outdoor recreation, culture, dining and sports.  Tourism organizations should also consider the development of a joint Iowa’s Creative Corridor YouTube, Discovery Channel. Consider a collaborative tourism and art/culture initiative pooling marketing dollars to produce dynamic, interesting videos to post to YouTube and Vimeo (and embed in organization websites). Highlight creative art, culture and outdoor activities that show visitors in action learning, doing, discovering and creating. ICC is a very dynamic, active destination with multitudes of events and locations to see and explore. Capture that spirit in a personality-filled video about the region. A 2011 Grand Rapids MI video, produced in reaction to a Newsweek article describing Grand Rapids as a “dying city” has now produced more than four million hits in less than a year. The video, which involved 4,000 volunteers takes the viewer on a tour of the major assets of the community.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 206 of 231
  • 207.  This project should be a joint effort among the Brand Manager, the BMT, CVBs, Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance and other major visitor stakeholders. Since the CVBs have expressed a reluctance to move forward too quickly, presentation of these small, non- threatening and beneficial regional opportunities should be an acceptable step forward to them. However, it may take the enthusiasm and structure of an outside cheerleader like the BMT and Brand Manager to keep the project moving.Responsibility: BM, BMT, CVBs, ICCAPriority: 1Timing: 6-12 monthsCosts: Individual CVBs to absorb cost of adding bugs to own websites and incorporatingregional sections in Visitor Guides. Development costs for regional content for web, VisitorGuides $5,000. Minimal hard costs for creating regional itineraries. 2. Recognize and develop regional itineraries and assets that support the brand identity  The BMT and CVBs could also create an award or designation for regional hospitality assets that offer experiences connected to the brand or who are sites featuring creativity/innovation/ingenuity/imagination (restaurants, museums, manufacturing sites, theaters, sporting venues and so forth. Designate these attractions as Discovery Destinations and provide a decal or signage to recognize their status. Discovery Destinations should offer the visitor something unexpected, unusual or educational in nature. For instance, you might suggest area restaurants design a Discovery Dinner or Discovery Dessert, using interesting combinations of ingredients or unexpected fusion cuisine. Designate these special menu items with a Discovery icon resembling the regional logo. Apply this same kind of thinking to other assets in the area to create additional Discovery experiences.  The Brand Manager, BMT and CVBs, and ICCA should brainstorm the development of regional Discovery Itineraries. These should appeal to a cross-section of interests and tastes, but should all share the common element of learning something new about yourself, the region, art and culture, education, agriculture, sports, manufacturing or any of the other unique assets within the area.  For example, CVBs might offer a value-added Discovery Day for meetings, which might include some of the following: o A local farm might host a meeting either outside or in their barn area. o The Amanas might include an experiential component in a meeting where participants learn to make bread together as a bonding experience. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art could include a hands-on group experience allowing meeting-Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 207 of 231
  • 208. goers to reinterpret Grant Wood’s American Gothic as it relates to their own workplace or organization. o UI might consider leasing space to groups to meet under tents on Kinnick Field. o The Riverside Theater would provide a unique and inspirational location for brainstorming meetings or presentations. o After-hours activities might include backstage tours of great cultural venues like Hansher Auditorium, Englert Theater, Riverside Theater, etc or Innovation Experiences like insider tours of advanced manufacturing operations and insight into cutting-edge technology.  Discovery Day itineraries for visitors should focus on the arts, creativity, innovation or how things are made or changed. Some initial ideas for sample itineraries and potential activities are below (note that portions of these itineraries can be pulled out and offered as standalone workshops or lifelong learning opportunities at Kirkwood as specially branded Iowa’s Creative Corridor Learning Experiences): o Transforming Mind and Body Itinerary – Pampering (spa treatments) – Guided bike ride, jog or walk (choice of locations: along the river, through Czech Village, around the Amanas, through the UI campus, etc.) – Hands-on learning experience (pottery or painting class, lesson in how theater make-up is applied, writing workshop with local author, cooking lesson in local restaurant and so on) – Service activity. Service vacations have become a popular choice for many. Offer some opportunities for your visitors to leave your region a little better than they found it. These types of personal transformation activities might even be a complete stand alone itinerary. Consider service itineraries that connect with the CAT crew and Creative Acts of Transformation across the region (see page 194). For example, consider a tour of flood recovery areas, discussions of damage, recovery activities, reconstruction and development projects and a chance to help with clean-up or other activities in still blighted areas. One service idea for areas with empty houses or buildings is the creation and installation of hand painted plywood window and door inserts that spruce up the structure. See photos on the right and on the following page:Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 208 of 231
  • 209. o How Things are Grown and Made Itinerary: An exploration of the relationship of how knowledge and research/development bring new products to our table, our home, our marketplace and our economy. – Farm to table. A look at local growers, growing practices and how connections are made between restaurants, farmers markets and growers. Finish the experience with a great farm to table meal at a local restaurant – Hawkeye card stunts at Kinnick Stadium. How are those cards stunts conceived, planned and executed? – Wine and beer. Learn how craft beers and local wines are produced – Symphony, opera and theater. How is a production planned and staged? How do orchestras learn a new piece? – Research and development. How does a product find its way from the lab or the desk to the manufacturing plant, the hospital, etc? Consider all kinds of locally grown research and development:  Biotech  Advanced manufacturing  Athletes: latest research on strength and conditioning, etc.  Flood control projects  Agriculture  Develop a collaborative list of the Top 10 Things to Try in Iowa’s Creative Corridor (or the Top 25 -- if you just can’t whittle down the choices!). The items on the list do not all have to address specific attractions. Include some off-the-beaten-track ideas as well (hot air balloon ride at sunrise or sunset; first snowmobiler on a special trail after a big snow, etc.). Feature the list on all tourism and arts/culture websites, Facebook pagesIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 209 of 231
  • 210. and Twitter feeds. Ask residents and visitors to submit their Top 10 lists and share those, as well.  North Star client Abilene, TX had great success with their Top 10 promotion, which was recognized with an award from the state. In addition to promoting the region to potential visitors, the list helps provide fun ideas for residents other than the same old stuff. To read more on Abilene, follow this link:  Ask media outlets to do a feature story about the lists with local celebrities participating in the activities. Print the lists and ask hotels to put them in guest rooms or to distribute to guests as they check in. Create point-of-purchase table cards with your Top 10 List and place the table cards on hotel check-in counters. Provide travel-sized Top 10 Lists that tourists can tuck in their purse or pocket.  Update your lists annually through a fun social media contest with local press support. Ask visitors and residents to submit their Top 10 lists. While the primary list might only be produced annually (and included in Visitor Guides), specialty lists can be created and promoted throughout the year using regional celebrities. Ask local, regional and national celebrities to develop their own Top 10 Must Do lists just as celebrities do for iTunes. Publish their lists for residents and visitors to scroll through for interesting and offbeat activities. Be sure that a variety of regional activities are included. Promote the celebrity lists through the internet, newspapers, television and radio, bloggers and so on. Allow visitors and residents to post their Top 10 lists on social media sites and to upload videos of Top 10 activities of locations to Facebook and YouTube. Make sure all Top 10 locations are participating on FourSquare so that participants can check in when they stop by to visit! BM, BMT, CVBs, ICCAPriority: 1Timing: 6-12 monthsCosts: Minimal hard costs for developing Discovery Destinations, Discovery Day itineraries orTop 10 list. 3. Make sure that your Visitor Centers offer convenience and a positive brand experience  When customers step into area Visitor Centers at Coral Ridge Mall, the Grant Wood Studio, the Amanas and Cedar Rapids (when the convention center is complete) they should get an immediate sense of what the region and the local area are all about. Add touches of the brand to make sure your message comes through loud and clear. A few ideas:Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 210 of 231
  • 211. o Add brand elements and colors to the Centers. Commission a custom-designed piece of helix art for display. The Coral Ridge helix might feature items from stores throughout the mall or tourism assets like the Riverside Theater or literary references. If a 3D sculptural version does not work or is too expensive, commission an artist to make a collage helix out of beautiful photos from around the area. Ask your Facebook fans and Twitter followers to suggest the activities and attractions that should be featured on the helix. o In the Amanas Visitor Center, the helix might be made of handcrafted objects, historic bits of Amana history or again – a photo collage. o Live up to the brand promise of innovation by providing technological features that assure convenience, entertainment and save time for your customers. This might include items like a charging station for electronic devices, free WiFi or free downloadable music with a local flavor or Iowa connection. o Create an eye-catching, branded display with large format photos of area activities and iconic locations. This is an opportunity to present regional consistency in each center. Be sure that these displays of regional offerings are presented similarly throughout all centers and tie-in with elements in the regional promotion section of each of the Visitor Guides. o Sell a diverse and interesting selection of brand-related items including posters of the photographs on the walls. Consider Iowa’s Creative Corridor travel clocks, t- shirts and fleeces, baseball caps and so forth. o Make sure that all Visitor Centers contain regional information so that visitors need only make one stop to have knowledge at their fingertips. Make sure that staff are informed about the region and have been through thorough customer service training so that they can quickly and efficiently provide assistance.Responsibility: BM, CVBs, ICCAPriority: 2Timing: Begin discussions immediatelyCosts: TBD based on features added to Visitors Center. 4. Wow visitors in hotel rooms with branded goodies and region-wide knowledge  The concept of Iowa’s Creative Corridor should greet visitors in their hotel rooms, inns or B&B’s in unexpected and delightful ways. Develop a list of ideas for area hotels and offer to help with the implementation.  Create brand merchandise that hotels can purchase in bulk for visitors including chocolates in the shape of the logo, temporary brand logo tattoos for the kids andIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 211 of 231
  • 212. decorative soaps for the adults. Other merchandise ideas include an ICC relaxation CD or a co-branded notepad labeled with brand language.  Some hotels have started carrying locally produced food items in their guestroom mini- bars. ICC has many locally produced foods and beverages that could be included: wine, craft beers, local bakeries and restaurants, local chocolate, General Mills – all might be able to supply baked goods or snack items. Hold a meeting with your hoteliers to discuss this opportunity. Place a card on or in the mini-bar touting the creativity and quality of your local products and produce. See the link below for background on this emerging trend. go-local/169278/1?loc=interstitialskip  In addition to region-made items in mini bars and hotel gift shops, partners like General Mills or Quaker might consider testing or just introducing some new products developed in the region among hotel guests. There could be a new super food breakfast item that is good for brain power and creating or innovating new ideas.  Provide a Creative Corridor Concierge (or Discovery Concierge) in major hotels who is knowledgeable about the Corridor’s many attractions, assets and activities. This resource should be able to suggest interesting and unexpected ideas for tours and experiences that are filled with learning.  If it is not feasible for hotels to designate a Concierge position, consider a central telephone Creative Corridor Concierge. This might be a group of trained, experienced volunteers at a Visitor Center who answer the phone, field questions and suggest itineraries throughout the region.  Solicit and engage local category experts on topics of regional interest: agritouism, arts, literature, technology, manufacturing, sports, education, outdoor activities and so on. These ICC Ambassadors will share their expertise with visitors and other residents via on-line and in-person engagement. Follow the lead of ICCReatives in creating a self- administered network of experts available to answer on-line questions and to share their insider tips through blogs and video tours. Ambassadors might also record audio for self-guided tours of the region (make headsets available at all hotels and Visitor Centers) as well as conduct guided tours.  Make sure ALL front desk personnel at hotels and Visitor Centers have benefitted from thorough hospitality training. This should include Discovery Fame Tours to provide first hand exposure to the many creative and innovative assets throughout the region.Responsibility: BM, CVBPriority: 2Timing: 9-24 monthsCosts: Partner with hotels for items like soap and chocolates.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 212 of 231
  • 213. 5. Develop and market an ICC Art and Innovation Trail  Special interest trails stimulate visitor (and resident) interest and provide an effective marketing tool to draw new people into the region. North Star client Mississippi has effectively used trails to promote its music, food and history. Learn about Mississippi Music Trails at Washington DC offers a number of cultural heritage trails through its walkable neighborhoods, as well as temporary special interest trails like the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Trail (street markers and map shown below).  Develop an Art and Innovation Trail to attract visitors and draw them throughout the region. Include the following on your trail: o Cultural assets o Science assets o Educational assets o Locations associated with iconic innovations/innovators (inventors, scientists, athletes, entertainers, philanthropists, designers) o Public art installations (developed through your ICC art competition) o Iconic local corporations with interesting history, manufacturing story, community philanthropy o Farms that use advanced or automated techniques o Flood recovery areas o Literary heritage sites o Grant Wood studio and other sites around the region affiliated with the artist o Work with some of your industrial giants or major manufacturers to provide tours for visitors and students. Even if the viewing is conducted behind glass, these tours offer an invaluable glimpse of the innovation within the Corridor.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 213 of 231
  • 214.  The Art and Innovation Trail should also feature pieces of the helix art collection. These might be public art installations along the trail or part of corporate collections featured on the grounds of corporate citizens like Pearson or Alliant. All Trail assets should be marked with signage and a storyboard outlining their significance.  While the Trail does not have to be physically connected via an actual biking or walking path, connecting your most innovative assets via a walk/bike path can produce major dividends. Not only does it provide a wonderful community asset for the region, it also promotes economic development along the Trail. Indianapolis, IN has developed a highly regarded Cultural Trail, funded in part by private donations and in part by public funds.  The Indianapolis Cultural Trail has been recognized by the Project for Public Spaces in New York City as a bold answer to skyrocketing obesity, an economic tool for connecting the City’s cultural resources and a strategy for improving Downtown. Retail and restaurants along the trail have experienced a noticeable positive economic impact.  The My Legacy Trail in Lexington, KY has created a similar impact.Note: The Project for Public Spaces is a non-profit organizationdedicated to creating dynamic spaces within American cities andtowns. They offer consulting services, educational workshopsand a library of on-line resources. BM, CVBs, ICCAPriority: 2Timing: 9-24 monthsCosts: Cost for trail marker signage and storyboards at trail destinations. 6. Grow your agritourism market  Agriculture still plays a significant role in the ICC regional economy, with more than 75% of available land still related to agricultural endeavors. Yet agritourism has not yet achieved much traction. Move now to coordinate marketing efforts, expand productIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 214 of 231
  • 215. offerings and include experiential and overnight options in your agritourism repertoire. In today’s economy, the tourism market is hungry for affordable experiences that bring visitors back to simpler times or provide an educational component. Click the link below for a New York Times article about this phenomenon and about the new demand for “haycations”. _r=1&ei=5087&em&en=d10255b2c42e82ad&ex=1196139600 rural-haycation/47139082/1  Iowa, like many areas, is losing the family-owned farm. Farm-stays and agritourism have long been a part of the European tourism product, but are only recently catching on in the United States. Hold an Agritourism Workshop for regional farmers to explore how they might take advantage of this growing trend. Partner with the Iowa State University Extension Office and encourage your local farmers to register with Extension web data base call Visit Iowa Farms:  Agritourism comes in many different packages. Here are a few agritourism examples from around the country to get you started in your research: o Fair Oaks Farms, located in northwestern Indiana, started out as a family dairy. Here you can watch cows being milked, calves being born, visit the cheese and ice cream factory, watch a 4D movie, take a behind-the-scenes barn tour, and visit the Dairy Fun Room with interactive games and activities for the kids. Products are available for tasting and for purchase.’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 215 of 231
  • 216. o Traders Point Creamery is a small, family-owned, artisan dairy located in the town of Zionsville, Indiana (population 10,000). Started in 2003, the Creamery began by selling direct to customers and delivering to the Central Indiana region. This organic farm prides itself on its herd of grass-fed Brown Swiss cows, with which they have won multiple awards from the American Cheese Society. Their products are now featured in grocery stores, specialty stores and restaurants throughout the Midwest and customers have been known to drive three hours from Chicago to purchase their goods. In addition to product sales, the Creamery has branched out into agritourism with a weekly organic farmers’ market, a dairy bar where customers can buy ice cream cones, yogurt parfaits and milkshakes. A loft restaurant in the old barn serves gourmet lunches and dinners featuring the Creamery products. The farm also offers tours for groups large and small, including school and church groups and private parties. The facility may be rented for private parties or weddings. In addition, they offer a variety of seasonal events including summer camp, Oktoberfest and summer concerts in the fields.,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 216 of 231
  • 217. o Adams Farm in Wilmington, Vermont is a sixth-generation working farm. Several years ago, the owners sold the cattle from the dairy farm to concentrate on agritourism. Since then, they have been featured in USA Today as one of the country’s 10 best sleigh rides and in the Boston Globe as the ultimate agricultural experience. Depending on the season, visitors can milk the goats, gather eggs from the chicken coop, watch yarn being spun, learn how to make maple syrup, watch sheep herding, attend a winter bonfire party, take a guided snowshoe tour, hear ghost stories around the fire, take a leaf peepers hike, participate in an Easter egg hunt, and much, much more. o At Maverick Farm in Valle Cruces, North Carolina, guests pay $120/night for a room in the historic 125-year-old farmhouse. Daytime activities include hoeing, seeding, picking and harvesting. For each hour of labor, guests can deduct $7 from their room charge (up to 25%). In the evening, the farmers gather and cook dinner from the food they grow. Guests and laborers are invited to dinner, for which there is no charge (although a donation jar is discreetly available). Maverick Farm is a working farm started in 2004 by four farm novices, one of whom toured Ireland and fell in love with the country’s business model of agritourism. See: o Dickinson Cattle Co. in southeastern Ohio is a working family ranch dedicated to breeding and raising Texas Longhorn, African Watusi, and BlueLingo Cattle. After 40 years of ranching, they branched out and added Longhorn Cattle Tours to their business model. They offer small bus tours out onto the ranch to see, feed and photograph the cattle. Also available: fishing, feeding the fish in the stocked lakes, campfires, picnicIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 217 of 231
  • 218. area, petting and feeding the calves, educational sessions on topics such as the “Secret Language of Cowboys”, branding demonstrations and chuck wagon rides. The tours are very popular for families, reunions, and school and scout groups. The ranch also runs a Tips to Tails souvenir shop filled with everything cattle. Read more about the tours at the following link:  Farmers can list their farm stays with the website Rural Bounty, which provides a database of farm experiences across the country which can be sorted geographically or by activity. BM, CVBsPriority: 1Timing: 12 -18 monthsCosts: No costs associated with educating farmers on potential of agritourism market. Minimalcost to market agritourism through web portal, e-blasts and CVB website.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 218 of 231
  • 219. 6. Put together some golf getaways  ICC is fortunate to have several great golf courses available for public use. Ramp up a marketing plan and some special events to tie these resources to the brand and garner the attention you deserve for golf assets. Make strides toward regionalism and grow your golf market with a 36-Hole Amateur Golf Grand Slam (AmSlam). Call this event the ICC AmSlam Creativity Invitational (or Discovery Invitational). Two person teams in male and female divisions play three courses over a long weekend, with a Gala on Saturday night.  Bring creativity into the event in a variety of ways. Solicit some of your regional innovators or creatives to participate. Then pair up foursomes featuring creative thinkers, inventors, writers, athletes and so on (discovered through your Innovation Inventory). Play a different format for each day: Best Ball, Alternate Shot and Scramble. Ask regional artists to design a branded flag for each hole (auction them off for charity at the end of the event.) Award prizes in multiple fun categories such as Longest Ball, Longest Putt and so on. Prizes and trophies should be branded and reflect the spirit of the brand – for instance, they might include unique, one-of-a-kind experiences like conducting the symphony orchestra or something similar.  Charge an entry fee for each team and solicit sponsors to help cover the costs. Proceeds from the event and the auction should go to scholarships (in research, innovation, entrepreneurship, arts, sciences).  Grand Rapids, MN, another North Star client, fills their Amateur Grand Slam every year in spite of a location far from the beaten path. The event awarded $30,000 in prizes last year. For more information, check the event website:  Market your event with your CVB websites, social media, through area golf courses and golf pros and through golf connections throughout eastern Iowa.  Put together golf packages with hotels, restaurants and amenities like local day spas or masseuses, etc. Offer the package for this event, as well as marketing the packages year-round.  The ICC AmSlam Creativity Invitational is an example of how to take an asset or event unassociated with the brand and incorporate brand elements. Do the same for other assets and events within the area.Responsibility: BM, CVBsPriority: 3Timing: 12-24 monthsCosts: TBD based on scope and size of event.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 219 of 231
  • 220. OBJECTIVE IXGather your regional stories of innovation and transformation and share them via a structured publicrelations strategySituation:Iowa’s Creative Corridor can boast of a history of innovation, invention, philanthropy,entrepreneurial self-reliance, investment, discovery, as well as art, literature and culture. Fromone end of the region to the other, in communities both large and small, residents and studentsand researchers and manufacturers and teachers and writers are thinking, doing and creating.Yet no one is aggregating their stories and telling them on a regional basis. In order to createregional identity and pride, there must be a regional narrative and a regional ownership of thatnarrative. In order to create that sense of ownership, you must uncover these stories ofinnovation and then share them in a planned, proactive fashion.In addition to your regional audience, you should extend your efforts to applicable publicationsand markets throughout Iowa and beyond. A major part of motivating outsiders to take acloser look at ICC will be an on-going effort to communicate your values, assets andpossibilities to strategic external audiences. Don’t miss a single opportunity to let the worldknow about them. Remember, the key is to be proactive with positive news rather than beingreactive to negative news. Tactics 1. Establish a plan for collecting your regional stories  As the DNA Project gets underway and the Innovation Inventory grows, develop an on- going strategy for sharing these stories with the region, the state and beyond. Convene an advisory group of the marketing and public relations heads of major corporations, educational institutions, healthcare facilities and so on to assist with developing an on- going public relations plan for the region. Call this group the Communications Advisory Council. Members of this Council may be drawn from the Communications staff of the various participants in the Creative Collaborative.  Using the Innovation Inventory and the group’s collective knowledge about the region, develop a potential story idea list and an accompanying innovation contact list for press releases/media interviews. These potential contacts might include communications or public relations departments, Presidents/CEOs, research and development personnel, entrepreneurs, college students, artists, historians, environmentalists, healthcare personnel, developers, architects, and so on. Those who are listed on the contact list should be prepared to provide quotes or conduct interviews on their particular area of innovation within the region. Try to gather contacts and stories from the following types of organizations, companies and institutions. o Major manufacturers o High tech companies o Life sciences companies o Food processingIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 220 of 231
  • 221. o Educational institutions such as University of Iowa, Kirkwood Community College and smaller colleges like Coe and Cornell to learn the latest about research pipelines, commercialization, workforce development, entrepreneurial education and other centers of excellence o Hospitals and healthcare facilities o Non-profit organizations o Local governments o Public school systems o Regional entrepreneurs, incubators and small businesses (and their collectives/associations like Entrepreneurial Development Center in Cedar Rapids) o Artists, historians, musicians, authors, craftsmen o Farmers o Museums, theaters and cultural organizations o Architects and engineers  While putting together story ideas, be sure to include information about the impact of innovations and innovators from within the region. How many copies of the Guitar Hero games (developed within the region) were sold and enjoyed? What happened to the original inventors of the game? What spin offs were developed and so on.  In addition to digging in individual organizations, the Communications Advisory Council should spread the word about the project by involving regional media. Meet with the editorial boards of publications, radio and television stations and with area bloggers to ask them to provide coverage of the DNA Project. Provide an e-mail address and set up a Facebook page where participants can share their stories.  Another strategy to both capture stories and encourage engagement and connection with the brand message is to set up a listening station with your pop-up Innovation Station at special events and popular locations throughout the region. Provide a soundproof listening booth, where those with stories to share can step inside and record their tales of innovation and transformation. An alternative, if volunteer manpower is available, is to provide a listening couch or bench or chair with a live interviewer who gathers the stories. If you choose the live option, include someone to pre-screen interview participants and assign specific interview times at the event. Be sure to include some of these on Facebook and your branded YouTube channel.  The Creative Collaborative represents another great resource for gathering stories and leads. Annually, survey the group and ask them to provide information on innovators, transformations, and innovative projects and initiatives.Responsibility: BM, CC, CACPriority: 1Timing: 3-6 monthsCost: Limited hard costs to initiate Communications Council and gather stories.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 221 of 231
  • 222. 2. Contract with a part-time public relations writer, if needed  It may not be realistic for the Brand Manager and Kirkwood staff to both manage brand implementation and conduct an aggressive public relations campaign, even with the assistance of the Communications Advisory Council.  While the CAC can help develop story ideas and provide input on an editorial calendar and priorities, day-to-day management of the public relations effort needs to reside in one location. Ideally, you might add a staff person that would manage emerging media and public relations. If this is not feasible, consider contracting with a public relations professional/writer to manage this initiative on a part-time basis.  This would also be an excellent initiative for internship involvement on an on-going basis. Develop an intern position for each semester to be filled by either a marketing, communications or public relations major (the department you hire from each semester should be based on the brand needs at that time). Call the position the ICC Brand Intern.Responsibility: BM, CC, CACPriority: 1Timing: 3-6 monthsCost: $5,000 and up for a part-time public relations consultant. Interns may work for collegecredit and experience. 3. Create a media plan for communicating to the media about the innovative people, institutions, initiatives, organizations, and corporations in Iowa’s Creative Corridor  Whenever possible the Brand Manager and/or PR Coordinator should serve as the primary source of contact for brand messaging and communications about the Creative Corridor brand. This centralized approach will help you control the brand message and helps guarantee that the story you want to see in the paper is actually the story that runs in the paper.  This doesn’t mean the BM has to have all the facts about everything happening within the region. It does mean that you should create a database of sources who are well- informed about the brand and their particular market niche, and that you maintain an active database of innovators available for interviews. That is to say, you should have sources who can offer comments and facts on stories related to: o Stories of innovation and innovators o Regional brand initiative and regionalism o Other regional collaborative efforts o Arts and Culture (historical perspective, current assets, future directions) o Each of the geo-political jurisdictionsIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 222 of 231
  • 223. o Tourism (trends, statistics, assets, sports events/tournaments, agritourism, outdoor activities, affordability, future additions) o Economic Development (overall perspective, current initiatives, individual spokesperson for areas of emphasis such as advanced manufacturing, educational assessment, research and development/commercialization, entrepreneur development, agri-business, healthcare, higher education and so on.) o Community Development o Young Professional activities o Education (public education, private schools, post-secondary education options) o Cooperative multi-jurisdictional projects: connecting bike paths and trails, regional awards, regional special events, etc  The goal of this effort is to develop relationships with local, state and national media, providing them timely leads and story ideas. Currently, no one is spearheading a communications effort which includes story ideas for the entire region. This single clearinghouse will be the command center where region-wide stories are developed, researched and pushed out to appropriate media.  Develop a series of talking points and graphics to use for every brand-related encounter with the media broken down into the topics listed above. Use the following mediums for distributing information about the brand: o News releases: electronic and paper o Fact sheets o Media advisories o News conferences o Video releases o Twitter updates o Facebook o Tours (innovation tours, advanced manufacturing tours, cultural tours, flood recovery tours, sustainability tours, etc) o Roundtables o Briefings o Lecture Series o Special events  You may find it helpful to establish Google groups for each topic. For instance, art stakeholders throughout the county could use an ICC art group to keep the rest of the regional art stakeholders (and your public relations manager) up to date on events such as grant approval, a new exhibit or the launch of a new membership drive.  Seek coverage for positive activities associated with the brand such as new events, awards, new signage, industry trends, major development projects, etc.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 223 of 231
  • 224. Responsibility: BM, public relations professionalPriority: 1Timing: ImmediatelyCost: Minimal hard costs to develop plan. 4. Develop a comprehensive editorial calendar  After the Brand Manager and the BMT have had an opportunity to develop initial brand strategies and priorities and there is some evidence of brand integration throughout the region (pole banners, plaques and signs, stationery, DNA Project planning, Creative Collaborative), issue your first ICC Creative Corridor press release. The primary purpose is to emphasize the brand’s focus on innovation within the region and to begin to build support for brand initiatives and projects. Before sending out the release, be sure that you have several key stakeholders briefed and ready to comment on how the brand ties in with their organization and their vision for the future of innovation in the region. A sample press release is provided in APPENDIX G.  As you develop regional story ideas, work with the CAC and your PR consultant to find unique angles that make the stories special. Whenever possible, relate the story back to themes built around ICC brand messaging: o Innovation o Transformation o Creativity o Intersections of art and science o Left brain/right brain o Waves and ripples that move outward from the region’s innovative contributions to affect the state, the nation or the world.  Comb through your most innovative stories and brand developments and match them with prospective media outlets and thought leaders. Divide the stories into calendar months, remembering publication lead times. When you have matched your best stories with the best potential media coverage and developed a timeline for distribution, your general editorial calendar will be complete.  Finally, develop some targeted ideas for on-going features with local, regional or state outlets. Approach local newspapers to discuss a weekly innovator spotlight. Or pitch a series about innovation within the region and the “next big thing” that might lie around the corner. Work with the Corridor Business Journal on a series about how to be more innovative in small business or to feature successful young innovations. Contact radio and television stations about hosting a series of interviews or roundtables. Not all pitches have to be serious or business-related – pitch the idea of a weekly feature on what innovators are reading right now, or what they’re listening to on their iPods, or how they decorate their homes or what their favorite restaurants or regional attractions might be.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 224 of 231
  • 225. Responsibility: BM, CAC, public relations consultantPriority: 1Timing: 3-8 monthsCost: Minimal. 5. Develop an electronic media kit  In addition to the editorial calendar, put together a comprehensive photo/video library that media can use to support their stories. Establish an official ICC Flickr stream and a YouTube channel. Realize the value of video press releases in terms of impact.  On the brand portal, create a special area for news media with contact information, brand logo and graphics standards and photo access.  Put your list of story ideas and photos samples on disk: one disk for general stories and separate disk for special pitches/seasonal ideas/general interest stories. Include background information on the brand initiative. This media kit should also be available on-line on the brand portal (Prior to development of the portal, Kirkwood Community College, the CBA, and other major regional stakeholders might include it on their own websites in a special ICC brand area or page.)  Create customized media kits for special events and initiatives such as the DNA Project, special regional events/festivals, awards and so on.Responsibility: BM, photographers, public relations consultantPriority: 1Timing: 3-8 monthsCost: $50 -$100 for CD’s or thumb drives (depends on final size of your media list). 6. Develop a general and customized media list  Create a comprehensive list of target media outlets with which to establish relationships and to send story ideas and content. It may be helpful to poll your industry, educational, cultural and civic leaders for the names of special interest publications, blogs, and thought leaders who should be included on the contact and distribution lists. This list should include the following types of media and officials: o Local, regional and state officials o Regional and state level organizations and officials involved with agriculture, economic development, arts and culture, tourism, community development, sustainability, infrastructure and so on. o Newspapers o Business publications o Broadcast outletsIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 225 of 231
  • 226. o Magazines: special interest and lifestyle o Entertainment publications o Campus publications o Healthcare-related publications o Agricultural publications o Employee publications of major employers o Economic development publications o Blogs – local, regional, state, national special interest o Cultural publications focused on art, architecture, literature, history, preservation, music, theater, etc. o Thought leader organizations such as IEDC, Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, CEOs for Cities, Municipal Leagues, etc. o On-line editorial staff of hard copy publication. (On-line staff is typically separate from print or broadcast staff.)  Make sure that all public relations templates – whether sent electronically or through the mail – include the ICC logo.  Follow up every package sent with one or more personal phone calls.  In the future, correspondence will be primarily electronic, but initial distribution of discs containing media kits will be via the mail.Responsibility: BM, CAC, public relations consultantPriority: 1Timing: 3-8 monthsCost: Minimal 7. Send branded merchandise and schedule fam tours for key writers  Working with your BMT, CAC and PR consultant, construct a short list of media deemed most important to furthering the regional brand message. Keep in close touch with these key writers in order to establish a trusted relationship as a source for ideas and interviews regarding innovation within the region.  Include a relevant and appropriate merchandise item for key contacts when you send them their media kit – this might be a smartphone or GPS with locations (and contact information) for innovators or innovations pre-programmed in the device.  Annually, invite key media members to tour the region to see themselves examples of innovation within the Creative Corridor and to attend panel discussions and conduct interviews with your innovators. A national media representative is more likely to visit the Creative Corridor if you can provide a hook for an interesting story line and some side stories, provide access to a variety of good interview subjects, see compellingIowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 226 of 231
  • 227. stories first-hand, attend intriguing panel discussions or other debate. Remember to send all media correspondence on branded letterhead. Direct media to the Brand Manager or to the public relations professional for more information.Responsibility: BM, public relations consultantPriority: 2Timing: 3-8 monthsCost: TBD based on premium item selected.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 227 of 231
  • 228. TIMEFRAME FOR COMPLETIONNorth Star recognizes the tremendous volume of work presented in the ICC BrandAMP.While this document represents our optimal plan for implementing the brand, we are wellaware of today’s economic and staffing realities. Do not be overwhelmed by the scope of theserecommendations. This plan presents a variety of tactical options for each of the statedobjectives. This variety allows the brand drivers to select the approach that works best for theregion and your civic, corporate and neighborhood partners and stakeholders. Moreover,many of these tactics represent long-term planning.An important note: The priority system for objectives differentiates between short-term andlong-term tactics. Priority I goals should be met in Year I and Year 2 in order to ensuresuccess and keep the brand momentum going. Recognizing that there needs to be flexibility asbrand integration progresses, you may choose to mix and match from the ideas presented, orto add ideas of your own, as conditions or priorities change within the region. Ultimately, thelong-term success of the brand lies in establishing a source of funding for implementationthrough regional stakeholder involvement. The investment of time, expertise and financialsupport of every sector of the region will heavily influence the long-term success of theinitiative.Finally, North Star recognizes that the following two-year schedule is very aggressive. It may bethat it will take two years to complete Year I priorities and two more years to complete Year 2priorities. Consider this plan a guide to strategies that should be implemented first, not a “door die” timeline of what must happen when. Language such as “start discussion” or “begindeveloping” means exactly that. Begin a conversation with stakeholders about how a project ortask can be implemented or funded. Start the ball rolling and get people thinking and discussing.Forward progress does not necessarily require completion of a task during the year designated.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 228 of 231
  • 229. IOWA’S CREATIVE CORRIDOR IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINEAt the end of Year One, ICC should have completed the following tasks for brandimplementation success:Brand structure and organization  Assembled and trained a Brand Management Team from among CBA membership  Assigned responsibility for the brand to a single Brand Manager position  Formed the Creative Collaborative  Considered contracting with an advertising agency, local photographer, writer, public relations professional  Formed these additional groups: Ideators/Transformers, and Young Creatives.Brand funding and partnership  Assigned responsibility for sourcing additional grant funding  Introduced the idea of contributions through the Creative Collaborative.Brand marketing/communication materials  Developed one or more digital custom helix models for use on websites and in advertising/promotion  Created custom logos for partners and initiatives as needed  Produced brand stationery and business materials for official brand communications  Created an aggressive public relations/media plan for the Creative Corridor  Developed an electronic media kit for journalists  Developed brand presentations and a toolkit  Begun development (and hopefully launched) a central web portal for the region with an emphasis on economic development  Selected and ordered premium items to use as gifts for media, economic development prospects, partners and giveaways  Implemented a plan to build an electronic database and developed a plan for publication of electronic newsletters  Developed an integrated presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo and LinkedIn  Considered a DNA Project website and mobile application  Launched a By Innovation Only blog  Designed special events to connect local residents with the culture of innovation  Determined a strategy for recognizing brand partners through the web, publications, advertising, awards and/or events.Infrastructure  Provided brand visibility through simple strategies like pole banners, building plaques, flags  Developed a strategy and priority list for more complex infrastructure projects like bike racks, large format posters, public buildings and so on.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 229 of 231
  • 230. Culture of Innovation  Recruited and organized members for the Creative Collaborative  Developed a mission/vision for the group  Implemented the DNA Project, using CBA organizations as a starting point  Developed an Innovation Inventory and established the database at Kirkwood Community College  Developed and implemented strategies for sharing your stories of innovation through multiple channels  Implemented an annual strategy for measuring your culture of innovation using the Innovation Index or other metric.Regionalism  Used the brand to engage stakeholders in discussions for regional collaboration and alignment of efforts  Developed priorities and partners for integrating the brand into regional assets such as the airport and area universities  Discussed broadening the regional effort through additional volunteers, identification of regional issues and engaging the public  Taken small steps toward a regional approach to tourism via standardized regional areas for CVB and hospitality websites, Visitor Guides and Visitor Centers.General brand awareness  Involved the brand in some kind of regional award for innovation  Integrated the brand into CBA organizations in simple, easy ways such as corporate stationery, signage, employee awards and signage.Economic development  Develop branded regional economic development tools such as presentation folders, competitive analysis sheets, maps, etc.  Launch an economic development e-newsletter  Formed a regional group of young creatives and begun development of an annual event and other programming priorities such as a regional internship database, summer internship program, etc.At the end of Year Two, ICC should have completed the following tasks for brandimplementation success:Brand structure and organization  Begun preparations to merge the BMT into the Creative Collaborative board  Evaluated the need for a dedicated position of Brand Manager in lieu of shared duties with Kirkwood Community College  Assessed the need for social media staff.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 230 of 231
  • 231. Brand funding and partnership  Identified and applied for grants related to brand programs and initiatives  Continued recruiting Creative Collaborative members for engagement, ideas and funding  Begun collecting funding and in-kind pledges from Creative Collaborative.Brand marketing/communication materials  Considered additional plans for brand development such as paid advertising, outdoor boards, transit advertising in a variety of markets  Implemented a strategy for recognizing and honoring brand partners through the web, publications, awards and events  Launched regional website  Implemented, analyzed and refined an integrated social media program.Infrastructure  Achieved installation of brand-related signage and facilities throughout the region  Considered connecting innovative assets such as art, architecture, history, manufacturing, research and education with an Art and Innovation Trail  Discussed (and possibly begun implementation) of a corporate/institutional custom helix art initiative which might become part of the Art and Innovation Trail.Culture of Innovation  Initiated several programs that promote the stories gathered from your DNA Project through programs, events, signage and infrastructure  Repeated and publicized the results of your annual Innovation Index  Developed a five-year plan to promote and support strategies and networks for innovation  Begun exploring ideas for using innovation to improve the community, public education, employee health and quality of life  Considered sponsorship of a major event related to innovation, ideas or imagination.General brand awareness  Continued to work with the CBA for employee involvement with the brand through corporate DNA Projects, community service and so on  Continued to build electronic database  Conducted one or two competitions or events around innovations – school essay or photography events, for example.Economic development  Involved business leaders in your expanded efforts to identify regional issues and how to measure and manage these issues  Produce a publication addressing these regional priorities and vigorously spread the word through speaking engagements and special events  Continue to monitor and benchmark these indicators against competitor regions  Initiated a plan to combat brain drain through internships, events and marketing.Iowa’s Creative Corridor BrandAMP Report | North Star Destination Strategies 231 of 231