ELKHART — The economic development partners of 47 communities that make up the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership are looking to sharpen their brand.

The organization announced Monday it is partnering with Resonance Consultancy to “develop a comprehensive Place Brand Storyline, Identity, Guidelines and Marketing Plan for the South Bend-Elkhart region.”

With its broad, high-performance economy, connected across two states through technology, education, transportation, tourism and research and development, the South Bend-Elkhart region has an opportunity to identify, position and promote itself as an unrivaled place to live, work and visit, a news release said.

According to the regional partnership, Resonance helps customers understand market trends, assess their strengths and weaknesses, engage local communities, plan for the future and create branding and communications in order to realize their full economic potential.

The ultimate goal is to attract talent, tourism and investment to the region while also projecting a cohesive message and consistent feel that expresses the unique identity of the region, both to residents of the community and to people located outside of the region.

“South Bend-Elkhart and the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership are in a unique position to identify their strengths and weaknesses and develop a vision and strategy for the future that preserves the coveted quality of life in a fast-rising, diverse region, and improves the region for both residents and visitors,” Resonance Consultancy President Chris Fair said.

The brand positioning and identity that Resonance will create in this project is expected to provide long-term direction for the South Bend-Elkhart Region and its partners, identifying the region’s differentiating characteristics, target audiences and a brand proposition supposed to resonate today and in the future. 

“People often ask what it is that makes the South Bend-Elkhart Region unique. We look forward to working with Resonance and stakeholders from across the region to define and articulate our brand in a way that will resonate with people as they consider and evaluate places to live, visit or invest,” said Regina Emberton, president and CEO of the South-Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership.

She said developing a “breakthrough brand identity” will support increased population, business growth and income levels in the region.

Once the brand identity is developed, Emberton hopes the regional partnerships and its stakeholders will align their marketing in order to consistently reinforce the region’s character and message. 

Resonance will work on developing the brand over the coming months and will provide resources to help stakeholder and partner organizations, the release said. 

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter @ReadRasmus

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