October 7, 2015 by Tammy Pearson
When it comes to marketing the community, Justin Hill, creative and artistic director of Hill Productions & Media Group, Inc., urged Greenfield leaders to be more aggressive in marketing the community — starting with establishing a clear brand.
Hill came to Greenfield after Greenfield Chamber/Main Street was selected to receive in image/brand assessment through Main Street Iowa.
After touring the community, visiting related websites, and reviewing marketing materials, Hill said he was “confused” about what Greenfield’s logo and brand actually are. While some signs use the “Greenfield. There’s Nothing Like It” logo, many materials do not have that logo on them and use different fonts.
The soon-to-be added entrance signs to the community muddle things even further because they have a new logo with a new font, which Hill said he found boring and nondescript. The logo had been provided to Greenfield by a designer from Main Street Iowa.
He suggested that a logo be chosen, good or not-so-good, and that it be used consistently and often, on all materials, websites and signs throughout the community.
Hill reflected on some of his impressions as he entered the town. He said he noted the lack of banners, signs directing people downtown and that the Main Street office was not downtown.
He urged community leaders to think of the community as being marketable. “You have to compete,” he said, adding that Guthrie Center and Winterset are competitors to Greenfield. “You have to think of yourselves more commercially. You have to fight for it,” he said.
Hill urged use of social media to advertise the community. He said people will first check out a community on Google then through social media.
He said Greenfield’s strengths include having “business owners excited about what they do.” He noted some well-designed business signs and store fronts, while also pointing out that some store fronts need work.
He said the downtown needs to have banners on the lamp posts and even more planters. “The streetscape is cold,” he said. Even the alleys off the square should be beautified, he said.
Hill strongly encouraged getting a sign to encourage people travelling down I-80 to exit for a visit to Greenfield. He suggested perhaps working with Guthrie Center to do a joint sign.
Hill said he can tell that Greenfield residents “love your town” but urged the community to be more proactive. “I assume you don’t want to be the last generation to live here.”
He suggested that a creative agency could be hired to help, at a cost of about $10,000, although many would propose a higher fee.
Once a brand is decided upon, he said the community must be consistent in its use and get retailers involved “with telling the story of the brand of Greenfield.” Then, the community must “live with it, love it, and commit to it.”
Courtesy of Tammy Pearson, Adair County Free Press 10/7/15.