City, chamber seek public input
By Angie Landsverk
Area residents are invited to participate in Waupaca’s branding initiative.
A public workshop is being held at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, in Waupaca High School’s library.
“The city is the people so it’s really important for them to come out and make their voice heard,” said Ryan Short, CEO of CivicBrand.
CivicBrand is based in Richardson, Texas and was hired by the city and Waupaca Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for their Wayfinding System and Branding Initiative.
The firm has separate tasks for the city and bureau.
“We’re (Waupaca Area Convention and Visitor Bureau) excited to partner with the city of Waupaca on an overall Branding and Wayfinding project for the greater Waupaca area,” said Mitch Swenson, its vice president of tourism.
He said, “We have so much to offer here in terms of industry, healthcare, shopping, dining, retail, natural resources and tourism assets; however, we need to work towards a unified wayfinding and signage program to help people visiting the downtown Waupaca, Chain O’ Lakes and surrounding Dayton, Farmington, Lind and Waupaca townships to be able to get to these easily.”
Swenson said the bureau’s “hope is that many residents and business owners from the greater Waupaca area will join us for the public meeting to give input on branding and wayfinding ideas.”
Short said this workshop will begin with a short introduction to the process.
“Then we will split up into smaller groups,” he said.
The workshop is expected to end around 8 p.m.
The process for branding a community differs from branding a company, Short said.
“A brand is not a logo,” he said. “It’s intangible things that make up how you feel about a community.”
Short said Waupaca’s branding process is dependent on the people who live in the community.
“Our job is to come in and discover that brand,” he said.
CivicBrand is bringing a team of five people to Waupaca next week.
The team includes three strategists and two members of a film crew.
The film crew is documenting the process, Short said.
It will interview people, ultimately creating a video.
CivicBrand is arriving here a few days before the Waupaca Area Triathlon and Arts on the Square take place.
That is on purpose.
“Half the time, we will essentially be tourists,” Short said.
The team plans to be in Waupaca until Aug. 21 and is also meeting with small groups of people, including retailers and representatives from the arts community.
A website about the project is expected to be up soon.
“The public will be able to sign up for updates and do online surveys,” Short said.
He said CivicBrand wants to understand the goals for the city and help discover a brand for it.
People who live outside the city are invited to attend the Aug. 20 workshop as well.
“The whole area makes up the community,” Short said. “The reason people should come is it’s actually going to be a lot of fun.”