Friday, February 19, 2016

Bayfield Branding Begins

Bayfield branding effort begins
By Carole McWilliams

Times Senior Staff Writer Article Last Updated: Thursday, February 18, 2016 2:52pm
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Marketing consultants were in Bayfield this week to meet with community members and start the process of creating a brand for the town.

They arrived Monday and met with Bayfield High School students on Tuesday. They hosted a community forum last night.

No, it's not a cattle brand.

"Our focus is enterprise branding," consultant Paul VanDenElzen from Avant Marketing told town trustees on Tuesday. "Municipal branding is the part we enjoy the most, because we get to go into the community and get to know the people." He said invitations were sent to all town residents for last night's forum. The 90-minute session was to include vision exercises and finding shared values for the participants.

The interviews and visioning are the research phase of the process. Then the consultants will develop a statement of vision and values. From that, they will create visual branding including three logo options to choose from, also letterhead designs, way-finding signs, and website development. There will be a five year marketing and implementation plan.

The goal is to create a unified brand for Bayfield, VanDenElzen said. "We feel a brand can't be just a logo and a slogan." It has to resonate with residents and businesses.

Avant senior partner Mark Vogel said the branding should cause everyone to feel "that Bayfield is a place for people like me. We don't focus on the place. We focus on the people of the place, the shared values and the vision that people have for the future."

They do that with one-on-one interviews as well as community forums, he said. "We believe the internal stakeholders (residents and businesses) are as important as the external audience."

Vogel listed four levels of someone's relationship with a brand:

.awareness (I've heard of Bayfield)

.association (I've been there and know a bit about the town)

.brand affinity (you identify personally with the brand)

.brand fanaticism, which he said is rarely achieved. He gave sports teams as an example.

"The Denver Broncos don't have to pay you to promote their brand," he said. "With an enterprise, you want residents and businesses to be brand fanatics based on shared values and vision." He gave another example of asking a man who mops the floor at a hospital what he does. The man says, "I mop floors." But at another hospital, the man who mops floors says he helps the doctors keep people healthy.

"It starts with your vision, mission, shared values," Vogel said. "(Personal) values are important but difficult to articulate. Through the interview process and the focus group, we'll take people through exercises to define those values. The outcome is to energize and unify your community, turn residents into brand fanatics."

VanDenElzen said the high school students will do some market research, then create recommendations that they will present to the town board.

Vogel commented, "If the input we received today (from the students) continues through the week, we'll have ample material to work with."

Town trustees hired Avant Marketing in January, choosing them out of 12 proposals. Trustees approved a maximum cost of $22,500, with 75 percent of that covered by a state grant administered through the Southwest Colorado Council of Governments. Similar grants are going to Ignacio, Pagosa, and Silverton. All are follow-ups to downtown revitalization assessmets conducted by Downtown Colorado Inc.

Bayfield's assessment was in March 2015.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Town of Bayfield Selects Avant Marketing Group for Branding Assignment

(February 10, 2016, Bayfield, Colorado) – Based on a nationwide search, The Town of Bayfield, Colorado has selected St. Louis-based Avant Marketing Group for the development of a branding and marketing campaign for its community.

According to Town Manager, Chris La May, “This is an opportunity to tell the story of our town and community. We have selected Avant Marketing’s process that will provide both residents and businesses the ability to participate and provide needed input for the development of our town’s marketable identity.”

Avant Marketing Group specializes in enterprise branding that includes corporations, associations, government agencies and municipalities.

As part of the process, Avant Marketing will conduct town hall focus groups and interviews with residents where they will provide input in regard to the identity of their community. From this research, the firm will develop the Bayfield Brand Platform and key messaging to target audiences identified in the marketing plan.

For more information about the Avant Marketing Group, visit the firm’s website at

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Snickers Commercial Earns Top Super Bowl Avant Marketing Score

(February 7, 2016 – St. Louis, MO) – Mars’ Snickers brand television commercial received the highest score in Avant Marketing Group’s Commercial Index Score for the 2016 Super Bowl.

The Index, conducted by Avant Marketing’s market planners, evaluates commercials based on three critical factors: media strategy, creativity, and marketing strategy. More than a popularity contest, the Index provides a true evaluation of the return on advertising investment for marketers.

The Top 5 rated commercials for the 2016 Super Bowl include:
1. Mars’ Snicker Bars – featuring William Defoe and vintage footage of Marilyn Monroe
2. Doritos (Frito-Lay) – Ultrasound
3. Avocados from Mexico
4. T-Mobile – featuring Steve Harvey
5. Turbo Tax (Intuit) – featuring Anthony Hopkins

The Index also identified the commercials that delivered the least in return on investment. These included commercials from LG, SunTrust, Colgate, Squarespace and a small business spot sponsored by Intuit.

The Avant Marketing Commercial Index considers the following factors for the evaluation:

Media Strategy. Advertisers have the opportunity to select placement within the game. Normally, commercials that run during either the first or second commercial break receive the highest ratings. Yet, in close games, a 3rd or 4th quarter buy can be as effective in advertising reach and attention as earlier commercials. The Index not only takes into consideration the advertising placement, but also the status of the game activity and score to rate the placement of each commercial.

Creativity. This rating evaluates the actual commercial creative in terms of attention-getting and uniqueness that can lead to memorability.

Marketing Strategy. This rating focuses on the strategy that the commercial is based. It evaluates how the commercial communicates either the product/service attribute or how the messaging supports the sponsor’s brand.

All three ratings are weighted equally in the Index.

For 2016, the winning Snickers commercial ran early in the game, utilized attention-getting creative and maintained the candy bars’ long-term brand positioning.

Avant Marketing Group is a market planning firm located in St. Louis, Missouri. The firm provides market research, market planning, strategic product development and branding.