The economy is a hot topic everywhere, and the economic development plan is an even hotter topic, especially for cities looking to reposition themselves in this changing world. Take Butte-Silver Bow, Montana as an example.
This beautiful community, which refers to itself as “The Richest Hill on Earth”, is proud of its storied past, as well as it’s central location for North American rail and interstate transport, which has attracted companies such as Fed Ex, which opened a distribution here. At the same time, Butte-Silver Bow recognized a need to update its brand and strategy for continuing to attract the right businesses and ensuring healthy economic growth. smith + jones collaborated with consultant Merry Lee Olson to develop a strategic plan and fresh identity that would meet the economic development goals of Butte-Silver Bow.
The project began with a strategic planning session with key stakeholders, followed by market research and community input. Using that information and data, smith + jones initiated a branding process to develop the Butte-Silver Bow Community and Business Development website, and the Montana Connections Business Development Park visual identities and communication strategies.
Next steps? Butte-Silver Bow is moving full steam ahead and has selected its logos and website designs. The new site, optimized for mobile and tablet, is scheduled to launch within the next four to six weeks, along with social media and email campaigns, and printed collateral to complement the online efforts. Tracking tools are in place to monitor results and respond quickly to any necessary changes. Additionally, the Butte-Silver Bow team is working with consultants and smith + jones business partners Merry Lee Olson and Tim Carlson to best position the community against its competition and develop compelling key differentiators to attract new businesses.
Budgets are tight and resources are limited, but now is the time for communities to re-assess their economic development strategies and position themselves for not only change, but tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for those who are prepared.