By Margie Holmgren
Hallock Mainstreet Committee gathered interested citizens at the Bean and Brush Thursday, April 12 to discuss branding.
When you hear branding you may think of the branding of cows which identified the animals to their owners and to other owners.
According to Wikipedia, a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. One you may all recognize is the red and white circles of the Target logo.
So why brand Hallock? Just like the branding of cows and the Target logo, branding Hallock will give people something recognizable as Hallock and hopefully spur conversation about Hallock.
And where did the idea come from? It started a couple years ago.
Cheri Reese, one of the Hallock Mainstreet Committee members, offered an overview of how the committee was formed.
The strategic planning done by the City of Hallock with KLJ Engineering identified five priorities the city felt were important. Business and Industry and Community pride were two of these. The Hallock Mainstreet Committee was formed by a group of citizens interested in working with these two areas.
An economic development grant was received and used to complete a business and quality of life survey which resulted in a list of what Hallock has to offer.
Part of the community pride piece was to come up with a brand for Hallock. Something that would speak to the strengths of the community and be shared by current and prior residents as a way to promote the town.
Bodega, Ltd., a multi-disciplinary creative studio from the twin cities, was hired to come up with a brand for Hallock.
Josef Harris, along with his co-owners Liz Gardner presented the concept and how they came up with the branding idea.
Harris spoke on behalf of their company and presented information to the group assembled at Bean and Brush.
He went through the goals the committee is looking to achieve through various means including branding. They are 100 new neighbors in 10 years; attract young families; attract new and retain current businesses; and foster a creative culture that attracts visitors and relatives.
After he and his partner, Liz visited Hallock and met with some of the citizens they looked at the strengths of Hallock and how to build on those.
Some of the descriptions they used to help develop the brand included: quirky yet traditional, tranquil, neighborly, hardworking/ industrious/problem solving, available natural resources and ease.
“Pioneers who prefer originality and creativity in business, life and leisure,” was the statement they used for Hallock’s target audience.
The benefit for the target audience was stated as “Join us in Hallock where the great outdoors are right in your backyard, where there’s never traffic, and no lines at the post office. In Hallock there’s plenty of space to create anything you want.”
This resulted in why Hallock will deliver. “The Hallock Community is industrious and resilient. If we can survive our winters year after year, this will be a cinch. The people of this community are deeply connected to this place and we want to ensure a strong, prosperous future for Hallock.”
Working off these statements the Bodega couple came up with two taglines. One being “Things are clearer up here” and the other “edge of the world.”
They then considered what typeface, also known as font, to use in the branding and looked at typefaces already being used such as the Grace Evangelical Church sign on the building, the post office sign and also the street signs. They also looked at idyllic 60s and 70s typefaces.
Using these pieces they put together a sample branding piece that could be used to create merchandise as well as possibly be used in a variety of applications, such as, painting the water tower and new signs on buildings around town.
The assembled group, which included over 35 residents and business owners, seemed receptive to the branding they came up with some small tweaks. The group divided into smaller groups and discussed it among themselves and then offered comments.
Overall the group liked the concept presented – “Things are clearer up here.”
“We need to convince the young people to come back here,” stated Dan Younggren.
Todd Johnson, Johnson Oil Co., stated things are clearer and calmer and it attracts people to the area.
Teal Plaine, who recently moved back to the area, explained why he and his family moved back, “we were looking for a slower pace and a safer place for our family.”
The branding piece is being shared in this newspaper for the general public to see and is only a draft. Hallock Main Street invites everyone to share their reactions to the branding work in an online survey available here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3TPL5DQ Comments are welcome through April 30, 2018. Final decisions will be made at the May 20th meeting to ensure time to have items with the brand/logo on to sell during Hallock’s 135th and All Class Reunion.
Committee Member Kevin Waller talked a little more about the committee and asked for updates on a couple projects. Pastor Frank Johnson gave an update on the daycare center at Grace Lutheran as well as an update on the fitness center by Garret and Darcy Reis.
The meeting concluded with Committee Member Paul Blomquist thanking everyone for coming.