Quesnel Embarks on Rebranding Effort
Quesnel, B.C. – The City of Quesnel has a great story to tell, the problem is not enough people know about it.
Mayor Bob Simpson says that needs to change if the city wants to attract more residents and build its economy.
He adds it’s also why they’ve embarked on a rebranding process after consulting with members of the business community.
“We’ve been meeting with our business associations, our economic development team did a business walkabout, and we’ve been hearing from our realtors for a while too,” he says.
“That in today’s world people get their story from the internet. Plus our current branding as the Gold Plan City really doesn’t tell the story that people are looking for.”
So what’s missing? “It doesn’t talk about our current community and all of the amenities and assets and opportunities people have when they’re in our community to recreate, the sports venues, the ability for them to go to one of the best fly fishing lakes in North America at Dragon Lake.”
Instead, Simpson says that story has been hidden with a focus on mill closures and the mountain pine beetle epidemic.
“So the exercise we’re undertaking is what some people call a rebranding exercise but it’s not just finding a new logo or a brand, it’s actually telling our story better or stronger on that electronic medium that everybody goes to.”
And once you know which story you want to tell, he says city council needs to ensure it can actually deliver on the story they want to sell.
“A good example of that is affordable housing. Quesnel is one of the most affordable communities in North America but we have an issue with some of our affordable rental housing that are not the best quality.”
Simpson says they also need to do a better job of catering to young professionals and seniors.
“We’re 80% single family residents and a lot of young professionals and seniors come in wanting condos and high quality town homes so they can come and do the things they like to do.”
And once Quesnel is ready to tell its story, Simpson says they’ll address the negativity floating around on the internet.
“You can cause your positive stories to bump up by how they’re positioned and how often they’re refreshed and how many hits you get on them. They’ll bump to the top of the Google search, not the story that was read the most as was the case with the Canfor closure.”
As for the cost of this venture, he says the city budget component is about $35,000 with another $80,000 to $90,000 from other sources including the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition and Northern Development Initiative Trust.
Along with the rebranding, Simpson says they’re planning a new website and a new social media presence.
“So we’re hoping to have between $130,000 to $160,000 for the combination of these projects.”
He says the timeline for coming changes will become clearer once the request for proposal process closes the end of this week.
“We’ve asked them to give us the tightest timeline that they think is possible that still gives us the most robust community consultation.”