Group focused on marketing U.S. 33 corridor


The 33 Innovation Corridor Council of Governments (COG) is asking for additional information and options for marketing the corridor.
Earlier this year, the COG, which includes Union County, the Union County Port Authority and the cities of Dublin and Marysville, hired Columbus-based Adept Marketing to develop a brand strategy.
In November, Adept made it’s presentation, saying the corridor should be known as “The Beta District” with the tag line that the Beta District is “Where the future is tested.” The marketing group recommended a logo and said the district brand itself with a series of blue and purple primary colors and more muted, red, magenta and neutral grey secondary colors.
Adept officials said the Beta District message should be that it is “A place where private sector, government and academia work together in an open playground to safely test and deploy technology in real-world scenarios.”
They suggested the Beta District message needs to be that it is “Where R&D Meets Reality.”
At the end of last month’s presentation, Adept asked the board members to take the logos and strategies to staff and associates to gauge their reaction.
At Wednesday’s meeting, COG members said they would like a work session with Adept to review the company’s presentation.
“We were all over the board,” Marysville City Manager Terry Emery said of staff reactions.
He said that “for the most part” Marysville officials like the direction of the branding campaign, but had some questions and concerns. Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel echoed that thought.
Keith Conroy, a Millcreek Township Trustee who sits on the board representing Union County, said it is “important to get the name and the logo right.” He said he felt like Adept presented a plan with a limited number of similar options.
Conroy said he would like any branding campaign to be tested with stakeholders before approving it. He said
Dublin City Communication Director Sue Burness said it is important to remember the target audience is not the general public or even other governments, but rather technology companies and organizations.
McDaniel agreed. He said his staff had mixed reactions but most thought the tech companies would get the message of the branding. He also said he would like to see any marketing proposal vetted before it becomes official.
He said Adept had limited time to make its presentation. He said perhaps the company could offer additional options and insights into the process if given the opportunity.
“I think we owe them the time,” McDaniel said. “We are paying for it.”
The company is being paid $49,815 for the presentation.
Burness said additional information or options could be additional money.
“They actually delivered what we asked them to,” Burness said.
She explained there is a method and “a science” behind how Adept developed the colors, logo and strategy. She suggested having the company explain the process. She said that if officials still wanted additional options, they could ask for them, though more options would be “out of scope.”
“If we want them to do that, and we can, we are going to have to ask them what that will look like,” Burness said. “There may be a cost to that.”
Conroy said he would be in favor of the work session, “as long as the work session is not two to three hours of them convincing me why this should be it.”
He also asked to see the contract with Adept so he knows what is or is not included in the scope of work.

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