Branding for the Northwest 33 Innovation Corridor continues to be a point of contention for the members of the corridor’s Council of Governments (COG).
At their monthly meeting Wednesday, COG members discussed the status of the marketing, a topic under consideration since the creation of the COG three years ago.
The organization has held several meetings with Adept Marketing, the firm in Columbus hired as consultants in branding the corridor.
Initially, the firm offered the title, “The Beta District” with a tag line beneath the name stating it’s “Where the future is tested.”
Terry Emery, the COG representative from the City of Marysville, said that stakeholders with the corridor have been “mostly positive” about the branding.
“There has been a general support for what Adept has presented,” he said. “A lot of the discussions after the presentation centered around the ‘The Beta District’ and the effectiveness of it. However, how can we still attach it to who we are and where we are around here? That’s also been discussed.”
Some questions have arisen about whether or not the name should include “Ohio” or some other geographical tie.
“We have three marketing committee members that are on board with it,” Emery said. “So, I would kind of just like to have them discuss it and sort it out.”
An issue in moving forward is, although the “Beta District” name has been used in reference to the corridor since the beginning of the year, several COG members have openly expressed their dissatisfaction with it.
Eric Phillips, the representative from the Marysville-Union County Port Authority on the COG, said that he’s never been supportive of the name from the beginning.
“I just don’t think it captures what the corridor is,” Phillips said. “The input to come up with “The Beta District” should have come up before unveiling “The Beta District.” COG members Dana McDaniels from the City of Dublin, Keith Conroy of Millcreek Township and Tim Hansley of Union County all agreed that the name was not their first choice.
“When I heard it, I didn’t like it, felt cold to it and based on the feedback from our partners, I could live with the name, but as long there’s a change in tag lines,” Hansley said.
The board discussed keeping the name but potentially adding the geographical connection to the tag line.
“I would ask that we direct our marketing committee to use “The Beta District” but can they come back with a tag line that would support that,” McDaniels said. “I think if we send them back in the room and say we’re still not sure about the name, I think we should set this aside for a while.”
McDaniels made a motion that the marketing committee returns to the board with a new tag line, which was approved by the board.
The board plans to discuss the issue at their next regular meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The COG usually meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 3 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
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