Chambers County isn’t just a place, it’s people, it’s history, it is a way of life. Chambers County is a brand. And introducing that brand to the rest of the world took a major step forward last week.
On Wednesday, the Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA) launched a new community-wide brand at a media conference in Lanett. That branding includes a logo and tagline that represents the county. The dynamic logo features a gray and red pattern woven within the borders of Chambers County. Referencing roots in the community’s textile history, the tagline, “Strength Woven In,” captures the county’s proud past while embracing its unique spirit of strength in overcoming every challenge it faces.
The “Strength Woven In” design created by Alabama community marketing firm, Red Sage Communications, Inc., will become a symbol for Chambers County, and synonymous for the vibrant strength of the community. The tagline will support the county as it continues to define its vision for the future.
“In today’s global economy and competitive environment, it’s critical to promote your community on a unified front. Site selection consultants, prospective companies and existing industries need to know our resiliency and what all we have accomplished in Chambers County,” CCDA Executive Director Valerie Gray said. “It’s important for people to understand where we’ve been and where we are going.”
The Chambers County Development Authority unveiled a new branding campaign for the county at a media conference Wednesday in Lanett. Part of the new brand includes a logo and tagline, “Strength Woven In,” that will be used to represent and promote all of Chambers County. The brand references the county’s past, while embracing the vision for the future. The brand, tagline, and supporting messages will be used in industrial recruitment and tourism efforts, and as a competitive differentiator from surrounding communities in the Southeast USA. Those that participated in the creation of the brand and were a part of the Wednesday program were, from left, Kevin Hand, Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative; Caleb Goodwyn, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; Ellen Didier, Redsage Communications Inc.; Barbara Andrews, Greater Valley Area Chambers of Commerce; Kimberly Carter, Chambers County Development Authority; Valerie Gray, Chambers County Development Authority; Katie Woods, Redsage Communications Inc.; and Bobby Williams, Chambers County Development Authority.
“The strength shown by our local community many times over has allowed our hospital to maintain its presence in Valley. As far back as 1947, local citizens gave a day’s pay to supplement the building fund, and in more recent times their generosity has come through over and over again,” says Cindy Brooks, Public Relations Director of EAMC-Lanier Hospital. “We are fortunate to have such a strong and caring community throughout our greater Valley area. They are always there for each other.”
“The most powerful brands are those that are defined by residents who are passionate about where they live, not those defined by a company that does not live in or truly know the community,” explained Ellen Didier, president of Red Sage Communications, Inc. “Our job is simply to ask questions, listen well, and then visually capture the unique spirit that is shared with us by residents. We feel the final brand developed, including the logo and tagline, powerfully showcases the community history, spirit and personality expressed to us by the people of Chambers County.”
The brand and tagline revealed serve as the conclusion of the Chambers County Community Branding Project, funded in part by PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, in an effort to expand the community’s visibility through professional branding and marketing materials. Red Sage Communications, Inc. facilitated multiple focus groups with many residents, local officials, community representatives and business leaders to gather core qualities citizens associate with Chambers County. These core strengths were honed into a clear, cohesive, comprehensive brand with the help of a six-person branding committee. After extensive feedback, discussions and revisions spanning 15 weeks, the final tagline and logo were determined by online survey.
“By using the shape of the county in the logo, we were able to encompass each city and town within the county to present unity,” said Kevin Hand, Member Services Representative of the Tallapoosa River Electric Authority. “This is strengthen by the woven pattern which definitively ties the tagline to the logo.”
“PowerSouth Energy Cooperative was happy to be able to play a small role in the Chambers County Branding Project,” said Caleb Goodwyn, Economic and Community Development Representative for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. “The level of community participation throughout this process lends further proof to the commitment of the citizens of Chambers County and to the dedication and professionalism of the Chambers County Development Authority. It is our hope that this will lead to even greater visibility for the county and continued economic development successes.”
The final brand and tagline present Chambers County as a community of resiliency and strength. A progressive, pro-business attitude and strategic location aid Chambers County in overcoming any challenges that threaten the community. The brand, tagline and supporting messages will be used in industrial recruitment and tourism efforts, and as a competitive differentiator from surrounding communities in the Southeast United States.
In addition to revealing the new logo and tagline, brand implementation by local entities was discussed. Creating a countywide brand portrays a unified front with a strong brand instantly recognizable as Chambers County. The CCDA has created a brand roll out plan for its own publications, and will assist in its implementation by other county groups as requested. The CCDA also plans to incorporate branding activities and events to continue highlighting the stories of strength that are abundant in Chambers County.
“The brand campaign will be incorporated immediately into our website, social media, and promotional and marketing materials,” Gray said. “Our next step is to provide an implementation plan to our cities, county, and local organizations to best incorporate the brand into their marketing plan and everyday activities. No matter where you go in the county, you will observe a consistent brand that says we are united and strong.”
“At the Chambers County Development Authority, we have developed future activities that will utilize the new logo and tagline to be used throughout the county. From LaFayette, birthplace of heavyweight champion boxer Joe Louis, to the rejuvenation of mill towns of Lanett and Valley, strength is apparent in every part of our county,” says Kimberly Carter, CCDA Business Retention Specialist. “Incorporating this new tagline into everyday activities should come naturally because it embodies who we already are as a county. Our hope is that the brand is embraced by all who live in and love Chambers County.”
For more information about the Chambers County Community Branding Project, contact Carter at 334-642-1460.