Since February of last year, the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Branding Committee has been researching, surveying and developing a new strategy to impress locals and outsiders.
The group has come up with what it hopes will elevate greater Fayetteville’s image. Its unified brand is designed to communicate the community’s strengths, celebrate diversity and attract prospective residents and businesses.
The basic platform is “Can Do Carolina” which is intended to showcase the best aspects of the locality. It is designed to replace “History, Heroes and a Hometown Feeling.”
The Fayetteville Cumberland Collaborative Branding Committee is a partnership of the city of Fayetteville, county of Cumberland, the Tourism Development Authority, Chamber of Commerce, Arts Council, Convention & Visitors Bureau, Crown Complex, Vision 2026, Cool Spring Downtown District, Cumberland County Schools and the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation.
Robert Van Geons, President and CEO of FCEDC said the participants have agreed to adopt the “Can Do Carolina” concept which harnesses community values: a low cost of living, north-south midpoint along I-95, patriotism and proximity to Fort Bragg, the world’s most populous military reservation.
Branding consultant North Star led the process of in-depth research via individual conversations, focus groups and surveys. More than 4,000 people were directly involved.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around … in other words, your reputation,” said Will Ketchum, president of North Star.
North Star will now lead the creative development to include the creation of messaging, taglines, logos and a brand narrative.
A FCCBC media release announcing the new branding said the new regional logo includes the state of North Carolina with a star that marks Cumberland County. The star has emerging beams which represent the vibrant community where anything is possible.
A variety of creative applications for Fayetteville and Cumberland County and participating stakeholders has been developed.
The next step is to include local organizations that want to take part in the initiative by rebranding their entities in alignment with “Can Do Carolina.”
“Cumberland County is a welcoming, diverse community that offers a favorable quality of life,” said County Commission Chairman Marshall Faircloth.
Van Geons said he hopes the “Can Do Carolina” campaign helps open people’s eyes to the community’s attributes. He told Up & Coming Weekly he was astonished to learn that many of the local people questioned had a negative impression of their community.
Van Geons outlined four pillars upon which the “Can Do Carolina” concept was built: we find a way, we care for one another, we protect the world and we always go further.
The branding committee noted that “Can Do Carolina” is a simple message of optimism and action that provides unified countywide enthusiasm.
“We want people to know that we are one of the best U.S. cities to start a career … our number one product is our people,” said Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin.
Van Geons noted that Fayetteville is best known worldwide as the home of Fort Bragg. Roughly 7,000 people transition out of the military into the local workforce every year.
Colvin referred to them as “technologically advanced leaders” who contribute to our diverse community.