Nashua's new brand to be unveiledBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
November 14. 2012 10:36PM
NASHUA - Branding experts say New Hampshire's second-largest city should capitalize on its affordability, friendly climate and high-tech businesses.
Following months of research and interviews with people who live and work in this growing community, representatives from North Star Destination Strategies of Tennessee updated city officials this week on their ongoing branding campaign for Nashua.
The consulting firm has been hired by the city to develop and put in place a new branding initiative while creating a strap line and logo to help market Nashua.
"You are all seen as the high-tech destination," said Adam Winstead of North Star, pointing to businesses such as BAE Systems.
He said the city's proximity to the Boston area is a great benefit as well, along with a strong restaurant and retail sector.
"We have heard about the progressiveness of Nashua," said Winstead, noting that the city has a reputation for being warm, charming and slower-paced than Boston.
He said many people are not clear what Nashua has to offer, and are unsure about what opportunities exist in this city bordering Massachusetts.
"Our goal is to uncover the competitive advantage," said Winstead.
He acknowledged concerns from others about the city's lack of a large entertainment center and the challenge to attract and retain young professionals.
Alderman-at-Large Mark Cookson referred to this "brain-drain," saying that young and educated graduates typically do not stay in Nashua, but often move away to pursue careers. Cookson questioned how the city could address that threat.
The goal of the campaign is to create a clear, strong brand identity that represents various sectors of the community and attracts businesses, residents and visitors to the city - including young professionals, Winstead said.
"Many of the assets you said come as no surprise," Alderman-at-Large Jim Donchess told representatives from the firm, saying the challenges the city faces are also nothing new to elected officials. Still, Donchess said he appreciates the work of the consulting firm, and is especially interested in learning what can be done to market the quality of the city's school system.
Representatives from North Star predict a new brand will be showcased in the next two to three months.
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Kimberly Houghton may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.