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Debate over branding the Wilmington region heats up

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TWC News: Debate over branding the Wilmington region heats up
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WILMINGTON - What's in a name?

That's what the Brand Identity Leadership Team (BILT) is trying to figure out for the Wilmington region.

"We want to create an identity for Wilmington so we can mass market that," said Alfred White, chair of BILT.

On Wednesday, the team got its wheels turning by talking about who they're trying to reach and what they're trying to sell. Based on a survey of residents, the best thing Wilmington's got going for it is quality of life.

But after a lengthy discussion, the group could not agree on this being the focus of their message.

"The problem that I have with focusing on the quality of life is it does not give full allocation of assets and resources that we have here," said White.

"I think we have some degree of responsibility to listen to what feedback we've heard and use that in the future process for recruiting business, people and resources," said team member Roger Johnson.

Which touches on another question they have to answer: who is the target audience?

The team concluded the Wilmington area is not strongly positioned to attract large manufacturing companies.

"It's not that manufacturing is not important, the quality and quantity of jobs that they bring are very important to the region," said Johnson. "It just looks like we have a better asset base as well as differentiator that's more attractive to smaller, medium size businesses."

But not everyone is ready to turn a blind eye to other types of big business.

"I don't think that we have come to a consensus. But I will tell you that I think that we have a lot of good ideas that will come forth and help us identify that," said White.

The team has had three meetings.

Based on the original schedule, a brand should be developed by April and a marketing plan by July.

However, team members said they don't want time constraints affecting the quality of the product.

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