EDITORIAL: Boiling image down to its essence
Mar 25, 2014 | 3641 views | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Once upon a time, “branding” was an activity conducted by cowboys, burning a mark into the hide of free-range to identify the ownership of the animals.

The term was also used in some references as a special identifier for other purposes, usually in a negative context, such as to suggest that someone’s actions “branded” him as a traitor or a coward or some other unsavory label.

A television drama in the mid-1960s titled “Branded” was the ongoing story of a 19th century U.S. Army cavalry officer, played by Chuck Connors, who is dishonorably discharged because of a trumped-up charge of cowardice in battle.

The activity in which Marshall County will soon be engaged has nothing to do with identification of livestock, nor with casting aspersions on anyone.

But it will, indeed, be all about branding – about coming up with a “brand,” or an identity, for Marshall County.

“Branding” nowadays is a mission of every self-respecting marketer of all products and services. It’s also mandatory for states, municipalities and counties.

Chanderthinks, a Nashville-based marketing agency, has been retained to analyze us – who we are, what we are about, what we do – and boil that information down to some distinct essence.

Ideally, that essence will lend itself to a logo – a simple graphic image that visually communicates the essence.

Our state’s new brand, as everyone knows, is “Unbridled Spirit” with a logo that depicts a horse, running free and unrestrained.

In a double entendre, the words summarize two things that Kentucky is known for – thoroughbred horse racing and bourbon.

Everyone knows Nashville’s brand. It is Music City, USA, the Home of Country Music and the Grand Ole Opry.

Obviously, Nashville is more than that. Not only does it produce musical products that range beyond the country-western genre, it is also home of the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League and Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League.

Likewise, Kentucky is about much more than horses and distilled spirits.

And whatever Chandlerthinks comes up with as a recommendation for Marshall County’s brand, it will be subject to the same kind of debate.

Fishing and water recreational activities constitute one of our top industries overall and certainly one of the most likely images we could promote in order to sell our community to tourists and vacationers.

The industrial base in Calvert City, more than 60 years old and going strong, is indicative of an excellent labor force and industry-friendly local government, and makes this a much more attractive place for an individual or a family to consider for relocation than an area where jobs may be harder to come by and less-rewarding financially.

Our new Children’s Arts Center, the Kentucky Opry in Draffenville, the reopening of Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway ... the list of superlatives about which Marshall County can brag goes on and on.

Summing it all up in a slogan and a logo won’t be a simple job.

That’s a nice problem to have.
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