Strategy: Increase national and global recognition of the region by showcasing a consistent and effective Northeast Michigan image.
How do we see ourselves?
Northeast Michigan has long struggled with recognition on the national and global market in all sectors of the economy. In order to be able to communicate who we are to the world, it is first necessary to understand how we see ourselves and to evaluate the message being communicated.
The people and communities of Northern Michigan present themselves to the world in much the same way. After analyzing various brands and identifies used throughout the region, it became clear that the common themes of water, history, trails, forests, wildlife, sunrise, the outdoors, gateways, and “Up North” are found throughout the community brands.
Regional Identity & Placemaking
The extensive nature of actual and virtual trail systems in Northeast Michigan tie the communities and assets together. This brand, Our Trails Take You Farther, is an all-encompassing umbrella brand for the entire region. Beneath that umbrella brand, sub-campaigns (as listed above) can occur. For example, in the Alpena Area, the following could be used: “Our Trails Take You To…The Sanctuary of the Great Lakes”.
Communities in Northeast Michigan can tie into the umbrella brand discussed above. The regional message that Northeast Michigan is communicating is that “Our Trails Take You to Great Places”. This tie-in can occur in marketing materials and community signage. Using the “Our Trails Take You to….” message presents the region as an interconnected network of great places linked with the natural world. Communicating this concept will open Northeast Michigan to global tourism markets and present the region as a great place to live (i.e. talent attraction). This regional identity will assist in the successful launching of the strategies for prosperity by helping to change the image of Northeast Michigan.