Efforts underway to build a community brand to better market Craig and Moffat County | CraigDailyPress.com

Efforts underway to build a community brand to better market Craig and Moffat County

Motorists entering Moffat County are greeted with these signs created from Moffat County Tourism Association's brand and installed by Moffat County Road and Bridge Department in 2016 along major roadways coming into the county.

— Community pride and branding is third on a list of top priorities among individuals and groups trying to grow the local economy.

"I think all the groups, including the Chamber, are in agreement that branding does need to take place for us to move forward as a community," said Chamber Board President Robin Shiffbauer.

Work on creating a cohesive brand to market the county was undertaken between 2010 and 2012 by the Moffat County Tourism Association that hired the firm Hill Aevium at a cost of $85,000.

The result was "Moffat Country Colorado — where the West Runs Wild."

The marketing concept was based on the vastness of the landscape and the idea "not to put visitors within the same boundaries as we keep ourselves in within the county," said former director of MCTA Melody Villard speaking to the current board at their meeting March 8.

The brand faced criticism from locals many of whom have told MCTA board member John Husband, "they misspelled county."

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After spirited discussion about the merits of the brand, the tourism board passed a resolution allowing MCTA Executive Director Tom Kleinschnitz to widely share the information produced by Hill Aevium with other entities interested in branding the community.

Developing community pride or a community brand is about "selling ourselves to ourselves in a way that make sense and is reflected when people visit us here," said Michelle Balleck to the MCTA board to explain the current effort.

Balleck is the executive director at Marianna Raftopoulos Business Success Center at Craig and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership

Not everyone thinks that a brand is the way to go.

"I think the community needs something that we can buy into. Personally, I don't think we need a brand to do that," said Randy Looper owner of Elk Run Inn.

Craig Chamber of Commerce and MCTA are working together through Moffat County ACTS, or MC ACTS a committee comprised of the executive directors of each organization and two board members.

"Those nine people will meet and discuss branding including incorporating the MCTA brand and any changes that might need to be made to encompass or include different aspect of the community other than tourism for economic growth," Shiffbauer said. "We are all working together."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

Branding in the West

The idea of branding with logos and trademarks is believed to have evolved from the practice of marking cattle to declare ownership prior to selling.

• Pictures on the walls of tombs in Egypt show cattle were branded as early as 2,000 BC.

• The Spanish were the first to use branding to identify who owned the cattle in the Americas.

• In 1867, the Colorado Stockgrowers Association — now the Colorado Cattlemen’s

• Association — was formed and in it’s first few months recorded 50 brands.

• There are over 35,000 brands registered in Colorado today.

• The practice of placing a brand on packaging is thought to have originated in the 1880s with Coca Cola.

Sources: The Colorado Beef Council’s “Cattle in Colorado History” book available online and Forbes.com.