Ideas flow for Northwest Colorado brand
Northwest Colorado’s brand will likely be … well, a brand.
Though the number of participants dropped from 30 to 14 in a group working to unify, enhance and support local producers, the number of ideas did not.
One idea was to call products, goods or services produced locally “Northwest Colorado Branded Products” and make the label a “NWC” brand like the kind used to mark cattle.
Wednesday was the second meeting of a group working to recognize Northwest Colorado producers and help them market their products. The meeting was the result of a six-hour brainstorming session in November. Out of that session, three committees were formed to determine which area producers might participate, how the group can help them and how much that help might cost.
“We need to keep going back to (the ideas generated at that meeting) because those are very valid ideas,” Yampa Valley Partners Director Audrey Danner told participants Thursday night.
Most of those who attended volunteered to contribute to the effort in some way, but identifying established producers was listed as a crucial starting point.
“I think it’s important that we keep widening our circle with people who are interested and who know people who are interested,” Danner said.
The next steps go beyond ideas — they include identifying tangible goals.
“We’ve got a lot of ideas, now it’s really about getting some work done — collect information,” said Tammie Delaney with the Northwest Colorado Agriculture Alliance.
Subcommittees will meet and get started on their individual tasks.
The entire group will come back together in about a month to decide what the next steps will be.
The group’s name still is something members are trying to determine — and the idea of a product brand being a brand still is up for discussion.
The group’s name, members said, should be inclusive. Geography seems to be a determining factor.
Members range from Routt County to Rio Blanco County, and some anticipate that lower Wyoming residents could join.
That spread eliminated “Yampa Valley” as a contender, because the coverage area includes the White River Valley.
Noreen Moore, business resource director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, suggested the group consider taking advantage of the millions of dollars spent to market the name Steamboat.
“I’m just looking at what’s going to make the cash register ring,” she said.
“I’m looking at using the power of the Steamboat name, which is nothing to be sneezed at,” she said.
Although Moore said she wasn’t advocating the group or the brand have the name Steamboat in it, she thought the association would bring more attention to regional products.
“I think it makes sense to capitalize on all those marketing dollars that are going into Steamboat Springs,” Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership Director Tom Flavin said. “There’s no reason in the world not to.”
Producers are defined as farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and artisans. It also includes local residents who offer some service — consulting for example.
The definitions aren’t all clear yet, but one subcommittee has the task of examining other “local product” marketing groups to pick up ideas.
“We’re doing this to preserve the heritage of our region and to really support the producers of local products,” Danner said. “Quite often those small entrepreneurs might be disconnected. By collectively putting those people together, we might have more of an impact.”
The bottom line is dollars.
The group’s focus will be on boosting the local economy by encouraging local producers to either get their products to market or market their products on a broader scale.
The next meeting will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3 in Craig. The location has not been set.
Those interested in participating can call Danner at 824-8233.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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