Being located in a small town has afforded us some great opportunities. Many of these opportunities have nothing to do with making money, but with the relationships we’ve been able to forge with the great members of the town in which we are located. While Camas is growing and changing at an astounding rate, it hasn’t always been that way. This sleepy mill town has long been dormant in many ways, surviving as a blue-collar town with the main industry being that of the Paper Mill located on the West end of the downtown area.
In recent years, partially due to the real estate boom, the area has seen its residents expand out to a wider range of households. With this change has come a change to the downtown area, as well. Many new wonderful boutique shops, restaurants and services have begun to appear on a regular basis and a renewed pride in the downtown has taken hold.
We see a lot of examples of people working together to improve the community and make it more of a destination for families. But the ones that have had the most impact are the ones that have focused on giving the downtown region a personality and a brand. We were recently given the opportunity to help with two of these projects, which involved producing a commercial for the Downtown Camas businesses, which was shown on various Comcast channels for a number of months, to redesigning the Downtown Camas Walking Map for local businesses. Throughout this process, we were able to establish a visual identity for the town that can start to imprint upon consumers’ minds.
When this branding is used in conjunction with the town’s many events and weekly First Friday Art Walks, it helps to reinforce a consistency in both experience and style that people will come to associate with Camas. The end goal is that people begin making Camas more of a destination than a place they stumble upon while driving to or from the Gorge. While we have only begun to scratch the surface of how much we can help this town increase its brand awareness, we are looking forward to more opportunities to help Camas—and other towns that may come along—increase their branding and commerce.
Is your community suffering from a lapse in its own commerce? We’d love to talk to you about your own community branding.