With the onset of COVID in March 2020 came the elevated need for municipal Economic Development departments to shine a light onto local businesses and come up with new ways to provide support to the local ecosystem in unprecedented times. The Region of Durham identified The Downtown of Durham project early into the pandemic as a means to promote the Region’s downtowns and tell the story of those who were persevering.
Kleurvision was chosen as the vendor partner for the project after an intensive RFP process. The idea was clear: create a digital hub to showcase the stories from the Region’s downtown businesses and the people behind them. Durham Region is home to 14 downtowns and the stories percolating at the surface of the pandemic were plentiful. Telling the stories in a timely fashion to make a positive impact would require strategic vision, an organized management team and strict execution.
In collaboration with the Durham Region Economic Development Department and WFL Solutions Group, a linear execution path was created with critical milestones and a project plan: create the visual brand, develop the website, identify the stories, create the content and distribute through social channels with a call to action back to the website. The loop was identifiable and the KPI targets were clear, it was time to go to work.
The Kleurvision creative team kicked off the project with the brand development. With strategic direction from the Durham Region Economic Development department, the KV creatives put together a slick brand mark and super fun colour palette that would become a fundamental element of the marketing execution.
In parallel, the working group started to make waves with the new website that would act as the hub for all activity. The content would drive the site and be supplemented with downtown business listings for each region identifying the viability of each business through custom icons for curbside pick-up, delivery and open status.
The content creation was driven by WFL solution groups who hired the writers and undertook the editing process while KV provided the visual support for each story. The content filled the site to the brim with local stories of business owners and local champions who were able to pivot during the pandemic to create opportunity and viability in the community.
The written content was supplemented with videos developed for half a dozen businesses throughout the region and distributed through the Region’s social channels.
The project received rave reviews and positive attention for the businesses and the Region who accepted a National Marketing Award for the effort. The project continues to have viability and impact.
Telling the stories in a timely fashion to make a positive impact would require strategic vision, an organized management team and strict execution.