AYDEN — Ayden’s Branding Committee continues to seek input from both town residents and those outside of the community.
Committee members said about 150 people have responded to the one-page survey, which was designed to help determine what Ayden is known for and promote that quality as a brand.
Questions on the survey include: “What do you think Ayden should be known for?” “Where do you take visitors in Ayden” and “What are Ayden’s best assets?”
The committee is hoping to receive 300-500 completed surveys.
Gwendy Yiznitsky, a committee member and owner of Gwendy’s Goodies, suggested during a recent meeting that surveys be made available at Ayden’s sit-down restaurants. She said that while some of her customers complete the surveys at her establishment, others do not have the time.
Having them available at the sit-down restaurants would help with this, she said.
“The whole key to this survey is, it’s up to this committee to get it out there,” said Mallory Denham, Ayden economic development director. “If you see a place where it needs to be, you need to take it and put it out there.”
The survey also is available on the town’s website where it can be completed electronically.
Tom Harrison, Washington County travel and tourism director, is assisting Ayden with the branding process by using the Roger Brooks method. Brooks is the world’s foremost community marketing expert, Harrison said.
When completing the survey, Harrison suggested survey participants avoid generic responses like “friendly people” and phrases that are used by other towns.
He encouraged participants to think of things specific to Ayden that can’t be found closer to their homes.
“Our brand needs to give people a reason to come here and find something unique and keeps them coming back over and over again,” he said.
Once it receives the desired 300 surveys, it will be up to the committee to categorize them. Responses will be divided into three categories: feelings, compliments and ideas that are significant.
Members will also have to ask themselves several questions and determine if the markets and community could buy into the brand as well as if the private sector could invest in it.
Harrison also encouraged members to not get hung up on logos and a slogan and instead to think of a brand as the town’s “unique selling proposition.”