The problem with being a “Great Place to Live, Work & Play”

Traveling around as much as I do, I hear it from Mayors, I see it in community vision and mission statements, and I read it in marketing brochures. . .

[insert city name here] – “A Great Place to Live, Work and Play/Shop/Stay”

It’s been the tagline, catch phrase, sound bite, etc. for years now.  And candidates for governor and congress use it in speeches (even last night), chambers use it, downtown groups use it, economic developers use it, etc.  And this is a big problem.  So, if you’re marketing yourself as a great place to live, work and play, your community has no chance to stand out.  NO CHANCE!

Here’s why:

  1. What does this statement really tell me about your community?  Nada.  It doesn’t tell me who you are, what you have, or what’s unique.  So looking at “Anywhere: An awesome place to live, work and play” and “Lake Town: Live a Lake Life” which one do you want to know more about?  You’re community needs to be united around an identify that is unique and authentic to you.
  2. At best you’re running with the pack when using this as the fulcrum of your marketing.  I can type “great place to live work and play” into Google and get 4.35 trillion hits.  Sort through the first few pages and you’ll see community after community saying the exact same thing, along with a couple articles like this and some articles about live, work play (LWP) mixed use type projects.
  3. And the pack you’re running in is big.  It’s the more than 35,000 places in the United States that have a permanent population and buildings (Source: USGS), especially the 19,500 cities, towns and incorporated places (statista.com).

So if you’re using (or thinking about using) “Great Place to Live, Work and Play” to describe your community, STOP!  Because even declining rural communities can stake the same claim, because their declining population is less about them and more on the fact that there are better places out there to live, work and play. . . ones that have a better marketing message or that are willing to invest in the amenities and infrastructure that proves it.

Still think it doesn’t apply to every community?  Then envision the supermarket.  You may not want to buy a can of sardines, but there are cans of it on the shelf because that is what some wants to buy them.

 

Rhodora Annexation Clears State Board

Lake Stevens, Washington.  The Washington State Boundary Review Board (BRB) for Snohomish County issued its written decision Tuesday, denying an appeal brought by landowners in the area.  The decision clears the way for approval of the Rhodora Annexation by the Lake Stevens City Council subject to expiration of the 30 day appeal period on BRB decisions.

Our firm has managed the annexation process for the initiating landowners (initiators), including circulation of the 10% and 60% annexation petitions, developing and distributing information about the annexation to residents, and representing initiators in the annexation proceedings.

If final approval is granted by the Lake Stevens City Council, the annexation would bring approximately 103 acres into the City at the southeast end of the lake.  More information

We Help Companies with Marketing

Creekside Consulting (Mark Mitchell), a provider of interim CFO and COO services in the Pacific Northwest, recently contracted with Toyer Strategic to produce a series of three direct mail marketing pieces for distribution to existing and prospective clients.  Here’s what Mark had to say:

“I’ve been following what Toyer Strategic does for direct mail marketing and wanted to mix up what I’ve been doing for Creekside Consulting. After a couple of conversations with David about my business, he and his team developed and presented several designs. I liked their ideas have ordered a series of three marketing pieces that will be distributed to clients and prospective clients. I was impressed with the process, quality of work and quick turnaround. I plan to continue working with the Toyer Strategic marketing team.”

Check out more client testimonials

Rhodora Annexation Hits 60% Milestone

On July 19th, the Lake Stevens City Council approved Resolution 2018-018, accepting the 60% petition for a 103-acre annexation known as the Rhodora Annexation.  The approval sends the annexation forward to the State Boundary Review Board for a mandatory 45 day review.  If during the 45 day review period no jurisdictions request the board invoke their jurisdiction, the annexation will return to the City for final consideration.

Toyer Strategic has been assisting the petitioners through the entire annexation process, which began last September.  For more information on the Rhodora Annexation.

 

Toyer Discusses Trestle’s Economic Challenges

The U.S. Highway 2 corridor between Everett, Washington and Lake Stevens, Washington is a big transportation issue that impacts the lives of many residents and businesses.  The Lake Stevens community has started a #LetsFixTheTrestle movement to help highlight the need for investment in this critical infrastructure.

In a recent interview, David Toyer, owner of Toyer Strategic, discusses the economic challenges the Trestle creates in Lake Stevens.