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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
Defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as labor market areas with at least one urban core between 10,000 and 50,000 population, “micropolitans” are far mightier than the “micro” implies. In fact, micropolitan areas represent roughly 21% of the nation’s counties and around 9% of the population nationwide.
However, some micropolitans are faring much better that others in attracting new population, new business investment and new jobs. And that’s where our firm comes in. Our economic development practice specializes in economic development for micropolitans and our company’s founder has real experience as the former economic development director for the Greater Burlington Partnership (Burlington IA/IL Micropolitan) during a 4 year period where he helped attract over $250 million in new business development and 750 primary sector jobs.
“What we often see is that micropolitans which are struggling either need to refresh and refocus their economic development strategy or reorganize how economic development is approached within their geography,” says David Toyer, founder of Toyer Strategic. “But many of these same areas have limited budgets and staffing resources.”
To solve this problem, Toyer Strategic doesn’t have a template strategic plan that it produces for all micropolitans. Instead, the company uses an approach (a process for strategic planning) that lends itself to being customized to match the unique characteristics and resource limitations of a micropolitan. Learn more about our approach
Additionally, Toyer Strategic Consulting has developed a Micgrowpolitan™ program where we will independently certify a micropolitan as Micgrowpolitan™ based on comprehensive analysis of key economic development program elements. The certification is a way for economic development organizations in micropolitans to show their local officials, community stakeholders, partner organizations, investors and even prospects that they have what it takes to compete and win economic development projects. What is the certification and how do I get it?
As of 2017, OMB tracks 536 Micropolitan Statistical Areas (μSAs) in the United States against only 383 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). But based on 2018 census population estimates, there could be as many as 550 micropolitans in the U.S. (Policom) and still only 383 metropolitans.
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.”