STONINGTON — The Economic Development Commission is launching a marketing initiative to rebrand Stonington to attract more businesses, starting with a new logo that encapsulates the town’s history.
The project known as “Stonington 1649,” which honors the date the town was first colonized, is intended to help drive tourism, development and investment in Pawcatuck, Stonington and Mystic villages.
An updated logo is part of the commission’s branding and “wayfinding” project to increase Stonington’s visibility and ultimately to grow the grand list, commission member Kevin Bowdler said in a telephone conversation Friday.
Bowdler initiated an international logo competition using a crowd-sourcing competition, which yielded more than 50 designs. The design competition closed on Tuesday and the commission chose seven potential designs, which the community is being asked to rate online via a web survey.
The winning logo will be used in marketing and economic development efforts, civic promotion, and a new website.
First Selectman Rob Simmons will have final say on the choice of the logo design, Bowdler said.
For the project, Bowdler said the commission has also engaged Thomas Mitchell of Literae Communications and Erica Lindberg of Lindberg Marketing+Media, who both live in Stonington, for their expertise.
The first use of the new logo will be at the Hartford Boat Show, Feb. 8-11, where the Stonington will have a booth. At the show, the town will launch a campaign entitled “One Town, Two Rivers, Three Harbors and Hundreds of Years of History,” featuring Stonington’s maritime attractions and businesses, in video and print.
Bowdler said the commission was asking Stonington people connected to the maritime industry to volunteer as town ambassadors at the boat show booth.
“We want to make sure people who are asking about different places on the coast consider Stonington as one of those locations,” he said.
The marinas are one of the economic clusters in Stonington that were identified during a two-year evaluation of the town’s resources, said Bowdler. Other clusters include lodging, retail, real estate, eldercare, agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing, food, entertainment and events, culture and heritage.
“We’re trying to get all the people in the same industry in Stonington to meet or at least know each other and to find out if there are things we could leverage to make that industry more successful in Stonington,” he said.
Simmons said Stonington’s history, an increasing population and the expansion of the business community were components of its growth potential.
“This is an exciting time for us,” he said in a press release. “Stonington is growing, and we are seeing an influx of new businesses and people who are adding to the wonderful dynamics already here. By consolidating that with our history from 1649, we are promoting our history, our heritage and our culture, for the future."
The logo survey can be found at 99designs.com/contests/poll/fe8a096367.