2016 Best Image Building Campaign
A concerted effort to revitalize Rutherfordton began in 2013 with citizens involved in the town's NC STEP Committee. Arnett Muldrow & Associates helped Rutherfordton develop its new brand, "A Minted Original," which plays off the town's history as the home of the former Bechtler Mint which produced America's first $1 gold coin. The new brand has been used for signage, websites, and other marketing materials. Pole banners designed by the Addielen Marketing & Design Firm feature town assets using a "Minted Here" theme.
A new icon and catchphrase, "Your Adventure Begins Here," was developed to promote the town's heritage, trails, and other outdoor offerings. Cohesive branding is used on a revamped Town website and two new marketing websites, one created by Michael and Aimee Cornelia to highlight tourism attractions and businesses, and another, by the Addielen Marketing & Design Firm, to promote Rutherfordton's trails. Architect Barbara Mears helped develop a downtown directional map to help visitors navigate and find businesses. McConnell Group helped promote the elements of the campaign through social, print and news media.
The total investment for the project was $225,000, of which almost half was provided by a Rural Center NC STEP grant. The project was completed in December of 2015. The Town of Rutherfordton's increased digital and social media presence has resulted in more than 4,000 website users per month, 5,800 likes on Facebook and 815 Twitter followers. At least six new businesses, including two breweries, have opened downtown, existing businesses have expanded, and several historic buildings are being rehabilitated.
The NC Department of Commerce and Rural Planning Center congratulates Rutherfordton for this branding initiative that creates an amazing identity for your community!