Two days of input for new branding designs

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By David Meade

The Main Street Williamston Branding and Marketing “Charette” Team has met with local business owners, groups, citizens and students, as well as touring the town as part of their two day intensive workshop Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Charrette Team members Randy Wilson, of Community Design Solutions, Inc; Ben Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow and Associates and Beppie LeGrand of the Main Street South Carolina program have interviewed people and led sessions to gather input for the recommendations they will make.

Sessions included looking at how cities like Charleston and Greenville are viewed as well as neighboring towns and Williamston. They have also discussed and received feedback on businesses environment and customer base in the area.

During a session Tuesday, Randy Wilson said, “Whether you like it or not, they are branding you every single day. They are already getting an impression and drawing their own conclusion.”

Muldrow explained that the input they received from the session will allow them to make recommendations for a brand statement that can be used in a variety of ways to show pride in Williamston.

Input from sessions included “what would you put on a post card” and “what is the one thing someone should experience while in Williamston.”

Students at Palmetto High School were also interviewed. According to Muldrow, they recognize there is a quality of life and the proximity to Anderson and Greenville is appealing. Other thoughts included the appeal of two story loft type buildings in downtown and negatives about the park including vandalism and other problems.

Muldrow said he has led similar “charette” sessions in more than 350 towns in 30 states. Closer to Williamston, he has worked with Greer over the last 10 years, Travelers Rest for about 5 years and more recently Pickens.

“All three are doing some really good things,” he said.

When asked about Williamston in comparison to other towns he has worked with, he said, “What excites me about Williamston, is that I feel it is a hidden gem that people haven’t discovered yet in the upstate. We have the opportunity to show ways to introduce Williamston to the upstate.”

Muldrow said those attending the unveiling of branding ideas at Town Hall tonight (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. will see a visual identification system with brand extension into the events and organizations in the town.”

Muldrow said included will be “advertising signage, banners and collateral material overarching system that conveys the strategy of how we see Williamston should market itself.”

“Marketing is not just about growth,” he said. “The main thing is the ability of Williamston to preserve the quality of life that its residents cherish.”

Input from the two day session was used to develop “branding” for the town which was to be unveiled Wednesday, Apr. 30 at Town Hall.