By Janet Cochran
To live and work in Chattooga County is to experience the goodness of “small town America” where hidden treasures of interesting sites, outdoor activities, and opportunity for living exists for residents and visitors alike. It is home to renowned folk artist Howard Finster who is recognized for his visionary art and the location of his largest creation, Paradise Garden, where he turned his homesite into a display of thousands of artistic works.
It is where you will find James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park with opportunities to enjoy fishing, hiking, camping and the beauty of Georgia’s outdoors. It is the destination for hundreds of visitors who travel on the Tennessee Valley Railroad from Chattanooga, TN, to Summerville, the county seat, where they can see one of the nation’s few train turntables among other historic features in the city.
Add to all of this paddling on the Chattooga River, exploring along the Lookout Mountain Parkway, and shopping the community’s Trade Day weekend events and seasonal festivals for a myriad of activities to keep you busy for one or more days.
But Chattooga County struggled with a compelling brand and creative marketing strategy to help tell its story and increase the number of visitors and desirability for business and manufacturing location. Georgia’s Rural Center stepped in to lead discussions and help find direction for such a strategy. Through focus groups, surveys, and tourism statistics we gathered and evaluated data along with our creative partner.
The findings resulted in a refreshed look and feel to Chattooga County’s brand with a coordinated branding board for the County and Chamber of Commerce along with messaging that reflects the pillars that make Chattooga County stand out from its neighboring and competing Georgia locations. A new website template will provide an exciting online presence for the chamber of commerce to serve as “home base” for the new brand. Goals were established and the work begins!
As Chattooga County forges into the future with a new brand, Georgia’s Rural Center and creative partner will be there to check in and provide guidance along the way to assist with suggestions, brain storming ideas, and a tourism marketing plan. We look forward to providing an update and sharing their success story!