Franklin County LDC, IDA, CDC rebrand as EDC
Franklin County’s three development agencies — Industrial Development Agency, Local Development Corporation and Civic Development Corporation — have rebranded themselves under the umbrella title of Franklin County Economic Development Corp., with the hopes of making the alphabet soup of local development organizations a bit less opaque.
This newly named organization also has announced a new marketing brand for Franklin County to better attract potential businesses and residents — it’s now the “Adirondack Frontier.”
In September FCEDC chose the Development Counsellors International marketing firm to assist in these two brand developments after reviewing dozens of proposals from firms across the country.
The total cost for this branding effort is $18,000, according to EDC CEO Jeremy Evans.
The money for this did not come from the county bed tax — also known as an occupancy tax — Evans said. It was self-funded through the LDC and IDA, which have a variety of revenue streams, including fees paid to the IDA for project benefits and loan interests and grant revenues paid to the LDC.
The FCEDC umbrella
Evans said The IDA, LDC and CDC are three separate entities but share the same seven-member board of directors. He said the three have similar but very unique purposes, which sometimes can be confusing to people.
“For a while we’ve wanted to just have a simpler and more descriptive name for who we are and what we do,” he said.
These three entities will remain separate, he said; they will not merge. Now, though, they will all be under the FCEDC umbrella.
The EDC also has begun marketing Franklin County as a place to do business and live with its new Adirondack Frontier brand.
A press release from the organization explains how the name was developed.
“Two-thirds of Franklin County is located within the Adirondack Park and the county shares a 35 mile international land border (or ‘frontire’ in French) with Canada,” the press release states. “The Adirondack Frontier brand allows FCEDC to celebrate and promote the intersection of these defining features, that are only found in Franklin County and neighboring Clinton County.”
Evans said 66% of the county’s 1,600 square miles is in the Adirondack Park.
The brand also prominently positions Franklin County with an image of New York state.
Development Counsellors International explained why it was important to incorporate New York into the brand.
“New York has a distinct and recognizable shape and international name recognition,” DCI Senior Director of Digital and Brand Strategy Patience Fairbrother said in the press release. “Featuring it in the brand sets the region apart from the other 23 Franklin Counties in the United States.”
Franklin County, Vermont, for instance, is as close as 60 miles away, directly across Lake Champlain.
DCI used feedback from 108 stakeholders through focus group sessions and an online survey to develop the brand, which will be used to target audiences of corporate executives, site selectors, entrepreneurs, prospective residents and visitors.
Evans said the FCEDC has been happy with the results of the rebranding.
“Franklin County has been a focus for the chamber for several years,” North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas said in a press release. “We have been pleased by the great progress FCEDC has made in putting Franklin County on the map. This new name and brand direction shows that they are serious about economic development, and we look forward to a continued close partnership.”
Evans also said DCI will assist with the development of an upcoming $55,000 economic development website redesign, which will be released in March and will incorporate the new brand.