Branding, Content, Digital, Print
Maine’s forest industry has experienced decline in recent years as global markets have shifted dramatically. The rise of the internet and e-communications has led to less demand for printing paper, and with that the closure of 5 of 11 pulp and paper mills in the state since 2014. These plants were sited in small, rural ‘company towns,’ where the loss of the major employer has been devastating.
Fortunately for these communities and all of Maine, the long term outlook for the forest economy is very different from a fossil commodity such as coal. There are very exciting new products and markets to be developed for forest outputs, and the global trend toward sustainability makes bio-based products more attractive to consumers than ever. In January of 2017 Maine received a federal grant to develop a long-term vision and strategic plan.
We were brought in to develop brand positioning, naming, visual identity, communications strategy, and PR support for this very exciting effort. The name FOR/Maine, acronym for Forest opportunity Roadmap / Maine, and logo were the result of a process of deep audience and stakeholder discovery, and strategic evaluation of different possible brand territories.
As a publicly funded project, with interest from the U.S. Senate, to European investors, to small Maine communities, the range of audiences is immense! We carefully threaded the needle to develop a brand platform and narrative that spoke to everybody.
We managed PR and communications for the successful launch of strategic recommendations in Sept 2018, and are gearing up for phase 2 of marketing the initiative.