UP FRONT: Find it on your GPS

Posted on Mar 4, 2013 :: Up Front
Margaret LeBrun
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Larry Burkhardt, executive vice president/economic development officer for the Fox Cities Chamber, and Shannon Full, chamber president, display the new logo for the Appleton Regional Partnership, flanked by municipal and community leaders.

Appleton Regional Partnership brand launched

People in Northeast Wisconsin know what you’re talking about when you refer to the Fox Cities. But drop that phrase anywhere outside the region, and most don’t have a clue – or worse, they confuse it with another community with a Fox River, such as suburban Chicago.

That’s an obstacle in economic development, when finding a place on a map is foremost in attracting new business. It’s one that the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry hopes to overcome with the launch of a new brand for its economic development initiative: The Appleton Regional Partnership.

“We believe that this name will provide a platform from which we can approach national and international markets,” says Larry Burkhardt, executive vice president/economic development officer for the Fox Cities Chamber. “Appleton appears on the map – and it is our largest community. Regional immediately connotes the fact that we’re talking about an area that transcends any singular community. Partnership aptly describes the collaboration that we’ve established, and we’ll continue to build as we collectively work to increase the primary job base throughout our area.”

The logo, created by A2Z Design, Appleton, features three colorful gears that represent collaboration as well as the region’s manufacturing roots and a slogan “A Wisconsin Business Powerhouse.” A2Z Design Creative Director Jeff Amstutz explained that Appleton is featured in the name, but the word “regional” is emphasized on the logo in bold, larger letters to convey the message that it’s more than just one city that makes up the economic development corporation.

In fact, 61 municipalities – including Outagamie, Calumet and northern Winnebago counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts and economic development entities – are encompassed in the Appleton Regional Partnership, according to Fox Cities Chamber President Shannon Full.

“We’re happy to see the change,” says Marty Lenss, director of the Outagamie County Regional Airport.

Going with a more recognizable name may be the start of a trend in the region. Lenss says the airport property committee is beginning to discuss whether the airport would also be better served with a new name. Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson says a name that people can identify is important to economic development.

“Whatever we can do to emphasize a regional approach to first, bring the various communities together, and second, identify a name that is easily recognizable throughout the state, the country and beyond, is a good thing for everybody,” Nelson says.

Margaret LeBrun

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