MANSFIELD — Destination Mansfield-Richland County and the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development on Friday announced consultants working on the community branding project will be here during the week of July 12-16.

This part of the process is known as “immersion” and four representatives from the branding firm, Belo + Company, a national company that specializes in community branding, will be here to do “on the ground” research.

A public input component is part of the process, and the two local organizations are inviting people to participate. The branding project was one of the ideas in the Mansfield Rising Plan.

“When we were selecting the firm to work with us on this project, one of the key components that we looked for was a strong research phase with a lot of different inputs. Having a full week for immersion will allow them to more fully uncover our authentic brand," said Lee Tasseff, president of Destination Mansfield-Richland County, 

Prior to coming in market, the firm has hosted six focus group sessions with more than 55 local residents and conducted a quantitative survey with nearly 2,000 responses.

During their week here, they will visit different attractions, businesses, and communities, and will have conversations with community leaders, as well as other residents.

“We were just about to embark on this (immersion) part of the process when COVID hit in 2020,” said Jodie Perry, president & CEO of the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development.

“While it delayed the work, it did not stop the project and we are thrilled to be at this point. In some ways, I think they will have a fuller experience this summer and meet more people along the way," Perry said.

The steering committee for the branding project will also host several “pop-up” input sessions throughout the next week. These will have several brief interactive exercises that are designed to gauge local opinions on the community.

“The committee was committed to involving our entire community and the “pop-up” events are a part of that commitment. We hope that the many in the community will take the time to visit one of these pop-up input sessions,” Tasseff said. “We are really excited about this phase of the project.”

The community is encouraged to stop by during the times & locations below:

Saturday, July 10 – located at the Shelby Bicycle Days Festival (Black Fork Commons), set-up from 5:30 – 7:00pm

Thursday, July 15  – located at the NECIC North End Farmer’s Market (311 Bowman St.), set-up from 4:00 – 5:30pm

Thursday, July 15 – located at the Ontario Concert in the Park (Marshall Park), set-up from 5:00 – 6:30pm

Thursday, July 15 – located in Bellville at the Music in the Park (downtown Bandstand), set up from 6:30 – 8:00pm

Friday, July 16 – located in downtown Mansfield, in front of the Carrousel (75 N. Main Street), set up from 11:00am – 1:00pm

Friday, July 16 – located at the GMAC Swimming Event in Lexington (Clear Fork Pool), 4:00 – 6:00pm

Friday, July 16 – located at the Richland Source Newsroom After Hours event (IdeaWorks, 40 W. Fourth Street), set up from 6:30 – 7:30pm

“The brand story that is developed will help us tell our community story with a more cohesive voice. The time is right for us to take this step forward,” said Perry.

The project emerged from the Mansfield Rising Plan with the majority of funding coming from the Richland County Foundation, Destination Mansfield-Richland County, and Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development.

Additional financial support came from the City of Mansfield, Richland County Commissioners, Mechanics Bank, OhioHealth Mansfield & Shelby Hospitals, Park National Bank, and Richland Source.

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