Helping people invest in a vibrant community
The Columbia River Gorge is comprised of many small towns scattered along the banks and mountain valleys of the Columbia River in both Oregon and Washington. Historically, there has not been a regional membership organization focused on helping community members invest in a strong local economy, a healthy environment, and a vibrant community — or the triple-bottom-line. In 2010, Gorge Owned (GO!) was launched to do just that. When GO! founder and now director of marketing and member services approached Blue Marble about joining the steering committee and later board of directors, we were excited to help this fledging nonprofit become an anchor for economic and community development in our region.
Being a start-up, it was important that GO!’s brand identity and collateral set a strong foundation for building awareness and membership as well as conveying credibility and establishment. It was also important that GO! speak to a diverse population base. As part of the steering committee, Blue Marble helped determine the organization’s value proposition and create messaging and collateral to support that..
GO! launches and continues to grow
- With our help, GO! established the region’s first and only “buy local” campaign that incentivizes residents and visitors to shift their spending from national chains to locally owned, independent businesses. We developed a variety of “GO! Local” materials such as posters, T-shirts, stickers, business enrollment packets, awebpage and infographics to grow interest in this campaign, which annually draws more than 200 participants.
- GO! has grown from 40 members in 2010 to more than 180 members in 2014. Blue Marble designed a brochure that serves as a key marketing piece to grow membership.
- Once led by volunteers, GO! now has .7 FTE, has secured grant funding, has garnered strong local support, and continues to build upon the brand and marketing materials that Blue Marble initially created.
GO!’s meaningful brand is a critical piece of the organization’s overall success. People throughout the region recognize it, relate to it and, and want to be part of it. The organization relies heavily on volunteers and community support, and the evolution of the GO! brand is an ongoing collaboration among many talented creative professionals and other volunteers under the savvy leadership of GO!’s founder.
Gorge Owned Business Network
Brand and message development
Print and digital publication
“Blue Marble’s experience working with triple-bottom-line businesses was a huge asset to GO! as the organization was establishing its value proposition. You have a passion and true talent for helping organizations tell the ‘why’ behind their story. Your diverse skill set — being able to leverage our brand into professional, polished marketing materials in different media — was invaluable. People are impressed with what we've accomplished, and tend to think we are more established than we are — which helps us build a strong reputation and community support.”
– Becky Brun, Marketing and Membership Director, Gorge Owned