The name Sarnia is not playing as prominently as it once did in the effort to market the community.
After two years of consulting and strategizing, a community branding group with help of a firms from Tennessee and Toronto – and $70,000 – have come up with a new way to market Sarnia-Lambton.
“Discoveries That Matter” is to point to the past and the game-changing discovery of oil in Lambton County and the future as the region leads the development of the bio-energy sector.
The logo has 14 triangular shapes meant to represent the 11 municipalities and three First Nations in the region. The shifting colours represent “continuous opportunity for new discoveries, growth and progress” and the shape is supposed to remind viewers of Lambton County’s famous sunsets.
When the group unveiled the logo and brand “Discoveries that Matter” the presenters, video and literature emphasized the “community of Lambton County” over the more familiar Sarnia-Lambton.
For years, politicians have worried Sarnia made people think of environmental problems associated with the Chemical Valley.
Lambton County Warden Bev MacDougall, who is also a Sarnia City Councilor, says it is just what the community needed.
“The graphics and the brand gets us past some of the negativity of the past,” she says. “It’s a starting point for all of us to move forward together without being encumbered with that….I’ve often thought if we could just get past ourselves we’d be fine.
“They have done the job well in getting ourselves past ourselves.”
MacDougall, who was at the unveiling of the logo Dec. 17, says she’s already thinking of ways “to take such an exciting starting point and share the success of all Lambton County with this strengthening the glue that binds us together,” she says.
Brooke-Alvinston Mayor Don McGugan was also considering the possibilities but admits he’s not too sure about it yet.
“It will take some time for adjustment…It will take some salesmenship. I don’t know if I see what it provides for the county with our great diversity.”
Oil Springs Mayor Ian Veen, who is also the deputy warden, was also cautious in his support. “I like that it has everybody included,” he says.
“We’ll have to see how it is going to work.”
George Mallay, general manager of Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership – one of the drivers of the project, says it will take a while for the new brand to catch on.
“Putting out a glitzy ad campaign is not going to change everything in an instant…this is an evolution,” he says.