WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Downtown Wilmington has a lot of supporters, but sometimes groups seem to be moving in different directions. Tuesday night a group representing all aspects of downtown life and commerce came together to see how they could make a good thing better by branding.
Jim Bitto of the Downtown Business Association is one of the organizers.
“I strongly believe that branding is one of the most effective marketing processes that we know,” Bitto said. “Everyone tries to market through a branding process, and what we want to do is come up with a common branding effort where we could have all of the businesses tie together through some kind of a theme where they could use that theme in their advertising.”
Marcia Freilke has a business downtown. She says she is very happy with the effort.
“I think everybody is moving in the right direction,” Freilke said. “We all have the same long-term goals to make downtown an experience that everybody in the community, whether you live and work in downtown or you are in the outskirts of the county, you want to come down here, and you want to stay down here. It is very destination oriented. You want to be here and bring your family here.”
People attending the meeting believe the process can help more than just businesses.
“I think it’s going to promote the city and promote the assets that we all realize are here,” George Edwards, Executive Director of the Wilmington Historic Foundation, said. “From the foundation’s perspective you can’t do enough to talk about the great historic districts that we have that are really part of downtown. There are six districts. I thought the energy tonight was spectacular. People had good ideas, creative slogans. I hope that we are going to see a real spin-off from this and more people are going to come a support the community.”
The next step is to review the input from tonight’s meeting and make recommendations.
In case you were wondering downtown is now defined as the area along the riverfront east to 5th Avenue and from Castle Street north to the Isabella Holmes Bridge.