Knowing they simply couldn’t afford to market themselves individually, the eight small towns that comprise the Northwestern CT Regional Planning Collaborative banded together to market themselves as a region, enticing visitors to return to the area, rather than to a single Village Center.
Working with Studio Two, local businesses and historical societies, the Northwestern CT Regional Planning Collaborative (representing the Towns of Sharon, Falls Village, Goshen, Cornwall, Canaan, Salisbury, Kent, Norfolk) created a successful “Secret Corner” marketing campaign – and earned themselves CMSC’s 2014 Award of Excellence for Marketing and Communications in the process.
The northwest Connecticut Village Centers are relatively small, nestled into the countryside at a crossroads or river bend. Few have the critical mass of shopping or attractions to entice the weekend visitor to return, but together these eight towns’ Main Streets offer a lifetime’s worth of experiences to discover.
The Northwestern CT Regional Planning Collaborative facilitated outreach and input from all participating communities into the development of the brand and the towns in that region. Local small businesses had extensive input into signage design and the website content, and are now active participants in the Secret Corner brand, posting materials and window signs. Town leaders were also very active in helping to facilitate the ConnDOT permitting process for the regional signage program. As a result, this Village Center Signage & Wayfinding Program is now codified in ConnDOT’s Village Area Gateway Signage program.