Tag Archives: Branding

Seeds of Opportunity

3 Apr

Join us for Phase II of the Branding Project: Action Planning Workshop!

This is an important session, and if you’ve been involved in the Branding Project, you need to be here!

The session runs from 10am t0 4pm on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at the Rolling Hills Casino Event Center, and this meeting is were the rubber meets the road. We’re done deciding what our brand direction is and now we’re rolling up our sleeves and building a giant To-Do list and figuring out what comes first. If you’ve ever had any ideas or pet projects you wanted to accomplish for your town, now is the time to come and be heard.

Cost is $25 and you can register by calling the Job Training Center at 529-7000 and asking for Sky Lown.


Corning Wine, Food and Art Festival Contributes to Positive Local Image

24 Feb

Published in Red Bluff Daily News

February 25, 2012 

Submitted By Laurie Dana

The Corning Rotary is hoping for record attendance at the Corning Wine, Food, and Art Festival this Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25 at Rolling Hills Casino. The Rotary isn’t alone with high expectations for the annual event. As a showcase for local wines and food products, the festival has a potential benefit that goes beyond raising funds for the Rotary Foundation. 

The Wine, Food, and Art Festival attracts people from all over Northern California who would not normally visit Corning,” said Kate Grissom, Marketing Director of Rolling Hills Casino. “The event complements the efforts of local individuals, organizations, and businesses to promote our region and bring more tourists into the area.” 

The effort referred to by Grissom is the Tehama County Branding Project, an initiative to improve thelocal economy through tourism.

 “Studies show that tourists often plan their visits around what’s happening in the area. Also, events can create an image about the culture and appeal of a community. If well organized, an event can strengthen a community’s brand. We believe that the annual Corning Wine, Food, and Art Festival does just that,” said Grissom.

 “Tehama County is a world-renowned producer of walnuts, olives, wines and fruits.  The` Branding Project is all about showcasing our bounty to tourists and residents, and while theevent is not an official part of the initiative, it is the type of event that co-brands the image we want people to have of Corning and Tehama County,” agreed Kristen Berhens, former Chamber of Commerce President. 

“Brands are perceptions based on what people expect to experience,” said Roger Brooks, whose company Destination Development International was hired to help create a brand for Tehama County that resonates with both tourists and locals. On March 6, Brooks will unveil branding proposals for Tehama County, Manton, and Red Bluff.  The brand will take into account the attributes that differentiate Tehama County from other destinations, which includes activities such as wine tasting in the mountains, olive tasting, and other agri-tourism opportunities. 

“For those visiting Tehama County for the first time, the Wine, Food, and Art Festival will make a lasting impression about our community. If it is a success, it will reinforce the image of friendly people, abundant natural resources, and a great place to live and visit. That’s just the image we want in our brand,” said Grissom 


The Tehama County Branding Project is a movement in response to an opportunity and desire to improve the economic prosperity of Tehama County and its anchor communities of Red Bluff, Manton and Corning.  Branding: economic prosperity is a community investment in a journey of discovery and the development of activities, enhancements and new business opportunities that reinforce our community lend to the greater community prosperity and create loyalty beyond reason.

The Brand Leadership Team is encouraging the community to invest in this very worthwhile project. There are more ghost towns (and counties) in the making today than ever before in North American history. As we lose our core industries, nearly every town and city is working to reinventitself as a desirable place for investment, to live, and to visit


Richard Mazzucchi – Positive Point: Branding is good for business

23 Feb

Published in Red Bluff Daily News 

February 14, 2012

Branding and earmarks are useful for more than cattle management – they are essential to the creation of a robust tourism industry.

Now I’m not suggesting that local professionals go get tattoo’s and ear piercings, but that we get behind the professional examination and development of concepts to help develop the local tourist trade.

I was quite skeptical of the value of such an effort at first, seeing it as an opportunity for outsiders to get paid to tell us what we should already know.

That was until I read the “Assessment Findings and Suggestions Report – Tehama County, California -September, 2010” prepared by Decision Development International (DDI) for the Red Bluff-Tehama Chamber of Commerce.

The assessment provides an unbiased overview of the county – how it is seen by a visitor.

It includes a review of local marketing efforts, signage, attractions, critical mass, retail mix, ease of getting around, customer service, visitor amenities such as parking and public washrooms, overall appeal, and the community’s ability to attract overnight visitors.

This nearly 100-page report is chocked full of observations, pictures, and concepts to attract and retain repeat visitors to our area and local businesses. DDI’s observations are from the perspective of important target audiences for the growth of our local economy, specifically well heeled travelers in search of new and exciting experiences worthy of an overnight or longer stay.

The authors astutely recommend that we promote activities, not just scenic vistas and ambiance. When people see others doing fun activities in a great setting, it’s easy for them to imagine themselves there too. Visitors don’t really care about boundaries – it doesn’t matter if they are in a specific region, county, district, city or town.

Consequently our prime locations such as historic downtown and scenic wonders are not principle lures, instead they are opportunities we must develop to produce the ambiance and activities they can provide.

While such a distinction may seem obvious it is not. Consider the movie “Field of Dreams,” where it isn’t the real estate that brings throngs of players and fans to the fields of Nebraska, it is the draw of well played baseball and the passion of the people involved.
Such is the value of the unique attributes of the North State with our robust agricultural and ranching industries, rich history, and wonderful outdoor attractions.

Efforts like the tasting rooms at Lucero and local vintners, the fruit stands and businesses along State Highway 99E, and Lassen National Park are great examples of experiences that bring people and money to our area.

More of the same is called for to highlight local ranching, fishing, hunting, hiking, river rafting, craftsmanship, and historical touring to name a few.

I highly recommend that anyone with an interest in the local economy and business development review this excellent report and get behind the proposal now on the table to grab the bull by the horns and build our own field of dreams.

Please take the time to consider DDI’s proposal for helping us do just that by examining the document entitled:

“Proposal for Tehama County, California – Tehama County Branding, Development & Marketing Action Plan – September, 2010. Both the assessment and proposal documents can be viewed at www.redbluffchamber.com. Pursuit of their proposal will provide Tehama County with a unique flexible plan and step-bystep guide to developing a strong county-wide umbrella brand (what we want to be known for); it includes product development action steps (what we need to do to “own” the brand) and a marketing plan (how to tell the world).

The plan will also provide a guide for brand development for the communities of Corning, Red Bluff, and Manton – their own unique focus under the countywide umbrella brand.

I suggest that Vina, Gerber, Tehama and Los Molinos be added to this list.

While one might wonder why we can’t just do the work ourselves, after some thought it is easy to understand we lack the objectivity and experience needed to come to do it in a timely fashion.

The passion of those with a stake in the outcome can be a liability instead of an essential force for advancement without tactful direction.

The chamber needs our involvement and support and they are worthy of funding from local businesses and our city and county commissioners because branding is good for business.


Richard Mazzucchi is a retired research engineer specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy. He has travelled extensively and now makes his home in Los Molinos, where he is striving to manifest a sustainable and spiritual lifestyle and operate a babecue equipment and supply business. He can be reached at living-green@att.net.

Manton Wineries Provide Tourists and Locals a Much Needed Altitude Adjustment

26 Jan

Nestled in the foothills of Lassen Volcanic National Park lies the historic town of Manton and Tehama County’s scenic wine country. The estate vineyards of the Manton area rival those of the Napa and Sonoma valleys, yet are still relatively undiscovered by both locals and tourists. That will soon change if efforts by community and business leaders to promote tourism in Tehama County are successful. 

“Wine tasting isn’t the only reason to visit Manton,” said Nelse Weare, a resident of Tehama who had heard a great deal about the wineries and decided to check them out. While it was Weare’s first wine tasting tour of the area, he has spent a great deal of time exploring the countryside while staying at a cabin he owns in Mineral.  Those working to promote the Manton wine country agree with Weare, and preliminary marketing concepts developed by Roger Brooks and his company Destination Development International incorporate the attributes inherent to the cascade mountain region. 

Manton is a popular destination for those who enjoy outdoor activities with year round beauty, fishing and hiking opportunities, and events such as the Annual Apple Festival.  Streams fed by melting snow provide inspiration for fly fishing.  Several area ranches provide lodging as well as opportunities for outdoor exploration. 

 “Manton is rich in ranching history, including some wonderful love stories,” said Weare, who has a penchant for local folklore. The Bailey Creek Lodge on Twin Creek Ranch, Bar Z Ranch Bed and Breakfast, Digger Creek Ranch Lodge certainly provide the ambiance for a romantic getaway on acres of pristine ranch land with an abundance of wildlife, lakes full of rainbow trout, and hiking trails. 

“The lodges provide wonderful accommodations for wine-tasting excursions,” said Donna Delgado, who operates u2vine, a popular wine tour service specializing in the Manton area. Delgado, who is a local resident and co-proprietor of Ringtail Vineyards, has extensive knowledge of local estate wineries and the history of the area. Passionate about wine, she offers intimate and informative wine-tasting tours for up to six people. “Each winery in Manton has its own character and ambiance,” she noted.  Indian Peak, Ringtail, Shasta Daisy, Cedar Crest, Mount Tehama, and Alger Vineyards all produce award-winning vintages that are helping to establish the area’s reputation as a must-visit, wine-tasting destination. 

Delgado’s partner at Ringtail Vineyard, Robert Carrillo is a fourth generation wine maker.  Carrillo planted his Manton Valley vineyard in the late 90’s after realizing that the region contained a unique soil for producing superior wine grapes.  

Indian Peak Vineyard owner, Fred Boots also praises Manton Valley’s red volcanic soil and optimal growing weather conditions for producing high quality wine grapes. “When we started our winery we knew we needed three things to be successful: Exceptional grapes, superior wines, and people to buy our wine, said Boots, “We have the grapes and the wine, and we are hoping the Tehama County Branding Project will help us attract more buyers through tourism.” 

Funded by individuals and businesses, the Tehama County Branding Project is an ambitious effort to promote tourism and put more cash into the local economy. Money rose through contributions and fundraisers made it possible to retain Destination Development International to develop a marketing focus that distinguishes Manton from other wine producing regions. 

 “Very, very few wineries are set among forests, particularly in a mountain setting. This makes this wine area truly unique from others,” said Brooks, whose company has helped thousands of places around the world over the past 30 years become more desirable for investment, tourism, and living.  

Preliminary branding concepts promote the experience of wine tasting in the mountains. The proposed marketing campaign centered on the “Adjust Your Altitude” brand, appeals to those who love outdoor activities, and evokes emotion by enabling potential visitors to envision tasting superb wines made from grapes grown in rich volcanic soil in a mountainous setting.  Both Fred and Delgado applaud the preliminary brand concepts and love the advertising mockups. “The campaign captures the attitude and culture of the tourists we hope to attract,” said Fred.   “The entire region will benefit from the branding project,” agrees Delgado.

 Manton is only a 30-minute drive from Red Bluff, which makes it a convenient destination for both tourists and Tehama County residents. “It was well worth the drive,” said Weare, who purchased vintages from each of the wineries he visited.

 Press Release by: Kristin Behrens

Tehama County Branding Project at Large Committee

The Goals of The Branding Project

26 Jan

By Suzanne Meunch

Published by Red Bluff Daily News January 25, 2012

It seems my husband and I have supported some of the goals of the Branding Project before we knew there was a Branding Project in Tehama County!

Our move to Red Bluff from southern California in 2009 was prompted when my husband, Dick Muench, accepted the job as Chief Probation Officer of Tehama County. Truthfully, I had never heard of Red Bluff before our move. Dick and I promised ourselves an adventure after the last of our three children finished college, and an adventure it has been.

The learning curve has been high for me from time to time adapting to our new life here. The first hard freeze I called property management to voice my concerns that the well was empty because we had no water. Ignorance? You bet!

I have lived on the coast of San Diego for the majority of my life. Remember the average temperature there is 68-degrees and my guess is very few native San Diegans even know about water wells. I shouldn’t be surprised at still being asked, “Where are you from?” I guess we city folks are easy to spot. We continue to appreciate the inquiries about our transition here, and yes, we have experienced two summers and still love to call Red Bluff home. (Yes, I know the last two summers haven’t really been that hot!)

Red Bluff was an easy sell for us after our first weekend visit in October 2009.  On the first day here, I was lucky enough to make a new friend, Mary Jayne Eidman, while shopping at her store, Discover Earth. Mary Jayne’s love and enthusiasm for the region was infectious.

 As we chatted, she described her interests and hobbies. I learned about an organization called Slow Food, whose mission is linking the pleasure of local food with a commitment to community and the environment. Sounded right up my alley! I was warmly invited to attend the Art Walk sponsored by the Tehama County Arts Council, and then recruited to join a committee or two.

Living here, I’ve experienced that community service in all forms is key for our area keeping improvements going. The generosity, resourcefulness and self-sufficiency of the people living here is a huge strength of this region.

Recently we hosted an early Christmas celebration that doubled as a family reunion. My mother, Rosemary Putnam, turned 90 this year, so the whole family welcomes any excuse for all of us to get together and honor her. Family and friends came from as far as Texas, Washington, Oregon, and Walnut Creek. Our children and the guest of honor arrived from Southern California. Our home allows a capacity of four guests, so the remaining twenty-one stayed at the Hampton Inn. Thanks to the Hampton Inn for the RoseMerry Christmas special rate and the warm and personal hospitality.

On a Saturday, in between kitchen duties preparing dinner for twenty-five, several of us ran downtown for a shopping tour. A visit to House of Design was a perfect venue to prepare for our tradition of a Christmas ornament exchange. I noticed a little shopping was accomplished at each place we stopped, and lots of ooohhh-ing and aahh-ing everywhere. We also made it out to Randy Holbrook’s Christmas Open House, where we experienced his amazing pottery, as well as other local products available for sale.

My niece, Penny, a church administrator in her hometown of Bainbridge, Washington, met Randy and received information on communion chalices she was asked to find for her church. Hopefully, her pastor will choose Randy’s work. Either way, it gives me such pleasure knowing Penny will share a story about Red Bluff back home and that our local art is being discussed at Bainbridge Island Cross Sound Church. It was delightful sharing this aspect of Red Bluff’s people, places and things.

 As Chief Probation Officer, Dick has the opportunity to bring business to town in an unexpected way. Mandated training for his Probation Officers traditionally has been held out of town. After converting an unused space in Juvenile Hall, he started inviting trainers and participants from other Northern California counties to complete this required training here. Currently there are 2 – 3 classes held monthly with twenty-five participants. Each class brings four to five thousand dollars to the county which otherwise would have been spent elsewhere. Bringing business to town fits right into part of the Branding strategy.

An aspect of economic development each of us can do as residents is supporting and promoting the people, places, and things our region has to offer; with family, friends, visitors and others.  Branding economic prosperity starts at home with local communities supporting their own goods, services and businesses.

 With recent press, fund raising events, and the hard work of many, branding has become a catalyst for conversation. Tehama County Branding Project is a movement in response to an opportunity and desire to improve the economic prosperity of Tehama County and its anchor communities of Red Bluff, Manton and Corning. Sounds good to me!

The brand itself, along with the marketing plan, does not address all the issues that challenge the future success of our town and county. It is, however, a good start at fusing a collaborative effort amongst our leaders. If you have an opinion on how it can be improved, please get involved and be part of the solution.

Tehama County will benefit as all dedicated residents strive to make their hometown a better place to live. Many very worthwhile projects could benefit from your contribution of time.  Ask yourself how you can support your community’s desire to improve and thrive.  In the world of branding, economic prosperity is a journey of discovery and the development of activities, enhancements and new business opportunities that reinforce our community assets. Care to join us?

Suzanne Muench is a resident of Red Bluff and a member of the Tehama County Branding Economic Prosperity At Large Team.



The Town Built by Branding

10 Jan

Warren Woodson once called Corning the town of advertising.  He would know.  If it was not for advertisements he placed and his vision, Corning may have been nothing more than a railroad station.  He is the man behind the brand “The Olive City, which like the trees he planted has endured the test of time and promises prosperity for the future.

 “Woodson was a marketing genius,” said Laurie Dana, a Marketing Communications Consultant. “Woodson’s branding initiatives in the late 1890s to bring people from across the nation to the Corning area provide the foundation for current branding efforts to promote tourism and increase business in the area.”

In the 1880’s, Woodson and partners purchased 3,107 acres surrounding Corning from George Hoag, one of the original pioneers in the area.  They subdivided the property, which they named Maywood Colony, and sold lots up to forty acres. The Maywood Colony grew to become one of the largest real estate speculations of its time, with over 40,000 acres of subdivisions. At the time, the town of Corning was only 161 acres.

Woodson placed advertisements promoting Maywood Colony and the town of Corning in newspapers and magazines across the United States. A vintage ad from 1899 currently selling on Amazon.com reads:  “We sell fruit land as good as there is in California, in lots of 2 1/2, 5, 10 or 20 acres, at $50 per acre. Terms of payment runs three years, making the purchase an easy one.  Then we contract to plant these lots to peaches, prunes, pears, walnuts, apricots, and other fruits for $35 an acre.  This charge covers cost of trees (90 per acre) planting and care for first year, $12.50 for the second year, and 12.50 for the third year. . . . You don’t have to plant unless you want to.”

Woodson had a vision of what he wanted the Corning area to be, which he promoted by advertising the Maywood Colony subdivision as another Garden of Eden. More than a million fruit trees were planted to fulfill this vision, but it was the olives that thrived. Olive trees do not require as much care as most trees, and they are drought, disease and fire resistant. For this reason, olives eventually became the tree of choice for the Maywood Colony.

In 1923, Woodson branded Corning, “the Olive Town.”  However, this was not the first brand used to promote and transform the city.  According to an article written by Ellen Hultgren in 1985, the town had gained a reputation as a saloon town in the early 1900s. In an effort to rid the city of bars and establish local parks, Woodson led a campaign to incorporate Corning. Incorporated in 1907, the town enacted prohibition laws and Woodson as mayor started an advertising campaign naming “Corning, the Clean Town.” The brand promoted a wholesome image for families and hard working individuals. Labels with the slogan were glued to every box shipped out of town and posted on railroad cars. He used the same strategy to later market the “Olive Town” brand.

A slogan alone is just one small part of branding.  “A brand is about creating points of differentiation,” says Jordan Pogue, a consultant for the Tehama County Branding Project.  “Branding is also about what you want to be known for, perhaps not what you have today.”

Woodson understood this when he planted the orchards and marketed Maywood Colony as another Garden of Eden.  People were buying orchards not yet planted, because Woodson created a strong vision of what was possible.  Woodson wasn’t just selling agriculture; he was marketing values that appealed to the type of individuals he wanted to move here. People bought land with the belief that Maywood Colony and the town of Corning would become what Woodson promised. It was a brand the community embraced and made a reality.

The values Woodson promoted are essentially the same proposed by current branding initiatives. Incorporating a theme that welcomes visitors as family will extend the brand focus beyond agriculture to include retailers, restaurants and the niche culinary markets.  The direction is a vision of what Corning can be if the community and businesses embrace the new branding initiatives.

Woodson would applaud the new push to use branding to transform the Corning area, as it’s the same strategy he employed over 100 years ago when he planted the first olive trees and placed his first advertisements for orchard land. Through strategic marketing, Woodson transformed Corning from a stop on the railroad to a town with a population of 7,000 boasting the world’s largest olive cannery and several gourmet olive oil producers.  “That is quite a testament to the power of branding,” said Dana. “I look forward to seeing how the Tehama County Branding Project transforms the area further in the years to come.”

Press Release by Kristin Behrens,
Tehama County Branding Project at Large Committee

Tehama County Trying for its Own Economic Brand; Consultant’s Plan Due Soon

4 Jan
By Janet O’Neil
Published by The Record Searchlight on November 30th, 2011

The movement to boost economic prosperity in Tehama County is about to come into sharper focus, with the imminent return of a consultant advising the community. Roger Brooks, president and CEO of Seattle-based Destination Development International, is expected to unveil a plan after the first of the year, said Kristin Behrens, marketing and community relations manager at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff and a spokeswoman for the Tehama County Branding Project.

Initially, organizers hoped to have distinct brands for Red Bluff, Corning and Manton, plus an “umbrella brand” for the county, by early December. But more discussions are needed among the four teams helping develop those identities. “We’re gathering some feedback now,” Behrens said Tuesday. “We’ll review what we love and what we want to see different.”

Those brand-development teams sprang in part from an August workshop Brooks gave in Corning, after which he held some 20 meetings with groups around the county. He also launched a survey to help identify what’s valued in the area. “We had a favorable number of responses” to the questionnaire, Behrens said, but an exact number was not immediately available.

If an early November fundraiser is any indication, enthusiasm remains high for the effort. The 100-mile Harvest dinner and auction brought in nearly $20,000, Behrens said, compared with $12,500 raised at the inaugural event a year ago. Produce, grains and poultry from area farms were featured, along with nuts from local orchards and wines from Manton. Trail rides, an outing on the Sacramento River and a stay at Drakesbad Guest Ranch at Lassen Volcanic National Park were among items auctioned. Brooks has maintained that Manton’s wines and Lassen park have long been overlooked as tourist magnets. Last year, he and his staff toured the area by car, compiling the region’s assets and liabilities in a 97-page report.

Tehama has been working on the notion of a brand since 2009, after a report on economic growth suggested it as a means to lure people off the freeway by capturing a unique image. The original goal was to raise $200,000, including $125,000 for the work done by Brooks plus a $75,000 war chest to sustain marketing efforts. By August 2011, organizers had raised about $75,000, enough to pay for the first phase.

To see the original story, please visit: http://www.redding.com/news/2011/nov/30/tehama-to-get-economic-brand/