A brand new Whanganui was unveiled on Thursday night ... in the form of a brand new brand for the district.
An invitation-only audience saw the new look that Whanganui will present to the rest of New Zealand at an event at the Savage Club, where economic analyst Shamubeel Eaqub - who revealed he had relatives in Whanganui - was the guest speaker.
Mayor Annette Main said the refreshed brand reflected the district's key point of difference - "the strength of our foundations".
And she said it would be available to everyone in the community to use to promote Whanganui.
"Improving Whanganui's economic performance is, and will remain, a priority and one ingredient for promoting economic growth is having a strong brand," Ms Main said.
"We need to tell a strong and consistent story about what makes Whanganui so special and why visitors, businesses and people who are thinking about relocating should choose us over other cities, towns and regions.
"Equally, we need to remind our existing community what it is that makes Whanganui so special and to celebrate it because they are our best ambassadors.
"Whilst we have made significant strides in recent years in improving our reputation and the way we sell ourselves, I think we all recognise that more needs to be done to strengthen and re-energise our brand.
"We need to adopt one coherent, consistent brand approach, rather than having multiple, competing approaches as we have had up until now.
"With this in mind, we brought together representatives from a cross-section of partners for a series of facilitated workshops to develop the brand.
"We were extremely fortunate to secure the assistance of former Saatchi and Saatchi team members Tim Carthew and Jonathan Russell who has family connections to Whanganui.
"Our workshop participants gave their time and expertise in some fairly frank and open sessions."
The outgoing mayor said the workshops delved into Whanganui's strengths and weaknesses and identified the areas that set it apart from other places.
"We then looked at ways of bringing these areas alive but throughout the workshops we kept coming back to one key point of difference ... our foundations are incredibly strong.
"As well as our stunning environment and thriving cultural scene, the hard work of the Whanganui's forebears has provided stunning heritage buildings, excellent schools, well-established sports and civic facilities, lovely and affordable homes, a talented and loyal labour force, a strong collection of business services and a friendly supportive community.
"Put all these together and you have a pretty compelling story," Ms Main said.
"Our 'whole' is definitely more than the sum of our parts."
The new tag line is "Whanganui: All you need (and then some)" and Ms Main said that conveyed the message that there was more to Whanganui than people might imagine.
"It has everything you need - and a bit more besides ... all those things that people from outside Whanganui are so excited to discover when they come here and that contribute to our commitment to living here."
She said the brand was flexible enough to be able to be used by everyone, from economic development and tourism promotion to local businesses, organisations, clubs or individuals. There was also a te reo translation of the brand line available.
The Whanganui district welcome signs, which were due to be updated, are being replaced with signs reflecting the brand and other signage will be progressively updated.
Key brand material will be progressively coming on-stream following the brand launch. Not all material will be available immediately.
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