Lacey council wrestles with city identity

April 22nd, 2016 by Ken

The Lacey City Council held its annual retreat Friday with the goal of looking at the future and determining where they wanted Lacey to be in 25 years. As part of that process, the council was to look at branding. They determined that branding of a city involved two elements – – organic and directed.

This led me to the City of Tumwater. For nearly a century, the City of Tumwater’s image revolved around the Olympia Brewery. Part of that was organic, in that artesian wells provided the perfect beer brewing water. The rest was good old fashioned entrepreneurship. The brewery was such a significant player in Tumwater, that the old brew tower became the city’s logo.

When the brewery folded about a decade ago, the city looked for ways to revitalize itself and looked for a new brand. It found it and started an effort to become the micro brewing capital of the state.

But, while city mothers and fathers embarked on the effort to capitalize on the brewery’s old name and embrace new mico-breweries – – something happened.

The culture of the community changed and Tumwater now finds itself the marijuana growing capital of Washington State.

More marijuana is produced in Tumwater than anyplace else in the state. Part of that change was organic. Enough land was available for marijuana production. And, part of it was good old fashion entrepreneurship.

The City of Lacey, in an effort to rebrand itself, might look at Tumwater and determine – -what’s organic and what’s going to take good old-fashioned entrepreneurship. The city can do all the direction it wants, but those two elements will determine the city’s brand.

Posted in Business, Government, The Real News

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