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Marketing firm seeks Turlocks DNA
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North Star Destination Strategies will soon embark on a mission to uncover Turlock’s “unique DNA” as the City Council approved an agreement on Tuesday with the Nashville, Tennessee company to develop a branding and marketing strategy for the City.

The contract with North Star Destination is the second of three Requests for Proposals the City has sought that focus on economic development efforts. The first RFP was awarded in January to Applied Development Economics of Walnut Creek for $86,750 to update the City of Turlock Economic Development Strategic Plan. The third RFP is to develop a Tourism Strategy for the City; the Council has not yet awarded this contract.

The City will pay North Star Destinations $77,000 to develop a “clear, strong and resilient brand identity that represents the varied attributes of the Turlock community,” according to the City staff report on the RFP award.

The City also specified that the marketing plan should emphasize attracting and retaining businesses, building on the success of the downtown area, transitioning the City from a growth model to one of long-term sustainability, the City’s centralized location and enhancing the City’s high quality of life.

Eight proposals were submitted to the City for the branding and marketing contract and North Star Destinations was among three firms in final consideration by a community evaluation panel that included local marketing experts from Turlock Irrigation District, Emanuel Medical Center, Stanislaus State and Foster Farms. Council member Amy Bublak also sat on the evaluation panel.

The panel unanimously selected North Star Destinations to receive the contract.

“We looked over a lot of different ideas that people brought forward and Don (McEachern of North Star Destinations) he was touching on what we were talking about. It was clear that the other two didn’t have the understanding, especially since he’d done Lodi and other areas nearby, he understands what this area is about and that’s hugely important to us,” said Bublak.

Once North Star has uncovered Turlock’s “DNA” the firm will use that brand to create marketing collateral (logos, banners, resident guides, etc.), develop a public relations strategy, design a range of events to create a buzz around Turlock, integrate the brand across City departments, as well as provide guidance in education, sustainability and incentives.

 “This is all we do, to help communities be as competitive as they can be…,” said McEachern to the City Council on Tuesday. “Communities get a bigger bang for their buck when multiple sectors of the community are aligned to a common strategy.”