Coming in for a landing originally uploaded by Laura
According to this StarTribune article, Lakeville recently hired consultants to create a marketing campaign slogan and logo in order to better help them attract new business to the city. Unfortunately, as marketing consultants usually do, the results were not only expensive but also incredibly ridiculous. It’s pretty clear the money could have been better spent on just about anything else.
From the article:
The city unveiled its new tagline, “Lakeville: Positioned to Thrive,” earlier this year. The slogan, along with a new logo, already has shown up in advertising in trade journals and other publications geared to business-oriented readers.
Much like Farmington’s “Grow Farmington” and “Farmington Friendly” initiatives, Lakeville’s “Positioned to Thrive” is cheesy and useless when it comes to business growth. There really can’t be one single business who is going to read that slogan in a trade journal and think to themselves, “oh man, now I’m definitely not going to setup shop in any of the other hundreds of cities across Minnesota and the surrounding area,” and instead come to Lakeville.
“The consultants pointed out that a ‘gateway’ is perceived as something you pass through to get to something else, not a destination,” Olson said.
Well, that’s definitely true. No one thinks a “gateway” is a destination but they’re definitely not going to think of Lakeville as a destination either. The vast swaths of undeveloped farmland, strip malls, and suburban housing are definitely far more attractive than the same vast swaths of undeveloped farmland, strip malls, and suburban housing available in surrounding cities because those cities are “gateways”, right?
Olson said the city also won’t immediately implement a more ambitious proposal by the consultants to develop a way-finding system to guide people to commercial and business districts and civic buildings.
“I can’t tell you how many times I got turned around,” said Tripp Muldrow, the consultant who made multiple visits to Lakeville to work on the marketing plan. His firm’s report said Lakeville needs to do a better job of directing people around town after they get off the four exits along Interstate 35W.
Oh yes, Lakeville is most certainly a very confusing town to navigate and there is a definite need to spend tens of thousands of public dollars on wayfinding signs to help luddites who refuse to get with the times and use GPS either in their cars or on their phones to help these undesirables find their way around an undeveloped town which, honestly, isn’t all that large to begin with. The fact that Lakeville didn’t demand their money back when the consultants offered this as a suggestion being that it proves their usefulness is negative, shows the City doesn’t have a single clue about how to manage their money.
The new tagline is part of a broader marketing pitch emphasizing Lakeville’s advantages for all businesses — new and old — like transportation infrastructure that includes railroads, the regional Airlake Airport and good access to major highways. “You don’t often see all modes of transportation like that outside a metro area,” said Muldrow, an urban planner.
And this is the single most hilarious point of the entire article. Why? Well, for starters, Lakeville is in the metro area and their railroads are useful only if you like staring at graffiti. On top of that, Airlake is not a “regional airport”; it’s a glorified grass field in the middle of nowhere. Please, for the love of all that is holy, stop trying to pretend Lakeville has all these traditional transportation modes, when in fact they’re simply just like any other town around the area.
Overall, this is more of the same. Why Lakeville felt the need to hire consultants to be told the same exact things these companies have told just about every other city in the area, I have no idea. If Lakeville couldn’t come up with these ideas, aside from the wayfinding as that’s just absolutely moronic and they had the foresight to at least ignore the consultants there, they have much larger problems they need to address that no consultant is ever going to help them solve. What this should tell the residents of Lakeville and business people looking for a place to open up shop is that Lakeville is a place to avoid, not come to. They’re going to waste public dollars on ridiculous exercises led by Captain Obvious and there’s no good reason to do anything but ignore the city exists at all.
It’s obvious Lakeville is only in a position to fail by following any of the recommendations laid out by these overpaid consultants. The work done was not only shoddy but it was embarrassing. Lakeville residents should be banging down the doors of their public officials asking for answers as to why anyone thought the recommendations were made public. The fact that other people, possibly nationwide, are reading about being “Positioned to Thrive” shows they are currently working from a weak position and there is little hope for any meaningful growth unless something changes and soon.
What do you think about this one? Would you support your tax dollars going to fund the potential for wayfinding signs, awful slogans a third grade class could come up with during a 5 minute brainstorming session, or the promise of major transportation hubs with rail/air/car when only one of the three really exists? Whatever you have to say about this one, go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.