Smooth Rock Falls Branding & Marketing

Situated along Hwy 11 close to Cochrane and Timmins, Smooth Rock Falls (SRF) is a picturesque, bilingual, small Northern Ontario town of 1,400 residents. When Tembec closed the pulp and paper mill in 2006, SRF lost its main industry, half its population and struggled financially. Through hard work, resilience, and prudent financial budgeting the municipality started to turn around. The ambitious municipal government realized that to continue to grow, they needed to increase their profile and demonstrate to the world that Smooth Rock Falls is alive and well and has much to offer potential new residents and investors.

 

Impact & Main was initially engaged to assist the Town with a new marketing and branding strategy. The Town wanted a new logo, French and English taglines, a new website and 3-year marketing strategy.

 

Smooth Rock Falls is a bilingual community so Impact & Main ran focus groups in both official languages, we let stakeholders speak in their preferred language during interviews and we did all major community presentations in both languages including the community presentation where we presented the new logo and tagline with the Town staff and council.

 

One of the key insights for Smooth Rock Falls was that the town punched above its weight in terms of the breadth of services and activities it offered to residents including a full-service bilingual hospital and clinic and a wide array of recreation services most available for free or at a very low cost. With its strategic location on the TransCanada highway, the low cost of housing, and its strong bilingualism, we determined that Smooth Rock Falls was ‘near north, near perfect’!

 

The new logo and tag-line were incredibly well-received by the community evoking a sense of renewal and pride. The “big reveal” happened at a public launch party where the new logo and tagline were unveiled to the community.

 

After the new brand identity was developed and launched in 2017, Impact & Main has continued to work with the Town of Smooth Rock Falls every year providing ongoing strategic counsel; residential and business lead development; economic development advice, and content marketing.

Results to date have been through the roof!

The launch included an extensive communications campaign to showcase the new brand utilizing carefully crafted, targeted messaging to promote SRF’s chief attributes and financial incentives. The messaging was directed to both new residents and potential investors. To date, the marketing has exceeded all expectations and has generated:

  • Over 250 stories in newspapers, blogs, radio and television reached more than 30 million Canadians
  • A database of over 2,500 business and residential leads who contacted the Town, most were from the GTA but came from as far away as China, India and Australia
  • Continuing to receive 3-5 new leads every week a year later
  • 43 private properties and two commercial properties have changed ownership
  • Couples from BC and Toronto have moved to town
  • People who previously lived in the community are returning
  • Early investors in the community are continuing to re-invest in SRF

 

Over the last year we have continued to work with the municipality implementing and expanding on their brand and economic development efforts.

 

You can visit the brand new Smooth Rock Falls website at: www.smoothrockfalls.ca

Formal logo
Medallion logo

Additional marketing material was developed including the following examples:

Stationery
Outdoor billboard
Wayfinding
Digital Ads
Print Ad
Street signs
Ancillary Services - Fire Hall

After the success of the launch in 2017, Impact & Main ran another campaign in November 2018 – “Smooth Rock Falls – One-year later”. With renewed messaging, we updated the public, the media and potential investors on Smooth Rock Falls progress since the initial brand launch the previous year. Once again, the Town was thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response which included:

  • 52 separate media stories (print, radio or television)
  • Reached 14,323,351 people reached across Canada
  • The last article ran in January on TVO.org and Smooth Rock Falls was discussed by the same journalist on The Agenda with Steve Paiken

 

This second campaign involved a greater focus on attracting new businesses and investors. It included an extensive paid search campaign and updates to the website.