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.