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Estacada, who are we?

City launches re-branding effort to capture evolving identity


Photo Credit: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Mayor Brent Dodrill smiles in the City Council chambers next to this sign declaring Estacada 'The Gateway to the Clackamas.' Dodrill is pushing a drive to distill Estacadas changing identity and market the town accordingly.Estacada has been known as many things over the years.

Perched above the Clackamas River on the edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest, a timber town complete with Timber Festival, an eccentric arts hub covered in murals, a launch pad for mushroom hunters, a setting rising in popularity with filmmakers, or town with Christmas tree capital bragging rights.

With recent efforts to turn the town into a cycling haven with a new bike plaza and freshly designated scenic bike route, not to mention the renovation of Broadway Street, Estacada will be adding to its list of unique attributes.

The messages “Gateway to the Clackamas” and “Close to everything but away from it all” may adorn signs and flags around town, but Mayor Brent Dodrill thinks it’s time to come up with a new slogan to capture Estacada’s evolving identity.

“We are a community that has changed dramatically, so we need to brand that,” he said.

“As we know, Estacada has been ‘branded’ with many different slogans and images ... it is now time to do the hard work and establish a consistent brand that would be used by all groups that are marketing Estacada,” Dodrill told the City Council.

Dodrill is leading a small rebranding initiative committee to gather input and come up with a unified vision for the identity Estacada will present to the world.

The Estacada Area Chamber of Commerce, the Estacada Development Association, the city and Estacada School District Superintendent Marla Stephenson are involved in the initiative.

“This branding initiative will involve gathering input from those in Estacada as well as those we hope to draw to Estacada to shop and recreate,” Dodrill wrote in a memo to the council. “The process of branding involves much more than adopting a slogan and image. The branding process is about understanding who we are and our unique place in the world.”

Dodrill hopes that once an identity has been nailed down, that the city, along with other groups such as the Estacada Area Chamber of Commerce and the Estacada Development Association will be able to market Estacada with the same images and message.

He expects the process of nailing down the town’s identity to take about five months, after which, the new identity will be reflected on city letterhead, the city website and other marketing materials.

The City Council recently unanimously approved committing $10,000 to the effort.

Dodrill said the funds will be used to hire a consultant to coach the committee through the branding process.

Dodrill estimates it will cost approximately $30,000 to hire a professional, and the additional funds will be pursued through grants.

While many towns hire a firm to run the whole rebranding process, Dodrill said he didn’t think Estacada could afford it.

Estacada’s identity will be a topic of discussion during the upcoming Community Summit of Estacada, involving city leaders, nonprofit groups, community and civic organizations. The gathering is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 28.

Photo Credit: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - This sign and logger sculpture near City Hall emphasizes the towns timber history and refers to Estacada as the Gateway to the Clackamas. As the city considers re-branding, what elements of the town would you like to see emphasized? Let us know with a letter to the editor.Dodrill is also encouraging the public to weigh in with thoughts on the subject.

“I would be glad to sit down with anybody,” he said.

What do you think?

Dodrill encourages those with ideas on Estacada’s identity and how the town should be branded to contact him via email at brentdodrill@cityofestacada.org.

We want to know what you think too. Send a letter to the editor to editor@estacadanews.com.

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