Challenge: Most downtowns fell on hard times in the 80’s as city planners moved their efforts towards the suburbs. Downtown Lafayette had a resurgence in the 90’s, but in the past 6 years, growth had slowed to a crawl with development focused on new business corridors on the south side of the town.
Insight: The community lost it’s connection with what used to be the center of town. They needed to reconnected the arts and cultural center of the area, while regaining a pride and ownership in an area that represented thier culture as a whole.
Solution: Change the conversation to remind consumers of Downtown Lafayette and rebuild excitement in it’s promise. A comprehensive brand assessment was developed by Russo that used psychographic research to identify their audience, and build a messaging system that would motivate consumer behavior.
Result: The “I Am Downtown” campaign established an emotional connection that gave ownership back to the people. Sales at its signature annual event, Downtown Alive, increased 46% and corporate sponsorships increased 33% – resulting in a significant revenue surplus for the year. In addition, during a deep recession, retailers reported that Q4 of 2008 was one of their strongest in years.