The brand logo and tagline for Hastings has been decided, after the Hastings Council weighed competing proposals from local agencies as well as community feedback.
As you see from our headline, the selected tagline is “Hastings … Heart of Hawke’s Bay.”
This tagline suggests both a sense of affirmative spirit and a physical location. And, importantly, it directly associates “Hastings” with “Hawke’s Bay.”
If you pay attention to such matters, you would note that for “outsiders” looking at us from afar — whether as potential visitors, investors, business people looking to expand or re-locate — what appears on their radar first is “Hawke’s Bay.” They first form an impression of our region — sunshine, food & wine, stunning landscapes, laid-back lifestyle — and only then focus in on specific places. In effect, Hastings (and Napier for that matter) ride on the awareness and reputation of Hawke’s Bay, and this tagline reflects that reality.
In any event, the decision is made. Public response to the outreach conducted by HDC indicates that, by far, most residents endorsed the option that has been selected. Undoubtedly, some will grouse about the choice; some will say the entire “branding” exercise is unnecessary or nonsense.
But the reality is that modern over-crowded communications environment we live in requires a shorthand way to connect with people who are overloaded with media, messages and other distractions … and that’s what strong brands do.
No one would dispute that Hastings wishes to attract visitors, investors and businesses.
So it’s now time for Hastings residents, ratepayers, and businesses to move on, put the branding debate behind, and get on with the business of proving that Hastings is indeed the heart of Hawke’s Bay.
For the Hastings Council, an important “distraction” is now out of the way. The Council can now move on to the real business of formulating a coherent marketing strategy and rationalising its multi-faceted — sometimes confused, duplicative and competing — marketing efforts.