Town to hold branding contest

Catawba leaders want input about what makes the town special from the people who know Catawba best — its citizens.

In an effort to promote Catawba's assets and draw people and money to the area, Catawba Town Manager Brian Barnett announced a branding contest to create a catchy phrase or slogan for the town.

"It's something sweet and to the point to promote our community," Barnett said.

The contest is one of many recent efforts to create industry and interest within Catawba, which recently struggled financially with decreasing revenues and increasing expenditures.

Council members discussed creating a brand for the town during a recent budget retreat, and Barnett wanted to open the suggestions to residents.

"It could be a quick catch phrase to go along with the town," Barnett said.

The phrase, once selected, could appear throughout the town on banners or signs, as well as on the town's social networking sites.

Barnett offered the city of Locust's catch phrase, which is "a city with a soul." The brand could also involve an image, like the town of Duck, which has pictures of Ducks on many things related to the town.

Barnett said the brand should capture what is special about Catawba, and the town's residents will know that better than anyone else.

The brand will also help leaders decide Catawba's town vision, as well as a mission statement and goals. Barnett told council members during their budget retreat that narrowing the town's goals into a mission statement will help leaders figure out "what we want us to be."

Barnett, in addition to creating a brand for the town, is also increasing communication efforts within Catawba.

He started a Twitter feed for the town and updates the Catawba Facebook page regularly. The page includes important town information, as well as videos detailing the agenda for the town's council meetings. More than 100 Facebook users have "liked" the page since its creation.

"I absolutely love it," one citizen told council members during Monday's meeting. "Facebook, Twitter — it's a great way to communicate."

Barnett also started Catawba Connections, which is an e-mail distribution list for people interested in receiving updates about current happenings within the town.

Brand ideas can be submitted to Barnett at