In 2006, Elkford, BC – located at the northern terminus of Highway 43 up the Elk Valley – was seeking a way to crystallize its identity amid a noisy swirl of BC mountain communities selling the same thing: mountains, trees and water. What differentiated the community? And how could brand be used to attract people, coal mine employees, and investment to a more remote location? All it takes is a drive around Elkford to find the answer in the form of horns, fur and ‘critters’.
Famed cartoonist Gary Larson brought the wonderment of ‘The Far Side’ to us – a world where animals talked, had high (and sometimes low) intelligence, and had decidedly human characteristics. Gary would have been inspired by the wild menagerie of Elkford, where rush hour is a slow moving herd of elk that decide your car in the road is part of the herd.
That the animals are in control in Elkford and humanity borrows a bit of space is a drumbeat for another, less literal meaning of ‘Wild At Heart’: those who appreciate Elkford come to the community and to the area to escape the pressures of urban environments. These outdoor enthusiasts seek the serenity, solitude and active lifestyle that is afforded – and affordable – in this community.
Blank spots on the map to explore, offer freedom that nurtures the human spirit. For those who are passionate about Elkford, the end of the road is the beginning of a spiritual awakening inspired by nature’s cathedral.
True to the spirit of the brand, targeted marketing seeks ‘bear-like’ free spirits to invest and visit: top of the food chain, full breadth-of-life experience grazer, aggressive, limitless – a roamer, confident and aggressive.
Elkford’s brand implementation – tourism and special event advertising, website, social media, signage, vehicle decals, brochures, tourism videos and employee recruitment – has been sustained, varied, and eclectically creative.