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BID looks to spice up downtown area

July 28, 2012

Menomonee Falls - The Menomonee Falls Business Improvement District wants a name that sticks and a brand that attracts.

The BID constantly works to refresh the downtown area, or Village Centre, and by 2013 they want it to have a fresh feel by creating a catchy slogan and an attractive name to bring people to the area keep them coming back.

The downtown area, currently deemed Village Centre, may soon undergo a branding transformation and the BID wants the public's help in doing so.

"It is time to do something different and 'Village Centre,' I think, gets lost in people's perception of what or where downtown is," said BID Manager Barb Watters. "We're trying to identify it better and get it to be a little more trendier."

BID is seeking input on the new brand concept that combines the use of the existing brand logo and a new name - Menomonee Falls Riverfront District. The slogan under the logo and name reads "Eat Drink Shop Walk Live Fish."

Watters said thus far 80 to 85 percent of the feedback on the new brand has been positive. In order to implement the new name, the BID board of directors and the Menomonee Falls Village Board have to approve it.

"We're really making a concerted effort now and we're really gearing this for 2013," Watters said. "It won't be an overnight thing, it won't change automatically."

People are encouraged to email their opinion on the re-branding project to vcmenfalls@wi.rr.com.

'Riverfront' doesn't apply to all

Vice President for the BID board of directors Dawn Mariscal agrees that many people don't know what the name "Village Centre" refers to; however, as a business owner downtown she is not sold on the name.

"I've lived here all my life and changing the terminology is a sensitive subject to me," she said. "As a business owner, I don't know if the terminology fits the area."

She would like a name that maintains a sense of history, as well as creates something identifiable for new residents in the village. Many businesses in the Business Improvement District are not along the river. Because of that, Mariscal said calling it the Riverfront District doesn't feel all inclusive.

Like Watters, Mariscal said she strongly encourages public opinion.

"You have to talk to business owners, residents and the whole community to identify the downtown area," she said. "It's trying to figure out how this one little section of Menomonee Falls can be identified as unique and draw people to visit our downtown area, eat in our area, shop in our area and do recreation in our area."

After numerous brainstorming sessions with BID building and business owners in June, the Menomonee Falls Riverfront District brand was born.

Marketing expert hired

As part of the efforts to bring people downtown, BID also hired Nancy Kane of Kane Marketing Services. The new brand will be the central focus of development, merchant recruitment and marketing efforts.

For information on the BID, visit menomoneefallsdowntown.com.

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