Volume 1, Number 6
Innovation Tri-Valley Branding Campaign Unifies Region
By Tina Hansen
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business; it is used to define a business’s core values and defines the relationship a company or organization has with their clients and the public. For a city or region competing for economic gain, it only makes sense to use the same marketing concept to highlight its features.
Creating a compelling and unique message through what is called “place branding” is a key aid in helping to make a location desirable as a business center, visitor destination, or a place to move to and call home.
At a recent event in April, Innovation Tri-Valley (ITV) launched a branding campaign for the Tri-Valley with the concept “Live a better life while creating a better world.” Their branding message is intended to be a way to tell the story of the region that leverages its remarkable features and attracts a talent pool who wants to be part of the future. The goal of ITV’s message is to provide a deeper, more emotionally shared vision of the region that will hopefully influence actions such as starting a business, relocating for a new job or booking a trip.
Innovation Tri-Valley was established in 2011 as a network of business, local government, community and education leaders with a desire to advance the business climate and quality of life within the Tri-Valley region, which includes Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, and Danville.
The ITV campaign centers around three primary features: collaboration, growth, and lifestyle. These attributes set the foundation for their year-round effort to showcase and promote the Tri-Valley as being a destination for innovative businesses, start-ups, and high growth enterprises, as well as promote the region as being an exciting and dynamic place to live and work.
Collaboration emphasizes connection, shared values, resources and the community of thinkers. Growth looks at infrastructure, innovation, and cultivation of a diverse workforce. Lifestyle speaks to the attractors that bring people to the Tri-Valley, such as recreation, open space, dining, entertainment, climate and more.
Cities with a strong brand find it much easier to attract the people and investments needed for a secure economic future. ITV’s campaign will emphasize and accentuate the abundance the Tri-Valley has to offer to businesses, residents, and visitors and is meant to develop a positive, long-term vision as a way to recruit and retain a talented workforce.
Dale Kaye, CEO of the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group, wants to see a business culture move toward what she calls “empathetic thinking” which means the business benefit to having happy employees affects the community in which they live to a great degree. This results in those employees staying in the region and investing in the community.
There is growing evidence that organizations that have empathetic leaders and a social mission have happy employees. The essence of ITV’s branding campaign is to unify the Tri-Valley for the common goal of growing the economy by recruiting and retaining quality workers and the results will benefits each city.
With a cohesive branding message, ITV’s campaign will allow business leaders in each city of the Tri-Valley to benefit from the region’s economic growth and stability. ITV wants its central theme of “ecosystem of inclusivity” to be a new way of thinking for businesses.
“By bringing business, education and civic leaders to the same table, we’re creating a powerful dynamic that’s having a positive impact on job growth in the Tri-Valley, helping to sustain a healthy economy and contributing to a vibrant community. Our mission is to build an ecology of innovation and empathy by bringing everyone to the table,” says Kaye.
ITV's initial focus was on business and economic growth, but the group expanded its vision to take on the issues necessary to sustain and build on the current innovation environment in the Tri-Valley. This meant adding a focus on matters such as housing, education, transportation and attracting and retaining a vital workforce.
The ITV branding project is designed to anchor the Tri-Valley’s economic objectives by highlighting what sets the region apart and, more importantly, what it has to offer. In doing so, ITV hopes that the branding project will allow the Tri-Valley to build a positive and collaborative environment that makes it possible for companies to attract and compete for skilled employees.
“The Tri-Valley is where the best minds in the world are at work in a culture that sees the value of collaboration as far more productive than the culture of brutal competition found in other innovation hubs,” says Kaye.
As cities and regions find themselves competing for economic advantages, it is critical for the Tri-Valley to communicate its distinctive difference. ITV’s campaign seeks to accomplish this by crafting a creative and forward-thinking message that will stimulate economic growth and draw new residents.
ITV knows that in order to attract the people needed to grow the economy, they need to promote the region's healthy, active and vibrant lifestyle. There are not many areas in the world where you can visit a premier winery, golf 18 holes, go for a hike and on your way to have dinner at a 4-star restaurant drive past an agricultural field. The Tri-Valley has all that and more.
As an example, viticulture, which has a long and rich history in the Tri-Valley, along with its attendant amenities, is an important lifestyle differentiator. The verdant Amador and Livermore valleys are home to a thriving wine industry with deep historic roots, and today, the region boasts more than 50 wineries.
The presence of this particular lifestyle amenity is substantial not only in number but in stature. Wente Vineyards, considered the premier winery in Livermore, is a fifth-generation operation that traces its origins to 1883 and is the oldest continually operated family-run winery in the country. It features an 18-hole golf course, organic garden, and restaurant. Nearby, the Concannon Vineyard is where the Petite Sirah varietal of grape was first introduced.
“We want the Tri-Valley to be the heart of California innovation,” Kaye said. “We are building an infrastructure that allows access to entrepreneurs, successful companies, advisers, and investors. We invite all to join us as we bolster our commitment to each other and the Tri-Valley.”
For businesses and residents, quality of life is a major factor in deciding where to locate. In a 2010 report from ITV titled “Innovation Potential in the Tri-Valley,” quality of life ranks as a key element of the region’s innovation ecosystem. Good schools and easy access to recreational opportunities and cultural venues are important factors for defining the quality of life in a region, and the importance of that is one reason why Pleasanton has become the second fastest growing city in the Tri-Valley.
Another reason the Tri-Valley has grown so fast is it has become an attractive business region for innovative companies and small startups, as well as being home to the corporate headquarters of industry leaders such as Chevron, Safeway, and Sybase.
“Instead of thinking in silos, our thought leaders have now eliminated any kind of artificial boundaries. As a region we have identified an elegant ecosystem of innovation that encompasses Pleasanton, home to companies from Clorox and Kaiser Permanente to Oracle and Safeway, and Hacienda with its thriving technology sector,” says Kaye.
According to Kaye, the primary concern which all other issues revolve around is housing. “Our housing crisis is a singular issue that could prevent people from moving here to the Tri-Valley. This region is leading in innovative jobs, but the issue we face is recruiting and retaining people,” she said.
Kaye adds, "The Tri-Valley is an epicenter for several industries like digital technology, biotechnology and with two world-renowned federal research laboratories, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia California, it is critical to replenish the workforce."
The new ITV campaign is ideally suited for Hacienda. The industries it has attracted and the quality of workforce that Hacienda's businesses have drawn from are all represented by the tenets of ITV's concept of “Live a better life while creating a better world.” Moreover, ITV’s three pillars of collaboration, growth, and lifestyle are a core part of the values and environment Hacienda has sought to create and what it aspires to see as its future. By offering businesses and residents an unparalleled connection with culture, recreation and a talented workforce, Hacienda and ITV face strong prospects for a Tri-Valley that will continue to grow in recognition as a region with an exceptional lifestyle.