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A branding “tag line” for a marketing campaign by Corrales MainStreet will continue as a “deliverable” in its contract with the Village in the months ahead if funding is secured. MainStreet’s annual contract with the Village was slated to be taken up at the August 18 council meeting. In an August 11 email to Corrales Comment, Corrales MainStreet’s Sandy Rasmussen offered an update for the controversial branding exercise. “So we have carried the ‘branding’ into our contract for 2020-2021 with the Village (going before Council at the next meeting) because we could not complete it because of funding and this pandemic doesn’t help.

“The ‘Be Captivated’ tagline did come out of the committee suggestion process but maybe in a smaller group that was left at the end,” Rasmussen explained. “It is very hard to find a tagline that encompasses all that we have here!” She said one reason for selecting “Visit Corrales… Be Captivated” wording is that the committee was told the message needed to have a suggested action.

“JP Clement is a local resident and has a marketing business here. “He gave us ‘rules,’ and one was that it had to be an ‘action:’ so he still likes ‘Be Captivated.’  “That said, the board can now readdress it and go with it, or look at other options I guess. We are using it on our new website for now I think. We do have a number of new board members, so we can also run it by them. It was such a long process the first time I kind of hate to start all over. We have so many things we want to do and in the end I doubt ‘Be Captivated’ will keep people from coming here if we have things that interest them.”

Assuming the new Corrales MainStreet board of directors sticks with the tagline chosen last year, one of the next steps would be to hire a graphics designer to produce an image to accompany the wording on future marketing material. “We may ask for assistance from NM MainStreet if necessary because then we still have logos, colors, etc. to deal with,” Rasmussen said. “They have great resources for free to us and they just signed up a new revitalization specialist who is pretty awesome at graphic design.”

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According to the proposal, an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 would be spent to use the slogan and image on signs, fliers, brochures and ads. The branding project is part of an ongoing program to attract visitors, and visitors’ dollars, to Corrales to achieve economic development. Aside from a presumed necessity to develop, the motivation is to generate more gross receipts (sales) tax to help pay for municipal services such as police and fire-rescue protection, road maintenance and library services, to name a few.

A months-long process to find a “brand” for Corrales came up with “Corrales… Be Captivated.” (See Corrales Comment’s five-part series starting with Vol.XXXVII No. 21, January 19, 2019 “Discovering Corrales’ Brand: How Will We Market Ourselves?”)

Decades ago, Corrales was best known in the metro area as a “speed trap.” That notion was reinforced by a large semi-permanent mini-billboard at the southern entrance to the village which read: “Drive Slow, See Our Village. Drive Fast, See Our Judge.” Both the origin and demise of that sign seem to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably wouldn’t have made a suitable tagline anyway.

The selected tagline was recommended by New Mexico MainStreet based on a series of public input, or brain-storming, sessions here. Early on, a final decision on the brand tag line was to be made by the mayor and Village Council. Corrales MainStreet’s Deborah Blank said the “branding” project which she previously led was initiated by Mayor Jo Anne Roake in 2018; it was among the “deliverables” written into Corrales MainStreet’s contract with the Village.

“Part of the marketing plan we have to develop is taking a look at who we think we are and what we have to offer visitors, potential new businesses and potential new residents.” Back in 2018, Blank said she thought villagers perceptions of who we are is “very fluid.” She based that on results of a survey among Corraleños asking them to define the community here. “The answers were, not surprisingly, all over the place, because we have so many aspects and expectations here. “It was interesting to me how broad the views were.”

Blank said those divergencies were probably related to how long the respondent had lived here, the person’s age and what aspects of the community the person valued most. “Because we offer so many varied opportunities for lifestyles here, people kind of picked out a favorite.”

Among the top descriptors mentioned was the rustic ambiance, mountain views and the bosque, she recalled. Blank said she was involved in a precursor to the branding effort which indicated the problem ahead. “We came up with a ‘vision’ for Corrales. The only problem with it was that it was all over the place… which is our problem. Which is why this ‘branding’ was a challenge.”

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