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Harrisonburg-Rockingham Survey Results

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Real Estate Agent with Kline May Realty
Survey Results Reflect Appreciation for the Metro Area’s Attributes HARRISONBURG, Va., June 15, 2011 – Respondents to an online branding survey identified the topographical beauty, values, sense of family and community, economic opportunity, and quality of life as the key attributes of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Area. The findings are consistent with the results of more than 65 in-depth interviews and a subsequent brainstorming session with more than 40 area residents, which were conducted to aid development of a brand for the Metro Area. A total of 241 respondents took the survey. The survey found:
  • Ninety-five percent (95%) of the respondents strongly or somewhat agree that the Metro Area is “among the most beautiful places to live.”
  • Nearly 90 percent (89.8%) of the respondents strongly or somewhat agree that the Metro Area “benefits from having a slower pace of life than larger cities.”
  • Nearly 84 percent (83.7%) of the respondents strongly or somewhat agree that “the beauty, the pace of life, the people, and the policies of the Metro Area contribute to its success in economic development and tourism.”
“The survey results show that residents appreciate the Metro Area on several levels,” said Joseph S. Paxton, Rockingham County administrator. “Now our challenge is to combine the beauty of the area, the character of its people, and the attractive economic climate in a brand that can be used to encourage tourism and invite outside businesses and industries to invest here.” “In coming days, we will study the survey results carefully, work with the task group, and move forward with the Council and Board to develop a brand that accurately captures the unique nature of our community,” said Harrisonburg City Manager Kurt D. Hodgen. “The City and County also want to thank everyone who has provided opinions and suggestions.” One survey question asked respondents to rate words and phrases that had been suggested by city and county residents for inclusion in a brand. The respondents gave high marks to terms that described the area’s location as well as words that characterize the community’s personality. The three terms rated the highest were “Virginia,” “Shenandoah Valley,” and “heart.” The online survey was launched May 19, and city and county residents were invited to provide their input on a Metro Area brand. In addition to ranking certain terms, respondents also suggested new words and phrases that were not identified in the interviews and brainstorming session. Nearly half of the respondents submitted comments containing potential brands. A brand is a critical component of a marketing campaign. A brand is a phrase, often depicted in a memorable graphic treatment, which captures the essence of a location, company, or product. The Metro Area’s brand is expected to be finalized and unveiled later this summer.
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