“The Saskatchewan Outback brand is incredibly important to Carrot River” says local Economic Development Coordinator Maggie Doerksen. “Communities have to get on the map, so to speak. Branding is one tool to assist us in achieving greater visibility and top of mind awareness”.
Carrot River has a tradition of pulling together for significant projects and the Saskatchewan Outback branding was no exception. The ‘Outback” brand is one that almost everyone in Carrot River was able to identify with and support. It is based on the vibrant outfitting, hunting and fishing market that surrounds the community.
Local businesses jumped on board with new products such as the ‘outback burger’ and ‘outback’ bottled water. A new mobile cooler was built for event rentals and named, of course, the ‘outback cooler’. A local trucking company added a wall size ‘outback’ logo to their semi-trailers. Flavours of the Outback was birthed as a new annual event and the Farmers Market also took on the brand. Local volunteer and sporting groups engaged and several renamed their organizations. The ‘Outback Thunder’ and ‘Outback Bears’ are two examples. The volunteer fire department adopted the slogan “we’ve got your back in the Saskatchewan Outback”.
“Buy in is the key to this whole process” reinforces Town Administrator Kevin Trew. “The entire branding inactive was a real ‘joint leadership’ process”. Somebody has to step up to the plate first and when that happens, others will jump on board too and that is what happened in Carrot River.
The Town of Carrot River believes it needs to play a role in economic development, not just in their own municipality but in the region as well. As a community, they are adopting a proactive approach to the future. Local leaders and citizens recognize that they must be self-reliant. “Talking and deliberating is one thing, but action is what counts”, says Maggie.