Previously known as ‘that place with the yellow plane’, Pahiatua was struggling to feel pride in its community.
“We often felt like the poor cousin of Palmerston North, tucked away in a district where we’re a bit disconnected from the rest of the region,” shares Louise Powick, who’s on the Pahiatua On Track community committee. With the region often being missed off guide books, few tourists visiting, and a lack of pride among locals, it was time to do something.
With a Main St upgrade on the cards, Pahiatua On Track realised that it would be a good time to create a brand for the town – a brand for the community to identify with and use to market themselves.
“Without an identity, our townsfolk really lacked pride. Lots of people felt like the town had nothing to offer. There wasn’t a lot of hope or motivation for creativity; not a lot of self-belief,” explains Louise. “It’s taken more people from outside moving in and saying that it’s a great place for people to start seeing that it is!”
“The purpose of doing a rebrand was as much for our own community as it was for tourists. We wanted to increase pride in our town, give us a sense of identity, and get visitors to stop and visit our town.”
With no unifying brand, Louise and Pahiatua On Truck had struggled to create cohesion among different members and groups of the local community. “We had a lot of people going in different directions. They were doing good work but on their own and for very little impact. A new brand would provide an avenue for community groups and businesses to come together and put out the same message.”