05 Jun A place marketing programme for an independent high street
The traders’ and residents’ association for Chatsworth Road in Hackney, east London was founded in 2009, when a group of shop owners (most of whom were also residents) got together to see what could be done to offset the decline of the local high street. The decline had led to shops closing, and a number of premises lying empty which affected community morale and reduced footfall.
Over several years we were actively involved with the changes in the street from launching a street market to working with the council on a number of initiatives. We also developed and managed the place marketing programme for the neighbourhood.
In recent years Chatsworth Road has experienced a great deal of change and continues to be a vital hub with a wide variety of shops and services and the market taking place every Sunday. It has also retained its sense of community. Although it has lost its’ post office, the street has continued to evolve with more than 25 new businesses opening over the last five years including supermarkets, cafes and a cinema.
A large part of the focus to halt the decline in the high street was to build a strong brand for the street and the revival of a historic street market and to create an ongoing place marketing programme.
- Develop a place marketing programme that would convey the street/neighbourhood and not just a market
- Develop the logo into a recognisable brand that would work across multiple channels
- Create a messaging and brand guidelines document from engaging with residents, shop owners and market traders to hear their views
- Grow the social media channels and measure reach
- Create a series of low cost materials that could be adapted for reuse
- Recruit local creatives from photographers to designers for print and website to support creation and production of materials
- Leverage in-kind support and council buy-in to projects to broaden reach
- Develop and manage an events programme that complimented the market and involved businesses on the street
- Defined what the neighbourhood stood for; its’ value and what made it distinct for form the basis of the messaging that shaped the marketing
- Developed a set of brand guidelines which included a distinct tone of voice across all content
- Worked with local creatives to develop and extend the brand
- Created and managed all aspects of marketing from website creation and management to design and press and on street advertising campaigns including growing the Twitter account to 12,000+ followers organically
- Created and delivered marketing campaign for national events such as Small Business Saturday and Love Your Local Market to Christmas shopping and an annual festival resulting in extensive media coverage and social media reach
- The brand was extended, then adapted for an annual street festival that was held to connect the harder to reach people and groups within the community who did not use the market or the street on a regular basis
- The revived street market won a Time Out Love Local London award three years in a row.
- Brand awareness of the street contributed to reduced vacancy rates, with the street changing from having many empty units to having one of the UK’s lowest vacancy rates.
- Visibility of the brand led to Chatsworth Road being featured in the government’s report on parades of shops and their place in communities and the traders’ and residents’ association was used as a case study in the Portas High Street Review on the Future of High Streets.
- Our place marketing approach was used for other neighbourhoods across the borough (by the council)
If you need advice on your high street, market or town centre brand or place marketing programme, please contact us.