Niles Main Street has unveiled Wednesday its new branding strategy, including a website,

Archived Story

An identity all Niles’ own

Published 11:38pm Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There were not enough superlatives for Niles Main Street Director Lisa Croteau when she described downtown Niles’ new branding strategy that was unveiled Wednesday.
“Wonderful,” “exciting,” “vibrant,” “amazing” and “blown away” were a few expressed by Croteau and downtown business owners when they saw the promotional materials developed by Cindy Williams of W Design.
Williams was contracted by Michigan Main Street, which selected Niles as one of four Michigan communities to participate in the pilot downtown branding service. Williams presented dozens of marketing materials, including a new downtown logo, event logos, business cards, stationary and billboard designs, to the more than 20 stakeholders in attendance.
“It’s much more than a logo,” Croteau said. “It’s a new attitude and feel for downtown.”
Williams and a steering team made up of business owners and community stakeholders have been working for nine months developing taglines, advertising copy and the new Niles Main Street website,
Among some of the taglines are: “Hang loose, kick back…You’re in Niles” and “A downtown revolution. Dig in!”
Croteau feels the phrases hit the mark to describe the downtown.
“It’s a very relaxed, fun community,” she said.
Williams admitted some of the promotional materials are a little busy but reflected the character of the community.
“You’re not just selling a bar of soap down here. There’s a lot going on and we needed to communicate that,” she said.
The new website is live but is still being populated and other branding materials will be rolled out over the course of the next few years.
“Five years from now we will be very recognizable and identifiable,” Croteau said.
Croteau is also hoping the branding strategy will lead to the continued revitalization of downtown and separate Niles from South Bend.
“Hopefully this means growth and prosperity,” Croteau said. “Hopefully we bring in some new business owners and people who never have seen us.”
Williams said she believes the strategy will allow Niles to “reach new audiences and really position Niles as an entrepreneur center.”
Tom Majerek, owner of Majerek’s Gift Shoppe and Majerek’s Readers World, said he was impressed by the re-branding.
“It’s definitely set the bar high,” he said. “Now we have to step up and deliver.”
Said Croteau: “If we don’t deliver, we don’t get a second chance.”
The other communities selected for the pilot branding program are Clare, Boyne City and Grand Haven.
For more information about Niles Main Street and its re-branding, visit

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