Houghton Downtown – History in the Making

Opportunity: The City of Houghton received a grant to have a marketing plan written.

Consumer Research

We started with research and surveys. 1500 community members responded to surveys with their perceptions and ideas for downtown.



Ideas for improving downtown were born, including business attraction priorities, attraction strategies and sign programs.

Brand Strategy & Logo Design

From consumer research we learned that the community believes Downtown Houghton has significant history, but they challenged us with the fact that they didn't necessarily feel it was important or unique. We created brand concepts and tested them. As a result, a great brand was born and the positioning statement "History in the Making" was created.



An information-driven website was created as a destination point for events, business listings and tourist information.


Downtown Houghton has its own identity and is Keweenaw’s vibrant hub for events and culture.



Baraga County

Opportunity: Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region (WUPPDR) saw a lot of potential for economic development in struggling Baraga County. But they needed a strategic plan. They turned to us to develop a usable, engaging roadmap that wouldn't just sit on a shelf.


After convening community leaders, we engaged the people of Baraga County through community forum focus groups and public opinion surveys to help identify needs and priorities. We also incorporated asset indentification and historical economic research.



The resulting plan - Go! Baraga County - outlines three primary job creation strategies with corresponding work plans that lay out a functional pathway for success. The plan resulted in a federally funded industrial park.

Hancock City Downtown Development Authority

Opportunity: The City of Hancock Downtown Development Authority wanted to invest in an advertising program that would energize downtown and start creating some buzz.


We met with city leadership and led a brainstorming session with downtown business owners, searching for reasons consumers should visit downtown Hancock. Through that process we learned that downtown Hancock has one of the largest and most diverse service offerings of any local downtown or big box stores.


Integrated Advertising Approach

We created an integrated advertising program, with consistent messaging that was carried through newspaper, radio, street banners, restaurant placements, posters and PR.


We measured the campaign’s success with redeemable coupons that brought dollars directly back into downtown. Over one thousand coupons were redeemed in thirteen weeks, positive buzz was being created and the downtown business owners started to engage city leadership.



Opportunity: Several years ago, Keweenaw Memorial Hospital made the transition to a regional brand and joined the Aspirus Family. We were there for them during that transition and are here for them now.

Improved Brand Perception

We worked to create advertising programs and promotions that are simple and more powerful.



With an improved brand and the introduction of many new excellent doctors and services, Aspirus has experienced an 8% increase of local market share in the last two years.