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With a big budget, Manchester wants to revitalize its brand

Gaby Lozada

The city of Manchester wants to develop a sense of pride and excitement with a new brand. City officials have been taking the first steps toward developing that new image, and they are seeking bids from agencies with ideas on how to shape that brand over the next five years.

The city will accept original offers from agencies from any part of the country until Dec. 20, but they expect good suggestions to come from within the state.

The city is budgeting $1.5 million for the rebranding initiative. The funds will come from the American Rescue Plan, a federal pandemic relief package that allows for such modernization and branding methods.

Jodie Nazaka, director of Manchester's Economic Development Office, says Manchester wants to promote a welcoming message to attract more tourists, businesses and new residents.

“There isn't any means or mechanisms in place right now to advertise for that,” said Nazaka.

She said the city has never had a branding strategy and currently is not spending anything on advertising.

Nazaka said she has been waiting for an opportunity like this one since she came on board in February. She said Manchester is currently operating as a pass-through for people who drive by on I-93 or those who arrive at the airport and head elsewhere.

“We want to capture those tourist dollars, and we want to capture new residents and new businesses into the community,” she said.

But for Nazaka, it is also important to draw new life to the city and a sense of pridefulness among those who already live there.

“Sometimes the hardest critics are the long-time residents,” she said. “So we want to ensure that this also touches on those folks.”

Nazaka expects to select an agency to handle the branding by February 2023.

Gabriela Lozada is a Report for America corps member. Her focus is on Latinx community with original reporting done in Spanish for ¿Qué hay de Nuevo NH?.
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