Bluffton seeks input to brand its identity - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bluffton seeks to brand its identity

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Town of Bluffton Town of Bluffton
USC's Professor Simon Hudson USC's Professor Simon Hudson

Brands bring about an image of a place that draws people in either for jobs or tourism.

In just 10 years, Bluffton's population has increased from 1,000 to 15,000.  

Squat & Gobble customers brainstormed over breakfast on what to brand their town. They all had different words, but the same thought: Bluffton is getting bigger.

"It's the gem of the Lowcountry, a diamond in the rough," said Scott Snyder, owner of Squat & Gobble.

Snyder has lived in Bluffton for 50 years and has seen that growth firsthand.

"[In the] last 15 years, Bluffton has expanded so much to where we don't even - locals don't even know what's around on the outskirts of Bluffton anymore. It's hard to keep up with the new developments," he said.

So what's in a name? Professor Simon Hudson, of the University of South Carolina, who's heading up a series of public opinion meetings as part of the research for the branding effort.

"Giving it a unique place in the mind of the consumer so that it has a different value proposition to an alternative to come and live, work, play bring your business, come as a tourist and that's what we're trying to get to the bottom of," Hudson said. 

So that's where they really need you to help encompass the beauty and economical importance of the May River and the hustle and bustle of Hwy 278. That 278 in Bluffton is not just the way to get to Hilton Head Island. 

"Hilton Head, for example, is an established brand. That's why it's Sun City-Hilton Head. The brand is so strong," Hudson said. 

The island next door is a big draw - so are sports and leisure in the Bluffton community.

"Bluffton is a state of mind," said a resident. 

Residents can get a change to make their voices heard and the town of Bluffton's name and image be known at the upcoming charrettes. 

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