By Carol Vaughn —
Onancock celebrated the formal launch of its new brand during Second Friday events on North Street July 9.
Additionally, a new website, experienceonancock.com, has been launched. Onancock Main Street was awarded a grant from the Virginia Tourism Commission and worked with Otto Design and Marketing to develop the comprehensive tourism website.
The new town brand features the date 1680 prominently — reflecting the year the town was chartered by the king of England.
Marketing to visitors will include the tagline: “A little slice of nowhere else” — meant to convey the town’s small size, friendly atmosphere, and uniqueness, according to a press release.
“Branding is important because it tells people who we are, what they can expect from us, and also how we are different from other towns,” said Karin Rush-Monroe, of Onancock Main Street, during the event.
The brand “really captures our essence, our history, our small size, the natural environment, and the sophistication — all of which makes this such a unique place,” Rush-Monroe said before presenting the brand to Mayor Fletcher Fosque.
The branding project was commissioned by Onancock Main Street. The organization worked with diverse representatives from the community who contributed to the process over the past year, according to the release.
“The branding reflects our significant history — we were chartered in 1680 — and our charming small size, as well as our abundant nature, outdoor opportunities, and sophisticated dining and artisan scene,” Fosque said.
The logo colors — slate blue, foggy grey, and Spanish moss — were chosen in part to reflect the nature that surrounds Onancock.
Marketing also will play on the letter “O,” such as “O’ the fun you’ll have in Onancock!” the release said. That’s a bit of wordplay the town has used previously, including in its popular St. Patrick’s Day parade, when the town often is dubbed “O’nancock” for the day.
“It was no easy task to condense all of the amazing elements of Onancock into a few words and design for the town branding. I want to commend Otto Design and Marketing for their partnership over the past year,” said Jenny Gehman, OMS program manager. “They truly listened to extensive community feedback offered from businesses and residents.”
The brand and tagline development were funded by a grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
The brand will be used in marketing elements such as advertising, signs, and banners, among others.
Examples of the brand can be found at the Onancock Town Hall at 15 North St. Businesses interested in applying to use the branding can find an application on the Town of Onancock website.
OMS, part of the Virginia Main Street Program, is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that works to develop and sustain Onancock’s historic downtown as a vital economic, cultural, recreational, and residential center.
In addition to the new brand and website, OMS secured grant funding to commission a financial feasibility study of two vacant buildings in downtown Onancock to identify their best use, design, development, and financing in order to return the buildings to use.
OMS also engaged a firm to do a market study to explore commercial and residential potential for the town.
Additionally, OMS partnered with the town to administer $450,000 in small business relief grant funds to support Onancock businesses.
“It’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes work. You’re going to start seeing a lot of stuff happening with Main Street — it’s going to be an exciting next couple of years,” Fosque said.