Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corp. hopes to create brand based on boardwalk’s success

03/13/2014 11:06 PM

03/14/2014 5:43 AM

Members of Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corp. hope to capitalize on the success of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk to establish a brand tourists and residents can associate with the area.

“The boardwalk has picked up so much momentum,” said Michael Guthrie, chairman of the DRC Branding Committee. “Is there a way to capitalize on it?”

Guthrie said the committee will be determining what people associate with the boardwalk area and work to expand those impressions.

“We think people think really good things about that area, but we might be wrong,” he said. “We want a clear understanding of the perception and will improve upon that.”

DRC Executive Director David Sebok said branding is a way to better market and promote a particular area. Sebok said the boardwalk has become an identifying and iconic fixture at the beach – similar to the way the Myrtle Beach Pavilion was before it was demolished in 2006, he said.

“Branding is a way of telling customers what their expectations may be when visiting the downtown area,” Sebok said.

Sebok said DRC is looking at branding due to the boardwalk’s success since opening in 2010.

“[The boardwalk] has continued to be successful, it’s continued to mature,” he said. “It’s succeeded, so let’s take advantage of it. [Branding is] part of the evolutional process of redeveloping an area.”

Guthrie said once the brand is defined, it can be used to increase area awareness and the quality of the experience people have on the boardwalk. That could, in turn, add value to existing properties and attract others to invest in the area.

Guthrie said he hoped the branding also could create opportunities to generate revenue for DRC’s capital projects by creating merchandise based around the downtown area’s defined brand, but City Council members said during a Tuesday workshop that money should go to the city.

The city of Myrtle Beach holds the trademark license for the boardwalk logo and DRC asked for permission to be the organization that manages the logo’s use. But City Council members said they wanted any potential money made from a trademark licensing agreement to return directly to the city instead of going to the DRC.

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