Branding as described by Webster is trying to make your product better known in an effort to sell more of their product. Like a brand of toilet paper telling you their new brand of toilet paper is better than their former product.  Apparently your butt was getting a raw deal, no pun intended.  

Branding is known more for product promotion but now it is becoming fashionable to promote towns, even government.

Sussex County is in the process of paying for a study to rename the Georgetown Airport and their Economic Development Office. Apparently there are too many Sussex County’s in the country and the pilots might be confused and land at the wrong Sussex County? People have been landing there for years and I don’t recall anyone being lost, at least not when I was Director of the Airport.

Grants of $10,000 were recently given to several towns to ‘re-brand’ themselves including my town of Laurel. A few other towns including Seaford were given much more to study and revitalize their decaying downtowns.

Laurel has used their $10,000 to hire a consultant and in discussions for town ‘branding’ has called their ‘branding’ project “Ramble” in an effort to promote the town and businesses.

Another $25,000 grant through DNREC has been awarded to Laurel for another study this one to ensure there are not environmental issues since the ‘new’ Laurel will be along Broad Creek, a study lasting 4-6 months. God forbid they find a rare frog or plant.

  tying in the downtown and along Broad Creek hoping to make Laurel a travel destination area. I am for anything to promote my home town, but I am afraid they are blowing smoke.

In my many years in economic development the story remains the same. Businesses profit if they are located on the main thoroughfares, which in the case of Laurel would be Market Street or RT 24. Laureltowne built on Front St. by the LRC a block down wind from Market St. was supposed to replace the stores demolished by the LRC on Market St as the ‘new’ business district; it failed, it is used as service businesses, and half the stores are vacant.

Face it, the tourist industry is fueled by females. They need two ingredients; places to shop and places to dine. Laurel certainly has the dinning industry, but when the stores on Market St. were demolished Laurel lost the charm of shopping similar to Berlin, MD.

The moment the wrecking ball hit the block of stores, Laurel the town with the largest number of buildings listed on the National Historical Society in Delaware lost any chance of being a travel destination. No shopping, no tourist buses.

The plan for “Ramble” is to include a farmer’s market, ice cream vendors, a kayak and canoe launch along with other amenities. Good luck with that, sincerely.

By the way; where is the money coming for all this construction?  The town has no money and the LRC lost their God Father when Senator Bob Venables, of Laurel and former chairman of the State’s Bond Community who was responsible for the funding of Laureltowne, The Dr. Pierce Ellis Medical Building and the construction of the building housing Abbotts Grill lost his re-election bid in November?.


5 thoughts on “WHAT IS BRANDING?

  1. I’m curious to know where one finds this dining industry. In all seriousness, I was a child when those buildings were demolisted and I still ponder their lost potential.

  2. Good Lord Frank!!!
    Such a negative outlook on Laurel!!
    The LRC has “failed” ????
    Far from that!!!
    We’ve been nearly 100 % occupied for more then 20+ years.
    How is that failing ?
    The LRC has contributed greatly to helping Laurel through hard times by providing buildings for start up businesses at below market rates, all the while paying all taxes, & redeveloping what was once a blight on Laurel.
    How dare you speak in a negative way about the good the LRC has done.
    What has anyone else done that even comes close ?
    What have you done lately ? Besides type some words from behind a key board ?
    I thought you were moving in a better direction with regards to your outlook on Laurel. I was obviously very wrong & I’m VERY DISAPPOINTED.

    I invite you to a meeting that is scheduled to take place at Abbott’s next Tuesday @3:30 where community leaders will come together to envision the future of Laurel by utilizing our most natural and important resource and attraction. Broad Creek.

    By the way Frank, Laurel was NEVER A Berlin MD at least not since I came to work in Laurel in 1992. I know you’ve lived there nearly your entire life yada yada yada…. It’s not like it used to be, yada yada yada… You and Pat Murphy must be related. Irish & Itilian 🙂 now thats funny..
    Even when retail shops located in the former Bacon’s Block building the people of Laurel DID NOT SHOP THERE. In fact they didn’t even shop at the retail shops on Front St. at what we call Laureltown. This is why you see what is there today.
    Hope you come around and decide to get involved instead of just slinging crap!!
    Brian Shannon
    Laurel Redevelopment Corp
    Property Manager & Resident of Seaford DE

    • Brian sorry you never had the opportunity to live in my era when my dad and other merchants stayed open till 11:00 on Friday and Saturdays, and the people on the sidewalks were bumper to bumper. Laurel WAS a destination. Even when I moved my business to the Old Firestone Store, I made more money in that location than I did out on the highway. In 1992 with the Malls and shopping centers, plus the change in ownership of the buildings uptown led to an exit of businesses up town including my own which had been in Laurel for 37 years.
      After Janosik sold his building to a realtor who flipped it to a slum lord in Wilmington who rented to druggies the merchants either retired or moved out leaving a vacant building. Two of your members tried to purchase the building from the bank with no success, telling me the building was sound enough to bring it back to life.
      Two people decided the building was an eyesore to their business, thus the LRC was formed and the building demolished, destroying the core of the business community and the loss of a valuable tax base to the town and school district.
      No, with shopping centers Market St. would no longer be like in my day, but a study by the town when I was on the Town Council said the stores could be turned into a service center, such as Berlin; café, attorney offices, antiques, insurance offices, etc.
      Laureltowne failed as a retail establishment, as I predicted it would, because it is off the main drag; no directional signs, no one knew they were there. And the proposed development along Broad Creek will fail for the same reason; no visibility. If you study the effects of economic development you don’t see strip shopping centers, Malls, Royal Farms Medical centers built away from the main driving arteries. Look what happened to the Salisbury Mall when the Centre was built; easier access easier to find.
      I would challenge you regarding the increase in the tax base vs the loss of tax base.
      Yes in many ways the LRC has benefited the town and their efforts are appreciated, but as someone who has lived here for 77 years I can see the decline in my community brought on by previous town government who did not have the vision other communities have had to move forward.
      I’m willing to chat anytime; have some interesting stories to tell you I would never print.

  3. FRANKLY, I do not care to be in the presence of or have a discussion with anyone with such a negative outlook and opinion of Laurel.
    The past is the past, it’s only good for memories.
    The future is the only thing we can influence.

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