UNCW Announces Regional Branding Initiative Survey Results

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The University of North Carolina Wilmington has released the results of the regional branding survey, the University announced today. The insights from 1,669 survey participants will help the Brand Identity Leadership Team (BILT) choose the name used in future branding efforts to refer to the Wilmington area and identify key themes for those purposes.

Survey participants answered a number of questions, providing the team with quantitative and qualitative data on the region and its residents.

Results show a number of findings, including:
- The respondent profile was 52% female with an average age of 45. Additionally, 59% of the sample was made up of people who had lived in the region for more than 10 years.

- Respondents tended to be highly educated with 79% having attained a four-year college degree or higher.

- Respondents rate Wilmington, Cape Fear, and Southeastern North Carolina the top names used when discussing the area with local residents and individuals outside the area. The least favorable names for the area included Hollywood East and Greater Wilmington.

- Although beach was mentioned by 65% of respondents as a reason for people to move to the area, other top motivators included the mild weather, downtown, and the friendly residents.

"The survey was successful in assessing community perceptions of Wilmington's current brand, which will play a key role in understanding where the brand goes," said Thomas Porter, Department of Marketing Chair, Cameron School of Business. "We were able to yield a great deal of data in thanks to the community's participation. This is an exciting opportunity for the region to work together and we believe that the BILT members will be able to create a brand platform and strategic marketing plan based on these findings that will be suitable for continued growth and encompasses all this area has to offer."

UNCW's Office of Community Partnerships and the Cameron School of Business invited residents of New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties to take the survey from November 15-26 in an effort to better inform the regional branding initiative. Porter with CSB colleagues led the survey efforts in collaboration with Donald Barnes, Tracy Meyer and Fredrika Spencer. MBA students also participated in data coding and analysis.

The BILT was created in 2013 of members of various community leadership teams and is facilitated by UNCW's Jenni Harris, assistant to the Chancellor for Community Partnerships, and led by chair Alfred White (Small Business Banker, Wells Fargo; Board Chair, LINC, Inc.).

The BILT will decide on a brand identity by April 2014 and will create a marketing plan by July 2014.

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The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state's coastal university, is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. A public institution with nearly 14,000 students, the university is widely acknowledged for its superb faculty and staff and a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship. With an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master's levels, and doctoral programs in marine biology and educational leadership, UNCW is continuously recognized at a national level for academic excellence and affordability. UNCW is dedicated to offering a community rich in diversity and inclusion, global perspectives, and enriching the quality of life through scholarly community engagement in such areas as health, education, the economy, the environment, marine and coastal issues, and the arts.