Vision for the Valley

Located in the center of Cleveland, Ohio, the Cuyahoga River Valley has played a vital role in fueling the city’s economy and growth as a major metropolis. It’s close connection to the Lake Erie shoreline not only spurred domestic and international trade but also gave rise to many vital industries.  In recent years, the Cuyahoga Valley has expanded and evolved, attracting diverse recreational, restoration, and redevelopment efforts. With overflowing possibilities, businesses, residents, and visitors alike seek all this region has to offer.

Project Scope

  • Vision Framework
  • Brand Identity & Strategy
  • Marketing & Communications Plan

“Every strategy is filtered through our purpose lens. If something doesn’t connect, it doesn’t advance within the project plan. This eliminates wasted time and unnecessary debate.”

Arthur Schmidt, Project Manager

OHM Advisors

The Problem

As investments and interests continued to increase, the Cuyahoga Valley needed a unified vision and communications plan to guide decision-making across key stakeholder groups, including the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Metroparks, the Port of Cleveland, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and more. To lead this effort, city leaders tapped OHM Advisors. They partnered with Guide Studio to steer engagement efforts and develop a cohesive Vision Plan that protects the industries that have made their home on the river while opening up opportunities for sustainable, future growth.

“With so many players involved, we knew this would be a complex planning and engagement process. We needed to develop our North Star – our purpose – which would guide everything that had to do with this project.”

–  Arthur Schmidt, Project Manager, OHM Advisors

The Solution

  • Developed a communications plan that guided coordinated messaging, tactics, distribution and timelines throughout the duration of the project while ensuring consistency across everyone involved
  • Facilitated meetings with key stakeholders – including city leaders and recreation, housing and business groups – along the Cuyahoga Valley to create a Vision Framework that clearly defined the project purpose and directed high-level messaging
  • Created a brand strategy for the region, including target audiences, brand positioning, personality, key messaging, visual identity and brand launch action plan
  • Recommended marketing strategies and tactics to help build awareness for the project and call important audiences to action

The Results

Together, all of these efforts led to plan and purpose that guide future investments in the Cuyahoga River Valley region. Additionally, the City of Cleveland and other project partners possess a defensible platform for decision-making and planning related to this incredible natural resource.

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