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#newbedfordseafood – off to a good start

Alaskan Salmon, Maine Lobster, and…New Bedford Seafood.

Removing the ellipse is the job of a new branding campaign launched recently with some impressive tools at its disposal to get the job done. The task ahead is a noble and worthwhile effort, for sure. It’s ultimate success will depend on resources, reach and repetition. I’m happy to report that it’s off to a very good start.

A new website has been launched,, which is clean, concise and functional. In other words, it’s good – and useful. On the homepage, viewers are urged straight off to “Buy Fresh Seafood” from 45+ New Bedford fish houses. That’s an impressive amount of fish houses and makes a point in and of itself.

The website then goes the extra mile by actually listing all those fish house at a click. Along with Facebook pages, websites, addresses and phone numbers. Nice.

Fun facts about New Bedford’s fishing industry – and important facts regarding transportation – are sprinkled throughout the pages. The Harbor Development Commission, with Mayor Jon Mitchell, initiated the campaign so some general information about the Port of New Bedford is also included. All in all, it provides a well-rounded glimpse of the working waterfront.

The New Bedford Seafood logo

And then there’s that vintage-style logo created for the site and everyday use (see above). Press material from the city explain that the “branding initiative includes a logo that features the familiar western rig fishing vessel, the backbone of the Port of New Bedford’s successful commercial fishing industry.” It was designed by Moore & Isherwood Communications.

New Bedford faces some stiff competition from the Gloucester Fisherman – made famous by Gorton’s –  in the logo department. So, I think the designers wisely decided to avoid needless bloodshed and sail in a different direction by emphasizing the infrastructure rather than the romance with this logo. The vintage appeal strikes that note, too and is very appealing.

#hashtag #newbedfordseafood

Social media is full of all the beautiful boats lining New Bedford harbor. From Facebook to Instagram, the use of #newbedfordseafood is simple, effective exposure which fulfills the first rule of advertising: repetition, repetition, repetition.

The branding campaign was launched with this hashtag – a smart and savvy move. The challenge is to keep it in circulation. Readers and supporters of the seafood industry can do just that by using it whenever possible. For example, if you’re shooting by the water, add #newbedfordseafood to your go to #hashtags when posting. And naturally, when you’re taking pictures of your dinner at a favorite local eatery, be sure to credit the source with #newbedfordseafood.

Launching a successful branding effort takes equal parts work and imagination. The campaign for #newbedfordseafood is off to a good start but will only be successful if it enters general circulation and finds it target audience. The press release announcing the launch states that, “The HDC will work with local restaurants and fish markets to further identify locally-landed fish and seafood for area residents in an effort to highlight some of the underutilized species landed in local waters.”

The future of #newbedfordseafood

That’s all fine and good – but to truly have an impact, #newbedfordseafood will have to think bigger, as some of the marketing pros here at Groundwork! would advise them. In the future, we’d encourage the city and HDC to take advantage of a room full of members who excel in advertising, branding and communications before embarking on a major campaign. Groundwork! is housed a floor below the New Bedford Economic Development Council in the Quest Center at 1213 Purchase Street, after all!

The release also contains this: Outside of our region, not enough people know how important New Bedford and our fishing industry are to providing sustainable, fresh, delicious fish to buyers and consumers everywhere” – a statement attributed to Ed Anthes-Washburn, Port Director. It continues, “The fishing industry and our waterfront are the cultural and economic center of our region. We think it’s important to showcase New Bedford’s seafood at the same level as other brands like Alaskan salmon or Maine lobster.”

But to whom and where? That bit is left out – but will really determine the success of #newbedfordseafood. Along with the resources available to promote the brand beyond our local borders.

Until then, it may be preaching to the choir – but at least it’s a good tune and engendering more civic pride in #newbedfordseafood is a solid beginning .

Steven Froias