The Boulder Valley is well known for many things, whether it’s our environmental-friendly people and companies, our highly intelligent and educated work force, the University of Colorado, our scenic countryside or our fairly wealthy population. But none of these individual characteristics alone can define our community to the world. What is the Boulder Brand? Or, better yet, what should it be? Even the city of Boulder is seeking ideas from the public on the Boulder brand in hopes of passing a bond measure in 2012 for a capital project that’s in line with whatever brand idea is chosen. In an effort to make our community more aware of the Boulder Brand ideas being discussed for the city and the Boulder Valley as a whole, RE/MAX of Boulder will feature organizations’ brand proposals in its e-zine over the next several months. We hope these articles are informative and that you feel welcome to provide your feedback to RE/MAX as well as to the organizations and your local government.
Arron Mansika has personally witnessed the power of Boulder’s “foodie” reputation: he founded, grew and eventually sold all but a small percentage of Boulder’s Best Organics, which offers gift baskets filled with organic products.
Now Mansika is the director of operations for Naturally Boulder, a trade organization that supports, promotes and works to grow Boulder’s natural-products industry. And he believes that Boulder’s reputation as a health-conscious community and grass-roots support of organic products makes it the natural choice for Boulder’s brand.
“I can attest to it personally,” Mansika says. “We (Boulder’s Best Organics) are completely leveraging the Boulder brand. The company has done really well.”
The fact that Boulder has embraced the “foodie” reputation is evidenced in such events as Boulder Green Street, which features an impressive organic section, and the ever-popular Farmer’s Market, Mansika says.
Not only has Boulder residents’ healthy habits earned it national recognition for a thin, happy population, but they have also contributed greatly to the local economy through support of the natural and organic industry.
According to the Natural and Organic Industry Study by the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, in conjunction with Naturally Boulder, Boulder’s natural and organic industry directly employs nearly 7,000 people, resulting in $234.1 million in salaries and $303.1 million in economic output. The industry’s total impact is nearly 8,300 jobs, $297 million in salaries and $492 million in economic output.
The study, Mansika says, provides a baseline so that Naturally Boulder can track the growth of the industry.
Also evident in the study is that many of Boulder’s natural or organic-product industries have five or fewer employees or are much bigger companies, such as Celestial Seasonings. Naturally Boulder wishes to assist the smaller companies with marketing and finding distributors to help them reach the next level while working to retain the bigger companies.
Mansika says a grass-roots effort to get natural, organic products into local schools is gaining speed; if successful, it will mean area producers don’t have to concern themselves as much with shipping their products across the country, impacting their profits as well as having less impact on the environment.
“The natural-products industry has really affected the local lifestyle,” he says.
The advancement of the industry eclipse the “granola” stereotype of health foods and products, Mansika says.
Instead, natural and organic products are not only healthy, but they’re “innovative, progressive, intelligent and sophisticated.”