When the Town completed its most recent “rebranding” effort last year, some folks were skeptical. We spent a lot of money on it and many wondered if it was going to work. Well, apparently the new logo seems to have caught on, and from thousands of stickers that have been seen on cars, skis, bike helmets and laptop computers from here to SoCal, across the country and indeed internationally, Mammoth Lakes Tourism Director John Urdi is ready to take that branding blitz to the next level.
Last week, the Mammoth Lakes Official Online Store went live, shipping its first package out on Tuesday. The first of its kind for the Town, it once and for all signals the end of the old, stodgy, oval-shaped municipal logo that Urdi said was never in demand.
“The old logo and some subsequent attempts were branding that didn’t hold onto an identity,” Urdi said. With the new brand in place not only behind the Town Council dais, but on letterhead and other official applications, Urdi then spent some money on the stickers. He handed them out everywhere to everyone, and studied their proliferation and feedback.
“They were a hit, and the logo seemed to resonate, so we decided now was the time to get out there with products that locals and visitors will want,” Urdi said. “I’m proud of it.” Available now: t-shirts, hoodies, baseball hats, patches, running socks, bike socks, with lots more goodies planned for winter.
Oh, and if you’ve seen the Mammoth Lakes logo on doormats and floormats at businesses around town, you’ll be able to get those, too, according to Urdi.
Meanwhile, MLT Sales Manager Michael Vanderhurst pointed out that fleece-lined hoodies, gloves, beanies and other cooler weather product are already being designed, using the logo in subtle placement, but on what MLT staff suggest is high-quality, carefully selected wear.
“Our visitors are of the opinion that [Mammoth] is getting hipper and cooler, and we wanted a modern company with solid products reflecting that trend,” noted Christie Osborne, MLT’s Interactive Manager. MLT selected a Santa Clarita-based company, Independent, to provide most of the gear. T-shirts, however, are on organic cotton from locally-owned World Minded, and Vanderhurst said all the embroidery is done locally as well.
Don’t go looking for key chains or cigarette lighters, however. “The gear is selected to reflect our outdoor lifestyle,” Vanderhurst explained. Light jackets are made to look good, but are also functional, having grommets for threading iPod earbuds, for example. “Right now it’s fairly basic in terms of colors and styles, but we’ll add more of those as demand evolves,” Vanderhurst said.
Urdi stressed that the online store is designed to make a little extra money, yes, but the non-profit store is mostly geared to help drive the brand further out into the public, not cure budget cuts. “We want to sell a really nice product at a fair price,” Osborne added. Urdi said some of the products are being made available to the Welcome Center, and to local vendors on a wholesale basis. “We just want to keep control of the brand and cover our costs,” Urdi said.
MLT has also been using the gear to create buzz at trade shows and other events.
“We literally have been giving people the shirt off our back,” Urdi quipped. “Someone will oooh and ahhh over a hoodie, and we’ll say, ‘Here, take it.’ I gave a guy at Villagefest a baseball hat I was wearing.”
Vanderhurst said that while on a trip to Peru recently he was approach by a fan of Mammoth who was also there from SoCal.
Contact Vanderhurst at 760.934.2712, ext. 1211 with ideas for products, other colors, or if you’d like to stock some of the gear in your business. Osborne said that more online features are coming, including giveaways, specials, and feedback and social media type applications. Start shopping at http://visitmammoth.myshopify.com. MLT will ship domestically and internationally.