Creating an identity for at least three partner agencies to share, for a community at large and diverse as rockford’s, with the communications challenges it faces, for audiences as diverse as those in play (residents, visitors of all ages and types, economic development targets, the media inside and outside town, and more) was a daunting task. Our longtime partner, GrahamSpencer, helped us undertake the study and execution of that task smartly, strategically and creatively. It was a team effort and we’re very happy with and proud of the results we achieved together.

John Groh, CEO, Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Cheap Trick is Rockford’s hometown band. When they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, we knew we had to act fast as a community to capitalize on the good news – and congratulate our local heroes. Enter GrahamSpencer…RACVB worked quickly with GS to create a comprehensive marketing and branding take-over of the community from renaming rockford, “Trickford”, to creating sign banners, new street signs, welcome signs, a comprehensive website telling the story of the unique connection between our city and the band – and more. The project moved effortlessly thanks to the guidance and execution by GS. Their unique ability to do full-service marketing that never fails to build brands allowed the project to have a unified look and feel that will create dynamic end results for years to come

Josh Albrecht, CEO, Saugatuck/Douglas CVB (retired), Communications Director, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (retired), Chief Marketing Officer, Discover Peoria (currently)

The ability to take visions and concepts and put them to work is what is most inspiring about the work GrahamSpencer does. Our city’s story of rejuvenation, revitalization, and renewal is an amazing one, but it took the foresight of the GS team to lay rubber to the asphalt. By contrasting our bold industrial history and freshness of recent major commercial developments, our destination was able to forge ahead on a new, bold look that is changing the perceptions of our community left and right throughout the midwest.

Celestino Ruffini, Executive Director, VisitBeloit

Leaders of CVB’s around the state of Illinois had no choice but to fight governor Blagojevich’s threat to slash state funding for our bureaus in half. We had to bite the had that fed us, and of course we had to do so without the help or participation of the Illinois Office of Tourism. It had to done on the local DMO level. GrahamSpencer did a fabulous job of helping us frame an argument that tied tourism to private business revenue, local tax revenue and especially employment. GS helped us create and successfully execute the “Visitors Mean Jobs” campaign collaboratively across the state. GrahamSpencer’s work was always brilliant for our regional CVB and it was brilliant for our Illinois council of convention & visitors bureaus, as well.

Wendy Perks-Fisher, CEO / Retired, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

We chose GrahamSpencer to remake our brand and positioning for Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway at a critical time when we really needed to raise our profile and grow. The depth of GS’s research and the experience and strategic thinking they applied to what they learned resulted in exactly what we needed: a well-defined, intelligently-positioned brand, not to mention the confidence of knowing who we were and what we stood for. From the Where The Mother Road Begins positioning to the 50’s-era automotive chevron logo to an absolutely perfect movie short about the Palm’s Grill, a key Illinois Rt 66 attraction, to a fully fleshed out media kit to a beautiful and functional website that yielded a great customer experience, GS delivered everything it said it would and more. Visits to our website increased 2X year over and many of our attractions reported increased business, as well. Simply put; they nailed it. Also, the GS team was wonderful to work with. In fact, it didn’t feel like work at all. What a great crew!

Patty Ambrose, Executive Director / Retired, Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway

During the post-recession years of the mid-late 1980s and for many years after, GrahamSpencer played a huge role in creating and executing economic development marketing strategies for Rockford, Illinois. It is important to understand that Rockford’s manufacturing economy was devastated by recession, so we had real work to do to right our ship. The firm was a smart, responsive and very creative partner with our staff, our board and the City of Rockford. GrahamSpencer helped us change the perception of our community in many tangible ways that have had a lasting and positive impact on our business environment.

John Holub, President / Retired, Council of 100 & Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce