DOES the Milton Ulladulla region have a recognisable brand?
Apparently 75 per cent of people who responded to a recent Milton Ulladulla Regional Excellence Initiative survey do not think so.
However that could soon change with Shoalhaven City Council looking at following up the Initiative’s work by paying a consultant to develop a brand for Milton and Ulladulla.
“The responses to the survey have been spectacular,” according to project facilitator Sarah Watterson.
Not only did people respond to the survey, revealing things including 90 per cent would suggest their friends drive an hour to visit the region, showing great pride in what Milton and Ulladulla had to offer, but there had also been a lot of feedback on social media, Ms Watterson said.
The regional excellence initiative, established as a partnership between the Shoalhaven Business Chamber Milton Ulladulla Region and Shoalhaven City Council, had looked at a number of issues surrounding future growth, jobs, training and education, career progression and tourism.
And the first key issue seen as central to all others was customer service, Ms Watterson said.
“Customer service is the foundation of everything we’re trying to do,” she said.
Ms Watterson envisaged a system in which exceptional customer service was the norm throughout the region, with all staff trained so that every business and organisation worked to the same high level.
Exceptional customer service would boost the local economy and create jobs, she said, by encouraging more people to spend their money locally rather than travelling out of the area to shop.
Through two different committees representing many sectors of the local economy, the initiative is also looking at improved training within the area.
Ms Watterson said the training would be along two lines – providing young people with the skills they need to fill positions in the community, and also upskilling staff in businesses to meet changing demands on business, such as social media and marketing.
However Ms Watterson said she was keen to hear back from the wider community about perceived training needs, experiences with customer service, and any branding ideas.
A mock up picture of a giant sausage on the poles at Ulladulla’s entrance recently generated plenty of discussion, and Ms Watterson said it was interesting to see the way people responded and the suggestions they raised.
“It’s only when you put an idea out there that people suggest an alternative,” she said.
People are able to make their suggestions and give feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or commenting on the Milton Ulladulla Regional Excellence Initiative Facebook page.