Keeping it Close to Home: Marketing Downtown Georgetown


This summer, we were contracted by our very own City of Georgetown, to help develop a plan for the city's historic downtown area, known as The Georgetown Square. This plan would help the city improve the business climate by creating "consistent and manageable" consumer traffic on the Square.

If you've never visited Georgetown, Texas, you're missing a true piece of Texas history. Surrounding the iconic Williamson County Courthouse, the square boasts restaurants, boutiques, antique stores and a winery, but there's plenty of room for growth. Like everywhere else, the economic downturn has had an effect on the square, with several prime locations left vacant for months or even years.

The Recipe for Success

Facing the challenge of attracting more merchants to the downtown area, Georgetown Economic Development officials tasked BrightHatch marketing & advertising with developing new brand and marketing strategies.

Rather than simply focusing on attracting new restaurants, boutiques or entertainment venues, we recommended an expanded focus on the supporting elements of successful communities events and activities, cultural centers, arts and more. In the end, we hoped to come away with a "recipe for success," with widely supported short- and long-term strategies for the city's brand, development, tenant recruitment and community marketing.

In addition to our analysis of Georgetown's unique qualities and features, we also studied other successful communities, their marketing approach, merchant mix and cultural qualities-cities like Paso Robles CA, Leavenworth WA, McKinney TX and Fredericksburg TX.

The Right Ingredients

Our findings identified several key actions that can help put the City of Georgetown back on the map.

New Branding Strategy

Establishing an easily identifiable theme for the city, similar to Fredericksburg's German heritage or Austin's "Live Music" reputation.

Signature Events & Festivals

Building on the city's already popular Red Poppy Festival to create signature festivals, holiday events and other activities throughout the year.

Arts & Cultural Museum

Creating a cultural center or museum that can attract destination visitors and traffic from the I-35 corridor.

Wine & Food

Build up the downtown area's dining and entertainment options. This could include a collection of wineries to create one of the most distinctive and conveniently located wine destinations in the state.

Hotel & Convention Center

Developing a full-service hotel to encourage local, regional and even national events.

Moving Forward

We hope to continue working with the City of Georgetown, the Economic Development Council and the many great businesses in town to help spread the word about this great city. As residents of this city, and as a downtown Georgetown business (we're just one block off the Square), we know how special this community is, and we'd love to be a part of its continued success.

If you've never been to Georgetown, come up for a visit!

Read more about this project in The Community Impact and the Austin-American Statesman.