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Council gets ‘funky’ branding presentation

February 12, 2020
By NATHAN MAYBERG ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

A new logo and branding strategy is on the horizon for Fort Myers Beach. Redevelopment Management Associates Director of Marketing Sharon McCormick gave the Town of Fort Myers Beach Council a peek at a new branding plan Feb. 6 at their worksession.

"I heard the word 'funky' a thousand times," McCormick said of her meetings with town officials and the public during the last few months when they were asked to describe Fort Myers Beach.

McCormick said the new branding identity, marketing strategy and new logo will be focused on increasing offseason tourism. McCormick said the town needs to get away from being known as a "crowded motel beach."

Article Photos

The Fort Myers Beach Council agrees that the dolphin would be a good candidate to highlight in its logo and branding strategy.


McCormick said key words that could be used in marketing strategies include quality of life, eclectic, small town, funky, historical and entertainment.

Agreeing on a logo and its colors still has some ways to go.

Councilmember Rexann Hosafros said she did not support the idea of seahorses being prominent for the town's logo as has been proposed.

"I love seahorses but it's just not us," she said.

"I've lived here 16 years and I've seen one dead one," Shamp said.

The majority of the council said they agreed with Hosafros that dolphins, manatees and turtles should be the ones highlighted in the logo. However, Vice Mayor Ray Murphy noted he has seen "lots of seahorses" though he agreed it would "not be what people identify the beach with."

Murphy said "the one symbol of the island in my mind is the dolphin. That's the one that everybody sees every day. That's the one that thrills the tourists, that's the one that still thrills us," he said. "There's nothing like it."

Mayor Anita Cereceda said she woud like to highlight the spoonbill bird in a logo. Palm trees, pelicans, dolphins and turtles are other icons of the town that could be highlighted, she said.

Councilmember Bruce Butcher said the logo should be bright and could highlight the letters FMB with a dolphin, fish on a hook or sun umbrella.

Councilmember Joanne Shamp wants to alter the image of the town.

"The message that we're sending out right now is we are a motel and a party place but if we send out a message that we are environmental, we respect our environment, that we're quiet neighborhoods and family, those are the people we are going to draw with interests that match our community."

McCormick said a booklet she has developed with marketing strategies will be a guide for the town.

The draft of a brand strategy as outlined by McCormick states: "The island has a natural landscape that is symbolic of its population: bright, inviting, and vibrant.

"The intertwining mangroves and sugar sand beach on either side of the island are nestled by water as lively as its people. Every person's paradise, the town is instinctively distinct. It is a destination that promises to delight - whether seeking adventure and excitement of serenity and the calming of the soul that can only be found in nature.

"In Fort Myers Beach, everyone is welcome, just as they are, on this beautiful island of eclectic people and places."

Cereceda replied "I thought that was spot on."

One idea that seems off the table is changing the name of Fort Myers Beach.

"We're definitely going to move forward with FMB," McCormick said.

She will update the board members over the next month and return March 13 to the council for final adoption of the branding logo and plan.



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