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Heartland Lakes brand wins Hermes Award

Heartland Lakes, the region's new community brand, won a 2018 Hermes Creative Award for brand strategy. (Submitted photo)

Heartland Lakes, a recently branded area in northern Minnesota, was recognized as a 2018 Gold Winner of a Hermes Creative Award for brand strategy.

Hermes Creative Awards is an international awards competition honoring the messengers and creators of traditional and emerging media. The entrants are judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, an organization that consists of several thousand creative professionals. This year there were over 6,000 entries from throughout the U.S., Canada and dozens of other countries.

The Heartland Lakes project was done in conjunction with the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber, the City of Park Rapids, Park Rapids Downtown Business Association and Hubbard County, who hired CivicBrand, a branding and marketing agency that focuses exclusively on civic projects.

Through a collaborative effort, the name Heartland Lakes was developed. Over the course of a year, CivicBrand held meetings with surrounding communities to discuss creating a larger, more inclusive brand as well as large employers to discuss how a community brand platform can help them achieve their recruiting and retention goals. The project not only focused on tourism, but also in attracting businesses and individuals who share the area's brand principles of pristine waters, intention, family and tradition, access to the outdoors and strong, proud people. These brand principles are central to the Heartland Lakes' brand strategy and set the foundation for the design assets, messaging and photography style.

There is a multi-year implementation strategy that is currently being rolled out. Phase one of the project and a documentary are available at