Lynchburg, Virginia | Resonance

A Strong Foundation of Economic Growth Retrenches by Fortifying the Ties that Bind Local

The City of Lynchburg, Virginia, is one of the fastest-growing in the state. Driven by innovative businesses and forward-thinking organizations, Lynchburg is a community that values history, natural beauty and healthy, inclusive neighborhoods. The City’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism grounds its work in a central premise: Every resident has the opportunity to thrive in the City of Lynchburg.


However, the city’s success stories and economic development initiatives sometimes lacked unity, and the internal cooperation required to present a united, compelling reason to visit, move to and invest in the city. Opportunities to place big bets on external messaging to attract investment and new talents, as well as act on the desire to build new, magnetic streetscapes, needed justification and a detailed implementation plan for execution.

Resonance was contracted by the City of Lynchburg to help develop a “blueprint for opportunity.” The City knew that to fulfill its target to be “the best small city in America,” it required a deliberate strategy for competing for new investment and talent. Our team worked with the Office of Economic Development and Tourism to unpack and assess the City’s economy, engage residents, business executives, community leaders and elected officials, and create a five-year comprehensive plan to build tomorrow’s Lynchburg and ensure that all residents have the opportunity to thrive.

The plan is built on five key priorities: 

  • growing local businesses
  • engaging anchor institutions
  • filling workforce pipelines
  • enhancing quality of place; and 
  • communicating Lynchburg’s story to the world


The Resonance creative studio was asked to develop the city’s brand and messaging platform to support local economic development and talent attraction/retention and community pride initiatives.

Our methodical, research-based competitive analysis, combined with community engagement, resulted in an inclusive blueprint for Lynchburg—one where each priority was given the necessary resources and attention to succeed. Only then did city leaders move on to the next step, on a foundation of proven metrics and success. The rigorous quantitative and qualitative data was then ported into a destination brand called “LYH Loves You”—a local riff on the state’s Virginia is for Lovers—that represented the entire city and region, from talent attraction agencies to local tourism marketers. Resonance then brought the city’s distinct, unified positioning to life with a marketing strategy and implementation that spanned out-of-market creative, local ad campaigns and digital destinations designed to capture the imaginations (and contact information) of those considering making Lynchburg their home.

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