SEQUIM — Sequim Lavender Growers Association members have launched a new website, sequimlavenderfestivalweekend.com, which they said not only protects the group’s brand but also offers an improved way for visitors to get information.
Terry Stolz, president of the grower’s association, said he created the site, which was launched Jan. 23, to maintain the image and reputation of the Sequim Lavender Festival Weekend brand at the forefront of all lavender festival events, as well as to promote the festival, bring visitors to Sequim and direct them to where they want to be.
Jacques Dulin, a Sequim intellectual property lawyer who represents the group based at his North Sequim Avenue office, said the term “Sequim Lavender Festival Weekend” would serve as the association’s “business and group” identity.
He said it should not be used by other entities.
“We feel very strongly about it,” he said.
“The brand is very important to us and the local community.”
The group’s media representative, Paul Jendrucko, said the term would not be shared with the city of Sequim or others.
Sequim city officials have said that the term “Sequim Lavender Weekend” should be an umbrella term for both lavender entities — the growers association and the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association, which formed last year.
“We are in support of the city and its marketing efforts, but Sequim Lavender Festival Weekend cannot be shared,” Jendrucko said.
The association’s president, Terry Stolz, agreed.
“We are dedicated and loyal to the Sequim Lavender Festival name and title,” Stolz said.
The group has applied for the term as a trademark.
Dulin said he would send warning letters out to parties who infringe upon it.
Stolz said that the popularity of social media networks and the proliferation of websites prompted the Sequim Lavender Growers Association to create a site to complement its “highly visited” Sequim Lavender Festival site.
Now featured on many Internet search engines, the Sequim Lavender Festival Weekend site unveils a new and faster means of learning about Sequim-area happenings, Stolz said, including the 16th Sequim Lavender Festival to be held this year during the July 20-22 weekend.
Stolz formatted the site to be “interactive, whimsical and informative with the ability to announce everything from current Sequim events, ribbon cuttings at new businesses and local students who make the honor roll.”
“It will be like receiving your morning newspaper with fun, entertainment and information included in a friendly and spirited manner,” Stolz said.
“Just imagine the community bulletin board at the local hardware store. That’s us,” he said.
Future plans for the site include placing business, service and nonprofit organizations in advertising formats on the site at an affordable price.
Special announcements about community events and fundraisers by local groups also may be incorporated on the site, Stolz said.
Added Jenrucko: “We’re very flexible.
“Advertise with us and you’ll be part of a viral movement in the lavender field — no pun intended.
“The demographics dictate that we change our marketing strategies to better communicate with the 25- to 40-year-old generation, which is extremely savvy in the Internet world and has found our festival very enjoyable.
“We already proved that last year wherein we communicated with nearly a half-million lavender enthusiasts from around the region, state, continent and the world,” Jendrucko said.
“Our first day’s attendance broke previous records.”
The Sequim Lavender Festival has special significance in the agri-tourism sector in Clallam County, and is partly responsible for generating more than $3 million throughout the local economy, Stolz said.
“We are hopeful that any promotional efforts such as the creation of this website, at no public expense, will improve those numbers,” he said.
Scott Nagel, Sequim Lavender Farmers Association executive director, who left the growers group for the newly formed association a year ago, said the site would not directly affect his group.
“It’ll have an effect on tourism for the Sequim Lavender Weekend because the city message is to have the festival under one umbrella,” Nagel said.
“What it does do, is it threatens the city marketing campaign so the city can’t get the tourism dollars that it needs.”
________Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Jeff Chew can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at [email protected]