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Economic Opportunity


Create Brand Licensing Procedures

If you have products that are uniquely Flint Hills, contact the Flint Hills Regional Council to learn more about branding and licensing products.

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Tool Information


  1. Economic, Environmental, and Social Impacts
  2. Marketing
  3. Conservation


Place-based initiatives that provide an umbrella for goods or services grown, produced or developed in a region are now commonplace, yet can provide a canvas for economic development and growth opportunities for areas as diverse as arts, tourism and value-added agricultural endeavors. 


In 1969 Robert Redford founded Sundance. It began with a beautiful place, in the heart of the Wasatch Mountain Range, in Utah. A small general store serviced the growing Sundance Village and became the heart of a thriving artist colony and recreational area. Twenty years later, in the fall of 1989, the general store offered the first edition of the Sundance Catalog, providing unique arts and crafts, from the hands of local artists. This story has been the basis of many place-based endeavors, from other artist retreats and spas, to the tours and themes generated around local craftsmen and artists. The Flint Hills is one of the most unique environments on earth, with a rich legacy and growing artist community. A Flint Hills brand could coordinate artist activities and define a locus and ethos around the tall grass heritage.

Photo by Jere Keys, 2006

CC BY 2.0

Additional Information



Brand Programs at the Kansas Department of Agriculture publish a "Brand Book" that describes cattle brands, is it possible to leverage this system to track where Flint Hills Beef comes from. 


The Kansas Department of Revenue has guidance for registering brands and labels online.  Here is there instructional PDF:


Implementation Strategy

Champions and Partners

IP legal advisors

Marketing advisors

Producers of original Flint Hills art and cultural products


Medium (3-8 years)



Cost Details

Marketing costs

Storefronts and online catalogs

Legal advice

Funding Sources

Product Sales

Start up business funders

Implementation Details

A brief outline of the first few steps necessary for implementation are provided. The steps outlined here are provided only as a suggested starting point and other approaches are certainly valid.

  1. Conduct market research about what goods and services people want when they come to the Flint Hills.  What makes a trip to the Flint Hills memorable and unique?  What are the hidden treasures in the arts and cultural realm that deserve to be discovered?
  2. Develop a local or regional franchise that sells local products on consignment.  Set up some rules to discern which products are unique, compelling and also foster a sense of stewardship within the region.  Make sure labor practices are fair and the producers are contributing to the local community and economy.  
  3. Develop an online catalog featuring products or artists that are popular or in high demand.
  4. Register the trademark or brand to protect it and to make it exclusive and appealing.
  5. Expand the franchise to include more local artists and producers but with the same exacting quality standards.

Case Study


Sundance was founded in 1969 by Robert Redford when he purchased land at the base of beautiful 12,000-foot Mount Timpanogos in Utah's Wasatch Mountains. This pristine place of natural beauty radiates splendors of giant pines and aspen trees, gurgling streams, sweet fragrant air, and fields of wildflowers. It has become the Sundance Village. The goal of the Sundance Village is to offer a community art and nature that would foster artistic pursuits and recreational activity while preserving naturally beautiful and unique environment of Sundance. At the base of the Village was a tiny store which guests would frequently write to, requesting special items they had seen while visiting Sundance. The first edition of Sundance Catalog was mailed in 1989 to offer "the kinds of things that we have been privileged to collect, many of them handcrafted exclusively for Sundance."

Twenty years passed and requests for the store's unique offerings spread beyond the box canyon. People who had visited Sundance began to write back to the store from all over the country: "Do you have any more of that item, and could I get it sent to me?" and people they knew wrote, "I saw an item my friend purchased at Sundance. Would it be possible for me to buy one?"

Robert Redford called together a few of his colleagues to discuss starting a mail-order catalog to fill these requests and to make Sundance's unique items available to a wider audience. It started small. Four employees working from the old Sundance Village firehouse put together the first Sundance Catalog, which mailed in the fall of 1989 to a relatively small group of general store customers and friends.

Early years naturally held some uncertainties (Mr. Redford once quipped, "Let me say that if for any reason this Catalog should fail, I plan to change my name and move to Bolivia."), but customers soon showed their enthusiasm for the new venue, and a loyal Sundance Catalog following developed. Beginning with the first catalog that mailed in '89, Robert Redford has penned a special message that appears on the inside front cover of every edition. Here is a reprint of the message from our original catalog.

"In 1969, we founded Sundance. The next year the General Store was established. In the beginning for us there was no end. Now, it's hard to remember the beginning. One of the more insane journeys any business could make. We built things we shouldn't have, tried things that were beyond us, and planned things that were merely impossible. But happily, it has turned out. And along the way have been many varied and exciting moments. Today, 20 years later, we're celebrating that "spirit" with this first edition of the Sundance Catalog. Our General Store has established relationships with many special artists from across the U.S. This catalog offers the kind of things that we have been privileged to collect, many of them handcrafted exclusively for Sundance. When you purchase something from this catalog, we appreciate the fact that the prime reason is enjoyment for yourself. But you are also supporting American craftspeople, the Sundance Institute for development of new artists in film, music, dance and theater, and efforts to enhance and preserve the environment.

There is richness and diversity still in the American experience. I hope you enjoy the collection."

(Taken from the Sundance Catalog's 'Sundance Story' page)

Image from: http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/abc1001.pdf


This story describes how a marketing campaign helped to support the very type of commerce and economy that the local artists and residents wanted to create.