First and foremost – when talking about a brand we’re not just talking about the logo. A community brand is so much more! A brand represents and shapes your community. It’s the people, businesses, and experiences people have.
Often the hurdle to prove the worth of a brand is hard. Especially since branding is most often associated with corporate companies not public entities. Below are a few (of many) reasons to help get the branding conversation started:
- Purpose – Your City has a mission and vision statement. These statements serve as the driving factor of what and how your organization serves the community. These are critical tools to your brand, but the real benefit and foundation of a community brand lies is the “why.” A strong brand provides the framework for why your staff does what they do, why your residents call your City home, why people come to visit, and why businesses do business in your community. A brand can give people purpose. It can guide them to something great and truly bring people together.
- Elevate – To many stakeholders the term “branding” can be an off-putting word because the idea of branding is associated with a product or service not the people, place, and community that a City represents. But in the end, much like a product or service, in order to continue to thrive, a City’s goal is to differentiate. For this reason, branding is often a conversation during the strategic planning process. A brand can play a strong role in strategic goals such as growth, development/redevelopment, community development, and inclusion. Just as economic development tools help market your City, a brand helps communicate the “why” to invest in your City, why to live in your City, and why choose your City over another.
- Save Time – Inevitably branding a community costs money. Often it takes a tangible reason for stakeholders to buy-in to branding a community. At the root of branding is consistency. Consistency with imagery, colors, and fonts, as well as messaging and voice. A brand creates a toolbox for not only the communications department but for ALL departments and staff to execute on materials and messaging. It creates a framework to start from that eliminates the need to recreate the wheel every time and the paralysis that comes from starting from a blank canvas. It helps save time and allows staff to get right to execution.
BONUS: With a strong brand, we often see staff and the community more comfortable being taking it upon themselves to share information and messages that truly shape a community. You brand can shape and uncover authentic ambassadors.