Introduction to the City of Independence Rebranding Project
In 2015, City Manager, Al Roder, tasked Absolutely Indee (A.I.) with putting together a full marketing campaign for the City of Independence. The group started researching the cost of various media placement (billboards, radio, t.v., etc.) and putting together a budget. But, we ran into issues with what message to actually convey to the outside world. We have a bit of an identity crisis. Are we a town with “America’s Fame is in Our Name?” Are we “Proud People Promoting Progress?” is our logo mark the Mill or the American Flag?
All of the marketing pieces in the public space were very different and not cohesive. We needed a united front and one message as the foundation of our campaign.
A.I. learned that the city had earmarked $40,000 for “marketing” funds which include items like a new website, advertising, etc. These funds were part of the hotel/motel tax dollars collected from visitor stays at local hotels. The funds could only be used for marketing and tourism purposes (not infrastructure improvements, expansions, etc.). The city’s Strategic Planning Report included that they wanted to increase promotion of the city among other things.
A.I. decided to research branding firms who could assist in conducting research and helping to establish a cohesive brand.
In December 2015, A.I. members met with the marketing firm bluespace creative out of Denison, Iowa. Bluespace has worked with companies large and small and also helped to rebrand cities like Forest City, Iowa. They had the research capabilities we needed to dig deep and find out what kind of messaging and brand would best embody our community.
In February of 2016, A.I. members presented a branding initiative contract from bluespace to the Independence city council. Council unanimously approved the project contract using earmarked hotel/motel tax dollars.
The branding project contains 4 phases.
- Brand Assessment and Strategy – Research Phase. Click here to learn more about this phase and to access the full research report findings.
- Positioning Statement – Tagline phase. Click here to learn more about the positioning statement phase.
- Logo Identity – Logo mark phase. Click here to learn more about the logo identity options.
- Brand Standards Guide – Overall guidelines for use of logo, color scheme, design elements, font usage, etc. Click here to access brand guide information and logos.
City council voted unanimously to approve the following logo option at their October 23, 2017 meeting. Absolutely Indee is currently working with the city to update various marketing materials with the new brand.