What comes to mind when you think of a “key to the city”? Those are four words that everyone has heard at some point. Usually they are accompanied with welcoming someone to the community – most commonly someone with great fame or status. Giving someone the key to your city is a way to showcase all of the great things your community has to offer and invite them to be a part of it. Since most people will never be presented with a golden key to their city, much less any city at all, there has to be another way to grab peoples’ attention and show them why your town is the place to be.
That figurative “key” would be effective and consistent city branding. You always hear about a business or organization needing to create and market their “brand,” but rarely think of it applying to a city. As the economy climbs back up the ladder, it is more important than ever for cities to market themselves as a desirable place to be – regardless of age, profession, kids, no kids, and the list could go on and on. Through creating a successful branding campaign, you are building a strong platform to share the great things about your city.
The brand of a city is not something that the city owns, but rather a feeling or emotion associated with the city. Branding is best described as the value associated with a company, product or service driven by the consumer perception. All cities already have a brand whether they intend to or not.
24 Communications was recently selected as the agency of record for the City of Cullman, and is currently working to develop and implement a full-scale branding campaign across all advertising mediums. One of the first steps in developing this branding campaign was to research and build a brand narrative. This is a crucial part of the process because it helps to tell the overall story of the City of Cullman, or any city for that matter. It shares the history, landmarks, scenery, entertainment, and so much more about why Cullman is a thriving 21st century community, with the quintessential Southern charm that immediately engages visitors. The brand narrative is where you can offer tributes to the past, enthusiasm for the present and an eye towards the future.
The brand narrative also helps create a strong vision for the entire campaign through developing variations of a new city logo that can stretch across city departments, a new tagline that captures the essence of the city in a short, yet powerful statement, and gives vision to ways that the community can get involved in these branding efforts through social media engagement and the use of a unique city hashtag. Combining all of these ideas and creating one uniform message that shares why the city is so special is the key to attracting visitors that can “stay awhile, or a lifetime.”
If your city needs a brand revamp, we are here to help! Let us take your city to the next level – not just a place that current residents love and admire, but a place where people from afar will desire to come. Whether it be a place for someone to call a vacation spot, a place to start a new business, raise a family, or settle down, your city deserves a little TLC.
We’re 24 Communications, an Alabama-based advertising agency. If you would like our help revamping the key to your city, please let us know.