Monday, August 20, 2012

how to launch your neighborhood brand + engage your community

This is the fifth article in a series about neighborhood branding, which covers understanding and changing the perception of your neighborhood or business district by creating a clear, cohesive identity and brand for your community.

The hard work is done. Almost.

After what may seem like ages of interacting with your community to understand the perceptions of your neighborhood, followed by determining what to change, setting measurable goals, and creating a neighborhood logo, you’ve got in hand the physical beginnings of your new brand. You’ve got a cohesive brand identity—one that your community loves and can stand behind.

Now, it’s time to engage your community and spread the word about your new brand.

Consistency is Key

There’s a reason why you labored over creating a style guide for your logo. When you’re ready to launch your brand, it’s important to be prepared to introduce your new campaign and then move forward full throttle.

“Strive for an all-out, consistent launch, rather than slowly introducing various elements of a new image,” says graphic designer Jeff Fisher of LogoMotives. “The piecemeal approach presents a mixed message to those not familiar with a neighborhood or brand and complicates the desired message.”

“Part of that all-out, consistent introduction of a new image is making sure that all individuals involved with the organization have the latest and greatest image and marketing materials available for their use,” Fisher continues. “Volunteers often play a great role in many neighborhood and community groups. I’ve often seen the wrong logo, or marketing message, sent out by a well-meaning group volunteer who was never provided the proper materials.”

“A well-coordinated big splash in introducing a new logo, brand, and marketing or promotion program presents a newsworthy activity and helps totally define the brand introduction,” Fisher explains.

So, why not throw a party for yourself? (And your community, of course.)

Leverage a Popular Community Event to Launch Your Brand

Many Portland neighborhoods draw big crowds at regular, or even annual, events they host, so it makes sense to leverage the audience of events like Last Thursday on Alberta or First Thursday Art in the Pearl to unveil your new neighborhood brand.

If your neighborhood doesn’t have a signature community event, it might be a good idea to plan one in conjunction with the launch of your new brand.

Find out more about launching your brand physically and digitally on Neighborhood Notes.

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