We like to say, ‘do it once and do it right', that way, your brand will stand the test of time.
Nashville, TN (PRWEB) August 26, 2012
A decade after Columbus, Georgia embarked upon a community branding initiative with North Star Destination Strategies; the city has conducted a Brand Awareness and Image Study to determine the success the brand has had in penetrating the psyche of residents, visitors and businesses. An amazing 97% of residents and 74% of visitors reported familiarity with either (or both) the brand’s logo and line. Top descriptors of the community were still in keeping with the strategy developed a decade prior including rich with history, full of potential, family oriented, easy to get around, friendly/welcoming, and great quality of life.
Columbus went back to North Star’s standalone research department for the Brand Awareness and Image Study. The quantitative study has a statistical significance calculated at 99% +/- 3.72. More than 1,150 survey responses were completed amongst residents, non-resident business owners and/or employees and non-resident visitors.
“We knew the brand was working for us,” said Peter Bowden, President & CEO of the Columbus, GA Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There has been a spike in tourism dollars each year since the branding project was completed equaling more than a million dollars annually . . . even during the recession. But on the 10th anniversary of the brand – after three national presidents and numerous changes in our city – we wanted to measure both brand awareness in the marketplace and its current relevancy. We never dreamed that awareness would be so high!” Read a local article on Columbus' success here.
Columbus is a historic city that is also very progressive. Part of the progressive stance of leaders was to preserve historical elements and infrastructure, integrating them into the modern life of the city. The end result is a community much more textured, interesting and important than one that has no history, has razed its history to make way for modern amenities or has let its historical assets fall into disrepair. The line “What Progress has Preserved” is accompanied by a logo series featuring unique sketches representing iconic structures throughout the community.
“One of the leading questions I hear from communities considering branding is ‘how do we measure success?’” noted Don McEachern, CEO of North Star. “No single method measures success; it is a constellation of variables including tourism numbers, economic development, resident satisfaction, awareness and quite simply, the innovation that has grown up in the community surrounding the brand. Columbus has done a phenomenal job with integration and they are enjoying phenomenal results.
“We like to say, ‘do it once and do it right,’” McEachern concluded. “That way, your brand will stand the test of time. Even so, strong brands can still grow and evolve just like the cities they embody. Our clients are diligent about integrating their brand strategies into symbolic action over time including everything from public art to education to events.”
North Star is a full-service place branding and research agency located in Nashville, TN. Having worked with more than 150 communities in 37 states nationwide, North Star is considered an industry leader in the field of community and destination research and branding. North Star specializes in regional economic development branding, destination branding, city branding and community-wide branding and has worked with downtowns, neighborhoods, local organizations, parks and recreation, cities, counties, regions and states. Columbus, GA was North Star’s first community-wide branding client.