Put it on a T-shirt or a ball cap, they say. Slap the new city slogan “Live it Up” on bumper stickers; use the art and slogan in company collateral; put it in all marketing materials, commercials and print ad campaigns.
All ideas are welcome, said Amy Long, CVB vice president of marketing and membership.
This summer the CVB will host a series of workshops for business owners and city leaders to talk about how they can use the new city slogan, Live it Up, and the new logo in their own advertising and marketing campaigns.
“We want to let them know how to access the assets for total awareness,” Long said. “And, at the other end of the spectrum — total adoption.”
It might take months, even years, for the city’s slogan and logo to permeate all aspects of city marketing. Already the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC is using the logo in its marketing information. The Sports Corp. is using the logo too and a couple of small businesses have incorporated the logo into their marketing campaigns. A group of Canadian military personnel stationed at Peterson Air Force Base had T-shirts with the new logo made for their flight.
“It’s definitely started strong,” Long said.
Long has been waiting a long time for a city branding strategy, she said. When she walked into the CVB six years ago she asked, “what’s our brand? How do I market the city?”
The CVB had many messages about tourism and destinations, but something was lacking, she said. There was no emotional connection. A brand strategy, she said, would do that.
Last year, the city set aside the money to pursue the city’s brand and launched a series of surveys, interviews and meetings to develop the brand essence: that Colorado Springs is vibrant, exceptional, rugged and alive.
But, when the branding task force rolled out the new slogan and logo the negative reaction went viral. It was a tough pill to swallow, Long said. The task force had been working on the brand for months.
When a group of local designers and marketing experts met with the CVB and the taskforce, their criticism was honest and constructive, she said. And, they had a solution.
“We weren’t going there to attack, we had legitimate questions about the design,” said Chris Schell, owner of Design Rangers who helped set up the second design process, which allowed local designers a shot to create the city’s logo.
Twenty-seven firms wanted a shot at creating a city logo that could find itself in advertisements on the other side of the country or on apparel worn by the locals.
Fixer Creative, a husband and wife team specializing in branding, web design and marketing, presented a design with legs, Schell said. The design can be presented in grayscale or black. It could just be the logo or it could be paired with the slogan.
“Part of it was there was an inherent simplicity — there is strength in simplicity,” Schell said. “The previous logo was trying to satisfy every constituent out there. Fixer was able to create a logo that satisfied. It was clean and simple — it wasn’t trying too hard.”
Troy DeRose, co-owner of Fixer Creative, said they chose Pikes Peak for the design, because the mountain is not a trend.
“If there is anything that unifies this city, it’s that giant mountain,” he said. “We were trying to create something that felt timeless — that wouldn’t be used just for the CVB, but anyone in the city can use this.”
It seems that the logo re-design- take-two debacle was the best outcome, Long said. Because, it showed that people really care about the image of the city.
“We were so pleased that Fixer found a solution that was visually pleasing and meshed up with the brand strategy,” Long said.
The CVB has adopted the logo as its official logo — it will be used in all marketing materials. New signs for the building will be ordered this summer. And, the CVB is investigating licensing for a possible partnership with a merchandise company in which the CVB can share in the profits.
“It will be so fun when we have a product line,” Long said.
Long jokes that the branding task force and the CVB will be remembered as the group that got the city’s brand right — the second time.
“It won’t be right for all businesses,” Long said. “But, if they take time to look at the branding strategy, they may be able to pull out some nugget from that they can use.”