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Lansdale Branding Initiative Now 'In Motion'

North Star Destination Strategies, of Tennessee, reviewed its recommendations Monday night on how Lansdale can implement the results of a branding study. The borough's new slogan: Life In Motion

After Monday night — and a $68,000 branding initiative cost — Memphis, Tennessee's North Star Destination Strategies' recommendations for Lansdale's future branding are "in motion."

North Star Vice President Ed Barlow reviewed his firm's final recommendations in the branding initiative with the borough's Economic Development Committee and Communications Commission.

"Lansdale: Life in Motion" is the new motto for the borough.

However, the motto can be interchangeable and flexible, as local businesses and organizations are encouraged to use the new motto and logo in merchandising and marketing.

For instance, "Lansdale: Health in Motion" on health-related paraphernalia.

How about a "Lansdale: Dogs in Motion" branded Frisbee?

The ideas are, per North Star Destination Strategies, endless.

The new logo — not to be confused with the still-in-existence Lansdale Borough seal — is a big blue letter "L," made with four parallel tracks curved into the shape of the letter.

The logo, according to an article on the meeting from Dan Sokil of The Reporter, is "meant to evoke the multiple layers of history and depth to the borough, while also creating an impression of movement."

There are six new borough colors too, all in the Pantone brand PMS color chart: Sand, gold, cinnamon orange, bonnie blue, blue and navy blue.

"The brand is not the logo or the line; it's what people say about you when you're not around," Barlow said. "We needed to do research to find out what was being said."
He said the community will not connect with a logo or a line by itself.

It's about the emotions and experience.

"It's how you feel about a place," Barlow said. 

Kirchner said last year that the branding project will cost $68,000 plus expenses, which are capped at $5,000. She said the cost was right in the middle of all of the companies that responded to Requests for Proposals; some were more expensive, and others were less expensive.

The impetus for a branding study began with the Communication Commission, Kirchner said. She said it saw much-needed improvement on how the borough can communicate better to the community.

"The website is tired. It's hard to get through it. It doesn't excite anybody in the borough of Lansdale," she said. "There was a lot of talk of marketing the borough: what about us should people see, feel and hear?"

Barlow said Lansdale has full discretion on the recommendations; it can adjust anything they would like in the branding.

"Lansdale can start owning the results," Barlow said.

"We will receive the report and use it to drive and be a major part of the agenda for the Economic Development Committee going forward for 2013," Kirchner said. "Discover Lansdale will be affected by this, and Lansdale Business Association too."

Barlow recommended 15 things Lansdale can do to implement the brand. "These are simple things of what Lansdale should do, way of thinking about the community and brand," he said:

1. Assign a Brand Leader

2. Create a Brand PowerPoint or Video

Barlow recommended placing the logo and motto in the bottom corner of each PowerPoint slide used in presentations, and watermark the logo in the background.

3. Develop Brand Stationery and Printing Supplies

Borough correspondence, like mail and envelopes, can be branded with the logo, and even business cards can now carry the logo and motto and one of the six borough colors.

4. Identify Easiest Consumer Touch Points and Brand Them

5. Apply the Brand to Borough Policies and Planning Decisions

6. Brand Digital and Social Media

This is where a revamping of the Lansdale Borough website comes into play. A recommendation in the presentation showed a website with a prominent photo and selections for various pages, like "Transporation," "House Hunt," "Job Search" and "Entertainment." It is also suggested to include links to Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages for Lansdale Borough.

7. Develop Branded Merchandise

It is recommended that the brand be placed onto items for sale, like travel coffee mugs, Frisbees and T-shirts.

8. Motivate Borough Employees to Become Ambassadors for the Brand

Employees should wear T-shirts or pins of the Lansdale logo to promote the new brand around town.

9. Cultivate Private and Public Sector Partnerships

The borough could work to develop a visitors' guide, for instance, complete with brand colors and logo. 

It could also use the brand to, for instance, aid the local community in promoting physical activity. Businesses could use the logo and motto in promotion for classified job advertisements in local newspapers.

10. Show Local Businesses How to Put the Brand in Motion

One example in Monday's presentation showed a Pedaller Bike Shop ad, with its own motto "Our Wheels Are Always Turning." At the bottom corner is the Lansdale logo and motto.

Another example was from a town in Iowa that placed "Creative Partner: Iowa's Creative Corridor" at businesses involved in revitalization of the downtown.

A third example was using a sticker with the Lansdale logo and colors to promote fruit and vegetables at the farmers' market that was grown locally.

11. Infiltrate Your Infrastructure and Brand Cose-Effective, Relevant Signage

Examples of recommendations included a welcome sign with the borough logo and motto, bike racks constructed to resemble the borough logo, inlaid brick across a roadway spelling out the name of the town in its new colors, and even a Lansdale Borough flag.

According to Sokil, the "In Motion" theme can be modified for parks and events:

“Your infrastructure is a three-d(imensional) canvas for your logo and line. We’re not saying ‘Slap it everywhere,’ but look for opportunities where it makes sense,” such as on vehicles, crosswalks, wayfinding signage, or even embedded in sidewalks, Barlow said.

The upcoming wayfinding project can now be merged with the branding initiative.

"What distinguishes Lansdale and what can we say to people to make them come to Lansdale?" Kirchner said.

12. Build Community Pride and Enthusiasm with the Brand

One example was an "E-Motion Lansdale Newsletter" featuring local business news and elected official activities.

"The borough can work with its stakeholders," Barlow said. "If borough department heads and businesses are aware of the strategy and talk with their partners and stakeholders about the brand, opportunities present themselves. Everyone is moving everyone else along as it advances."

13. Feature Downtown as a Centerpiece for the Brand

Examples included placing signs and banners with the Lansdale logo, motto or colors on streetlights and benches in the downtown and at the train station

14. Encourage Visitors to Put Themselves in Motion with Arts, Activity and Events

Kirchner said the branding offers organic momentum to get people excited about Lansdale.

She emphasized the potential of 311 W. Main St., and the developments of Andale Green, Cannon Square and Madison Parking Lot as ways to get people to come live and play in Lansdale.

"We need to have a message and a way to say it to people," she said.

15. Introduce Lansdale to the Creative Class with the Brand

"We truly hope that businesses use the brand as their marketing of services," Kirchner said. "With the Lansdale Collaborative Project, we hope they embrace this too. I think it will be a in their best interest to embrace it."

North Star Destination Strategies met with Lansdale Borough officials and residents to gather feedback on what Lansdale meant to them, and even conducted online surveys of residents inside and outside of the borough.

North Star reviewed its findings from the study and discussions earlier this year.

After that, a creative committee of five residents — including Lansdale Historical Society President Dick Shearer and Communication Commission member Brian Berkenstock — worked with borough staff and North Star to develop ideas for logos, a slogan and other brand components.

"We were here early last year for a market visit. We wanted to learn as much as we could from people that live and work here," Barlow said. "We wanted to look for the competitive advantage of Lansdale in the marketplace and how to convey that message."

North Star has helped brand about 150 communities in North America, with each one being unique, Barlow said. Recently, it rebranded — and renamed — Allegheny City Central from Central Northside, Pennsylvania.

"We didn't want to be an offshoot of someone else's brand," Kirchner said. "We needed North Star to tell us who we are or who we can be. They listened, and they went out and talked to people. We had the benefit of the expertise of an organization that's done it all over."

What do you think of Lansdale's new logo, motto and branding components? Let us know in the comments!

Addison Whitney December 27, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Rebranding and logo branding are to key to the success of marketing initiatives. www.addisonwhitney.com

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