Branding Carbondale FAQ





Branding FAQ’s

What is a community-wide brand? The use of a community’s greatest strength to create a consistent memorable identity that will help drive the city to its preferred future.

Why did Carbondale want to develop a brand? The purpose of the project is to develop a brand that accurately reflects the reasons people and businesses come to live and work in Carbondale, to reflect the historic civic pride of the community, to embrace the culture of the City and to enhance the reputation that Carbondale has. For case studies and possible return on investment, visit this link.

Was there an RFP sent out for this project? Yes; On November 16, 2016, a request for proposals was published online to find a qualified firm to provide unique branding services to the City. Response from North Star Destination Strategies, Inc. and Socially Present were received. An Evaluation Committee including, Carbondale Mayor John “Mike” Henry, Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams, Carbondale Public Relations Officer Amy Fox, Councilman Lee Fronabarger and President/CEO of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Les O’Dell, evaluated the proposals and both companies were interviewed in January of 2017. The Evaluation Committee unanimously selected North Star to develop the City-wide brand.

Why didn’t the City choose to use a local company for this project? While the City did have a public RFP process to solicit bids from marketing/branding firms, the City received no bids from local companies.

Why was a committee formed? The Mayor appointed a Branding Committee, as directed by the consultants, to lead us through the process. The committee participated in a series of presentations and discussions to develop Carbondale’s unique brand.

Who served on the Branding Committee? The City Manager, the City’s Public Relations Officer, Councilman Doherty, the Mayor, and Carbondale Chamber of Commerce President/CEO

How was the community involved in this process? Over the course of six months, quantitative and qualitative research was gathered from focus groups with key stakeholders, survey instruments and interviews with local leaders from southern Illinois and regional leaders from the greater St. Louis/Metro East area, Cape Girardeau, Bloomington-Normal and Paducah. More than 600 people participated in the Community Survey. Throughout the entire process, the City kept the community up-to-date. This included sending out press releases at key points in the process, doing news stories with the local media and providing updates on the City’s website and social media accounts.

What did the research find? Through the research, there were three reoccurring themes related to Carbondale: Southern Illinois University, diversity and outdoor recreation. A large majority of respondents noted these three things as Carbondale’s greatest assets. Results from the Community Survey cite blight, crime and poverty as the things that leave the strongest negative impression on visitors and newcomers. For a complete look at all of the findings, visit this link

How much money was spent on the project? The entire project cost $98,000 (cost breakdown document). However, it was divided up into two phases:

• Phase 1: Education, Research & Strategy: $58,000

• Phase 2: Creativity & Action: $40,000

What does the price include? Extensive quantitative and qualitative research (interviews, focus groups, surveys); in-market visit; 12 custom deliverables; action plan; logo; strapline; and 12-month follow up.

What does the logo represent? The logo is an abstract drawing of a path, or pathways, which suggests that Carbondale is a city where you can choose various paths to unlock your future. Regardless of where you come from, or why you come to Carbondale, the choice of paths that you can take suggests that Carbondale is a city open to new ideas, experiences, and cultures and is a place where you can both express yourself and be yourself. In the middle of the design, you'll notice a keyhole, which suggests the door is always open, implying that Carbondale is the key to unlocking your future and realizing your full potential. The top part of the design is a "C" which stands for Carbondale. Coincidentally, with Carbondale being the Eclipse Crossroads of America, the intersecting paths tie in with the upcoming 2024 solar eclipse.

How do you know another community is not using the same strapline? North Star conducted a trademark registration search with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

What is a strapline? It is the start of the story and is designed to capture people’s attention. It also referred to as a tagline.

What does “All Ways Open” mean? It implies the possibilities in Carbondale are limitless. It boldly reflects Carbondale’s reputation for being a welcoming community. Aside from welcoming people, this line also can be applied to commerce and business, recreation, education and indications that Carbondale is open for anything and everything. This line connects Carbondale to the Shawnee National Forest and the region’s natural beauty and landscape.

Why maroon and green? The green in the logo represents the outdoor recreational opportunities that surround us and the maroon speaks to the community’s ties with SIU.

Can other groups in the community use this logo? The City intends for all public stakeholders to use the new brand on marketing materials to better promote the area.

What’s next? Over the course of the next 4-8 weeks, the City will be given some tools such as a graphic standards guide, brand narrative and custom deliverables to help us as we begin to bring the new logo to life in the real world.

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