No. The story we will tell will apply to all of Dearborn. This includes not only all of Dearborn’s key business districts but also our neighborhoods, cultural amenities, recreational opportunities and more.
Yes, our scope of work calls for the development of a new logo and tagline, and we’re confident they’ll be cool and catchy in just the right way. That said, the logo and tagline are just two parts of a much larger visual and messaging system, and not even the most important parts of the system at that. When the time comes for the brand story to go live, we will focus on introducing all of the parts and creating excitement around how they work together.
Chances are, you will see promotional campaign elements in various print, digital and physical locations beginning in 2019. Of course, much of the outreach to prospective business owners, visitors, students and others will take place outside of Dearborn to point people to Dearborn.
Over time, the biggest and most important changes you will notice will involve a clear improvement in the overall quality of life in Dearborn itself. (See our goals)
At a certain point a few years from now, we hope you will think, “Wow, Dearborn sure has come alive!” We also expect that when you proudly tell people you’re from Dearborn, they will say—with even more consistency and enthusiasm than they already might—“Dearborn? Awesome, I’ve heard so much about it!” Perceptions like that are sure signs of the Dearborn brand at work.
A key tool for making sure everyone’s voice will be heard is the Dearborn Community Survey available here on this web site. While the survey period officially closes at the end of November 2018, we will look at any future surveys anyone fills out after that date, too. (We just won’t factor later responses into our formal analysis.) To ensure the survey is accessible to as many people as possible, we are making it available in both Arabic and English, online and as hard copies distributed throughout the community. After the survey date, we will continue to post updates to the web site and engage with any residents, businesspeople or other Dearborn stakeholders who reach out to us.
As part of a larger, coordinated effort that includes building strong communities of interest and making physical improvements to the cityscape, brand-building is a wise investment. It tends to accelerate and enhance the ability to achieve other strategic goals. While measuring a brand’s direct financial impact is complex, studies have shown that successful brand efforts can add many millions of dollars of value to local economies—by a factor many times greater than the investment itself.
Think of a brand as the foundation not just for a single advertising or PR campaign but also for every single communication people will use to talk about our city—every email, every blog, every speaking engagement and so on.
Also, think of the brand as the foundation not just for one campaign but for many. Campaigns are great for creating impact. Brand platforms are great for providing consistency as well as ways to track progress across audiences and channels, and over time.
The first thing that’s being physically created is a printed document that will contain all the basic information needed to tell a powerful, exciting story about Dearborn to key groups of people we want to connect with.
Think of it as a blueprint to help advertisers, marketers, publicists, HR professionals and others create all of the campaigns and communications they will use to promote Dearborn.
The most important piece of this “brand blueprint” is the backstory. It’s literally a written narrative that uses all of the other key ideas and messages we want to convey about Dearborn. It is to brand storytelling what a synopsis is to a novel or a treatment is to a film. It helps to get everybody onto the same page about the story we want to share, regardless of what kinds of media or communications channels they’re using.
One step in our overall effort calls for communications planning. During this step, we will identify key performance indicators (KPIs) tied to each of our goals. These will include milestones as well as metrics that we can track over time. Our plan is to share publicly our progress in realizing these key performance indicators over time.
Certainly, many people know Dearborn well and can already point out obvious highlights. Many people are already telling a positive Dearborn story on their own. That said, it’s not clear that individual efforts today are telling Dearborn’s story in a consistent, unified and focused way. The Dearborn brand initiative will help to get everyone on the same page so we can present Dearborn with vastly greater consistency and focus.
Hard to say. But keep this truism about brand storytelling in mind: If you don’t tell your story yourself, someone else will tell it for you—and not always in the way that you want. Are you aware of any negative perceptions about Dearborn in the media? If so, what positive perceptions would you like to replace them with? Are you aware of great features of Dearborn that would attract positive notice and investment if only more people knew about them? If so, how will they know?
By developing our brand and then telling it in a powerful, focused way, we have the opportunity to broadcast the true and favorable perceptions of Dearborn we’d like for others to have.
Key businesses and organizations that call Dearborn home, together with the City of Dearborn, have already expressed a desire to use the brand to help support their visions and goals. These organizations are well equipped to make full use of the brand tools this initiative will deliver.
That said, these tools are freely available to everyone, and anyone can find opportunities to share the Dearborn story. If you live, work or go to school in Dearborn, you’re automatically a brand ambassador. You’re already living the brand, and already part of the story.
If you’re interested in learning more about how the Dearborn brand story and tools might help your business or organization, please let us know. Contact Us.