This past year we had the honor of partnering with the Myerstown borough to build a brand and marketing strategy for the town as part of the town’s revitalization plan. Myerstown has a vibrant history and today has many positive attributes and is positioned to be a thriving small town. The council’s comprehensive plan includes initiatives to create a sense of place within the town, form a strong community, and provide an ideal setting for new businesses and residents. Our team appreciated the council’s vision and action focused approach to revitalizing the town. We are excited for the future of this special small town.
Keep reading to hear about this rewarding project – don’t miss the film near the end!
When compared to a business brand, a town brand has it’s own nuances. Probably most significant, the heart of a town brand is the very people living and working in the town. A business can require employees to align, but a town cannot. As a result; earning trust with the community, creating buy in, and getting the community excited about the vision is an essential part of the process. Second, it is important the brand is a true reflection of the town and aligns with the town experience. A business can shift it’s experience quickly, a town may take years. Third, creating a town brand is a balance between forming the brand around what the town is today while vision casting and understanding the town’s future as it progresses. Both what is now and the future of a town is broad with many moving pieces.
However, the foundation of a town brand is the same as any other brand. We are communicating to people. It starts by identifying the message, who is being spoken to, what brand ‘language’ will be most effective, and identifying the desired results.
Following is a summary of the process of building the Myerstown brand story.
We began by interviewing key stakeholders, influencers’, and businesses in town asking questions such as: What do you believe is Myerstown’s greatest asset? And biggest obstacle? Do you have ideas on how to help the community catch the vision of revitalizing the town? Why did you choose to open your business in Myerstown? We reviewed the Myerstown’s comprehensive plan covering in detail the projects the council is undertaking. We studied the town history and reviewed the current statistics on the town including demographics, income level, homeowners versus renters. We asked people living outside the town what their perspective is of the town. This phase enabled us to get a sense of the town’s heartbeat, it’s history, what it is today, and vision for the future. After the audit and research phase was completed, we were ready to build the brand foundation.
Building the brand foundation is the heart of our process. We take our clients through our seven-step process to form the brand foundation. Question asking and thoughtful strategy are the tools needed for this phase. The town’s strengths, values, why others will choose the town, who will live and work there, and how the town is making an impact is some of what is identified. Along with this step, the gems of Myerstown were identified.
After the brand foundation was finalized with the council, the visual language of the brand was developed. The brand look and feel, colors, font, logo and tagline were developed. The visual language is guided by the brand foundation and is an incredibly impactful part of the brand story. The voice of the town and the experience it offers was also defined. Without a question, Myerstown is a place that feels like home. Many people grow up here and have family nearby. The town has traditional values of family, sustainability, preservation, and community.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
Myerstown’s look evokes feelings of a thriving community, outdoor recreation, and small town life. The aesthetic is welcoming and relatable to all age groups. Textures of the town such as stone, brick, greenery, and water are incorporated into Myerstown’s look. The colors of Myerstown are classic and warm portraying a town that is both historic and innovative.
THE BRAND COLORS
Myerstown colors are lake blue, slate gray, cloudy beige, and historic yellow. The blue hints at the history and importance of the Myerstown waterways. The slate gray and cloudy beige are warm neutrals that add professionalism to the brand. The historic yellow mimics the window panes found on the Isaac Meier Homestead; paying tribute to the history of the town. As a whole, the brand colors create a look that is inviting and comforting.THE LOGO
The Myerstown logo is clean and modern. The icon features an “M” with an arch inspired by the arched bridges in the town and the historic importance of the town’s waterways. The tagline speaks to the heart of the town message.The town’s own community was determined to be the initial target audience with a goal of creating community pride and excitement for the future. This will form a sense of place and that ‘something is special here’ feeling. While overlapping with the first phase, a second phase will focus on attracting new people into the town. As a third phase, the town will be positioned to attract tourists.
The next phase was activating the brand story by communicating and sharing. Communication is key to creating town pride among the community. Social media strategy was discussed. A new website is being built by a company that specializes in municipal websites – our team is providing the creative direction. Extensive photography of the town was completed. A postcard was designed and will be mailed to the community. Our team designed entry point signage and street signage that will be installed in the coming months.
We partnered with MAKE films to create a heartwarming film for the town.
VIEW IT HERE: MYERSTOWN FILM
Monthly meetings and presentations with the council kept the 9 month project on track while allowing us to work closely with the council.
Here is the summary of Myerstown’s Brand story:
Myerstown has a history that began with the settlement of German immigrants in the 1700’s. Today the town is proud to offer a place that is centered around community. Myerstown is a place with a diverse economy, sustainable neighborhoods, authentic service, and preserved history; a place where traditional values are upheld without ignoring the importance of building a town that serves future generations. Myerstown allows its residents and visitors to live well and connect with family and friends through a charming and walkable town. When the people of Myerstown connect with their community they feel a sense of belonging that allows them to thrive and give back in ways that grow the town’s culture and economy.
Our team looks forward to continue supporting Myerstown by bringing the brand story to life. Brand story magic happens when a brand story is lived out, people experience it, and as a result start falling in love with the brand – in this case, a place. Myerstown has a big year coming up in 2018 with a 250th anniversary. We are excited about the incredible opportunity this provides Myerstown to invite the community to take pride in their history and catch the vision for where the town is going. Festivals, 5k races, parades, and more are being planned. The Sestercentennial Celebrations will be a beautiful way to live out the town’s brand story and invite others to experience the heart of the brand story – “Built on Community.”
We thank the Myerstown borough for the opportunity to partner with them and know the town has an incredible future!
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