SUCCESS B R A N D I N G Tillsonburg refreshes its story and look

The term ‘brand’ has become a buzzword these days among savvy hipsters and seasoned executives alike. But just what is a brand and why does it matter to a municipality like Tillsonburg? For starters, a brand isn’t a logo. “A logo might be the picture you associate with a brand, but it’s not the brand itself,” says Colleen Pep- per, Marketing and Communica- tions Officer for the Town of Till- sonburg. “The heart of a brand is a story and the lived experiences that follow it.” “No one is under any illusions that a great logo is a magic bullet that will bring business to this town,” adds Tillsonburg’s Development Commissioner Cephas Panschow. “But in an increasingly competitive world, everything counts. If you’re trying to position your municipality as being progressive, but everything you’re doing and showing to people says otherwise, you’re in trouble. There’s a disconnect there and it has to be addressed.” Addressing the disconnect was precisely what Pepper, Panschow and eight other members of the Town’s brand task force set out to do earlier this year. Over the course of six months, the community-led

team used surveys, focus groups and other public engagement tools to refine the Tillsonburg story for the 21st century. “It had been about 20 years since the Town had reviewed its brand,” explains Panschow. “While the pro- cess ended up being more involved than we had anticipated, I think ev- eryone is really pleased with what we accomplished.” In the end, the Task Force was able to boil down the essence of Tillson- burg to three words: connected, en- riched and inspired. Helping the group navigate the rebranding process was Chris Kelly, principal of ifourone Design.

“As a local boy, this was a really special project,” says Kelly. “Every- one at the table was so passionate. We wanted to make sure that what- ever we came up with rang true.” In March, Council adopted the Task Force’s logo and brand recom- mendation and Town staff are now focused on rolling it out consistently across the corporation. “The goal of a new brand is to en- able the Tillsonburg community to be more successful in attracting and retaining investment,” says Mayor Stephen Molnar. “Now that the tra- jectory has been set, I think we’re going to see the momentum build and great things happen.”

The new logo, designed by Chris Kelly of ifourone Design, is personable, welcoming and fun while still being professional. The custom typeface suggests an autograph.


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