Budget Buy-In: How to Secure Funding for a Community Brand Project

The secret lies in demonstrating its ‘why’ & return on investment

A brand is an important facet of any community. It helps shape (or re-shape) your reputation, supports place marketing initiatives and sets you on a path toward your community’s preferred future. 

However, uncovering and developing a community brand is no easy task. It’s a highly strategic process as well as a financial and time investment. 

Securing the right resources for brand development may require budget approval from a council or commission. This pitch should focus on two key points: brand education and return on investment.

First and foremost, you must educate decision makers on the definition of a community brand. The investment isn’t strictly for a logo and tagline, but instead a multi-faceted identity and strategy that is designed to help shift perspectives and advance economic objectives. 

As you build understanding of a brand’s purpose, also share its intended return on investment. A community brand can support a variety of economic and marketing goals – you should quantify its potential impact as much as possible to demonstrate how the brand will help drive objectives forward. 

For example, a brand – when integrated with place marketing – can support increases in new resident relocation, local employment and job creation, hotel and bed tax revenue, web traffic and resident advocacy, to name a few. 

Ultimately, you must answer the question, “how will this brand help advance our community in some of the areas where we need it most?” as effectively as possible. 

To help make the case, share how the community brand should be activated and implemented locally and in target markets, depending on your objectives, to support various economic goals. 

This approach helps enhance understanding of the purpose of a brand as well as how it can advance larger objectives. While you shouldn’t promise specific results (e.g., X% increase in resident relocation) at this stage, you can certainly explain the brand’s relationship with key performance indicators that your community has established.At North Star, we’ve helped communities understand the impact of a brand, ultimately securing understanding and buy-in from the right people. If you’re ready to explore the topic with community leadership, let’s talk – we can help you make the project a reality in your market.