Some community brands practically write themselves. Like when you have the world’s deepest canyon just a stone’s throw away or a gritty heritage based on musical innovation. But one of the most daunting challenges is identifying a brand based on a subtle cultural attitude. Such was the case with Lee’s Summit, Missouri, a really truly absolutely fantastic place to live (which has won lots of awards saying so). But “award-winning great place to live, work and play” just isn’t very distinct.
North Star research found that Lee’s Summit is a city defined by the highest quality in everything, but residents are completely modest about its accomplishments. Living in Lee’s Summit is not about achieving a certain status. It’s about a certain state of being. The Summit is a place where you can be casually comfortable in your own skin, and where newcomers are welcome to have as much of a voice in shaping the community as those who have lived here forever.
The creative challenge in Lee’s Summit was developing a brand that showcased the wonderful things in the community in a way that doesn’t sound braggadocios. Did we mention that Lee’s Summit folks are modest? The key was to profile major achievements within the context of the accomplishments made by Lee’s Summit residents… because all the greatest things about the community came from residents. The line “Yours Truly” works on a number of levels. First, it stands for the way that the Summit truly does belong to its citizenry. Second, it serves as a casual sign off in government and business letters that reinforces the brand. Finally, it serves as a launching board to present the great achievements of ordinary citizens. The simple logo doesn’t compete with the creative concept and it can support both sophisticated and down-to-earth mediums. In addition, it can easily be used as a gravicon or as a kind of tongue-in-cheek trademark after the name of the city.