Being “the other Paris” heaps a lot of expectations on a city. Paris, Texas holds up just fine in that regard. Their larger challenge is capturing their rightful share of Texas’s significant economic growth at more than 90 miles northeast of Dallas, which puts it just outside the ever-expanding Metroplex. Paris leaders knew they had something special—a combination of comfortable, small-town living with resilient, hard-working people, striking architecture, a solid manufacturing base fueled by ample water supply and an untouchable intangible—optimism. Major corporations like Campbell’s Soup and Kimberly-Clark had already figured out the charms of Paris. The hope with improved branding was to expand the City’s appeal to attract more employers, visitors and new residents migrating north from crowded Dallas and from all around the country in the midst of and following the COVID migration.
Paris’s fundamentals were quite strong. So, while tempting, it didn’t need to try and leverage its name anymore than it already had via its replica Eiffel Tower visitor attraction. The research process of course included a thorough examination of whether leveraging its name and French connection made sense, but ultimately North Star and Paris leaders concluded it did not. The overwhelming point of leverage was that the people and workforce of Paris exhibited remarkable vision, perseverance, work ethic and grit. From their North Texas location, throughout history they reached higher and made things happen. Even when the city burned in 1916, leaders hung a sign the very next day to inspire hope and conviction. The sign read, “SMILE.” That same spirit of optimism is alive today and forms the central leg of their competitive story.
Leveraging its northern location, spirit of determination, and with a wink to the direction its Eiffel Tower points, North Star created the “Where Texans Reach Higher” strapline to convey the special makeup of Parisians. The brand narrative tells that special story from 1916, then repeats the theme again referencing tornado recoveries and other victories over adversity the City has faced. In every case, they reached higher and prevailed. The new brand tells Employers they can expect that same level of focus, determination and goodwill every work day. Visitors can expect top notch hospitality. Residents can expect a higher level of service. In a community that values history and traditions, the new brand was met with great acceptance and found itself on a water tower within three months of the launch!