Sometimes a community pursues a brand not because it has a big obstacle to overcome, but simply to move itself from good to great. Such was the case with Shawnee, Kansas. This charming community was doing most things right. But forward-thinking leadership recognized that its lack of a strong reputation was creating low awareness relative to its well-known neighbors in prestigious Johnson County. They wanted a unified identity to help the community attract positive attention and to stimulate economic growth…especially in light of the nation’s growing economic woes.
North Star research found that Shawnee has set a precedent for nurturing new beginnings. Historically, Shawnee’s fertile land attracted settlers looking to begin new lives. Shawnee was also the site of the first territorial legislature, and home to the first territorial governor. Currently, top-notch schools, affordable living, economic opportunity and lots of outdoor recreation combine to offer people an ideal environment for starting a family, a friendship, school, a career, a business or even a vacation. And Shawnee is also putting in place the framework for a vibrant future with initiatives like downtown revitalization and this brand. Finally, Shawnee nourishes all of these significant beginnings gracefully and quietly.
The line “Good Starts Here” is a positive reinforcement of all the good that has started within Shawnee’s borders as well as the fact that the community is custom-made for your own personal “good starts”. It manages to be at once supportive of Shawnee’s important heritage and its progressive future. The stylized tree in the logo has deep roots representing the heritage and far-reaching branches representing growth. It is a symbolic “tree of life”, ideal for supporting the idea of good starts.