The Answer Isn’t A Logo & Tagline

How many times have you heard these attributions?

“We moved our company here because we thought this city had the best logo.”

 “I took a job in this market because their slogan really spoke to me.”

“We spent a weekend here because the brand colors and graphics were appealing.”

That’s right, never. In fact, most people can’t call up the logo or tagline of even the most prosperous and popular cities.

For all the focus, sweat, angst and controversy over community logos and taglines, community brands are not built on these elements – they are built on community behaviors. These behaviors are the character traits already hardwired into a community’s DNA and the incremental behaviors and actions that the logo and tagline inspire once a well-conceived, widely embraced community branding program is in place. Behaviors create your community experience. Then, your community experience builds your brand and reputation.

Here’s what successful community branding answers look like (notice the behaviors and actions):

A community with creativity at its core activates creativity at all touchpoints – public art (even public trash containers!), events, restaurants and lodging, the airport, policy setting and planning.

A community with excellence at its core brings a standard of excellence to all that it does. City and county employee performance expectations, architecture, speaker series, community entryways and competing for awards and designations that celebrate its aspirations and actions.

A community that pins its DNA on always going the extra mile brings those behaviors to city and county services, hospitality, economic development team efforts, historic memorials and markers, social services and neighborly actions – always trying harder and delivering more.

A community with natural assets and outdoor lifestyle at its core sets aside public outdoor spaces and invests in parks, encourages study and thought leadership around its natural assets and even builds industry (i.e. jobs) around serving outdoor interests and activities.

See the pattern? These are the actions that build reputation and passion for your community.

So are the logo and tagline unimportant? No! They are critical elements for creating community excitement about what you stand for and providing a compass setting for the future (“this is what we’re about, this is where we’re going.”)  To outside consumers, they indicate that you know who you are and are well organized, professional and intentional. Your logo and tagline are important accents for setting an expectation and telling at least the beginning of your story.

You’ll tell the full story, and reap the benefits of community branding, when your community lives into its DNA with actions and behaviors that create your one-of-a-kind community experience.