Discovering the Gahanna Brand
We appreciate your interest in our recent Gahanna branding initiative. We initially began this process in 2016 when the need for a brand identity was identified in the Economic Development Strategy and GoForward Gahanna strategic plan. Due to staffing changes the project was temporarily placed on hold but was reactivated in February of 2018. The City unveiled its new brand logo, slogan, and positioning to the public on July 27, 2018. We hired a professional community branding firm, Align2Market, to lead this process.
We have taken great measures to involve the entire community in this important work. This includes forming an Advisory Group made up of individuals representing the City, economic development, tourism, the business community, the school system and residents. We also conducted dozens of executive 1:1 interviews, implemented a community-wide research study and held a community forum that was open to the public. It was the input of all of these touchpoints that made up the ingredients of the branding process.
Historically, the City of Gahanna has taken a narrow approach to brand management. The most recent City logo and design standards date to the mid-2000’s. The “Gahanna Arch” logo has become an integral part of many City publications, street signs, and other communications tools. However, it has lacked any accompanying brand management strategies or tools such as message development, brand standards, communications strategies, or integration with internal and external community communications.
Throughout the stakeholder outreach of the City’s Economic Development Strategy and the community engagement phase of the GoForward Gahanna strategic planning project, the City received frequent input that the City does not have a brand, a defined brand identity or a cohesive communications strategy. As a result, the development and launch of a new City brand were identified as a strategic priority in the GoForward Gahanna Strategic Plan, adopted by Gahanna City Council in April of 2016.
What is a community brand and why is this important?
First, it’s important to understand what a brand is not – a brand is not solely a logo, slogan or marketing campaign. Rather, a community brand represents the characteristics and personality of a community. It’s about more than buildings, places, and things. It’s made up by the spirit of the people who help give the community an authentic and genuine voice. It’s the community’s DNA.
A community brand crafts an image and shapes perceptions of internal and external audiences. It frames how people talk about a place, shapes a community’s reputation and gives a community its sense of place. It also becomes a rallying cry for residents and lifts community pride.
Developing our brand is one of the best investments our city can make and one we expect a positive return from. A strong community brand positively impacts a city’s economic health and prosperity. It increases destination attractiveness leading to enhanced quality of life. It makes a community more attractive to new residents and helps a community attract business development and visitors. This activity provides incremental tax revenue that gets reinvested in city infrastructure and place-making.
Data from the survey and links to City strategic initiatives:
The topline findings from our research are:
- Gahanna is an incredibly strong family community and a great place to raise a family
- Gahanna offers a strong quality of life for residents
- Gahanna is diverse, welcoming and friendly
- Gahanna is down to earth and easy going
- Gahanna is grounded but offers me the freedom to explore
- Gahanna is caring and generous
- Gahanna has great parks and beautiful natural resources
- Gahanna connects people, places, and things
The Evolution of Gahanna’s Brand
Logo and Tagline
Branding a community is a journey that doesn’t happen overnight. The rollout of our brand, logo, and tagline is just the beginning. Over the course of the next several months, you’ll see the brand and our messaging evolve in various elements throughout the city.
For additional questions or more information email email@example.com.