Rebranding Mebane – It Started With A Sign

watertower2It’s a strange to think of a city as a brand. There’s no storefront, no salespeople, no products on shelves. While you may not get a receipt, choosing a city for your home or business is one of the biggest “purchase” decisions you can make, and the greatest competition is the next closest mailing address.

Last year, Mebane’s city council set out to come up with a few new wayfinding signs, looking to polish the town’s curb appeal. The process started by developing a tagline to communicate what their city has to offer, but fully encapsulating an entire city is more difficult that it seems. Along the way, it became clear they were missing an essential piece of the puzzle… a logo.

The city council realized that Mebane, North Carolina needed a brand, and they would need help building one.

Partnering With The People Of A City

In partnering with the city of Mebane, North Star Marketing joined not only with a few members of city government, but with citizens from all walks of life. Together the people of Mebane helped give their hometown a brand to communicate everything they have to offer. Through focus groups, one-on-one interviews and surveys we got to know the city and what it means to those who call it home. This unique opportunity also brought with it responsibility, to not only attract new people, but to effectively communicate what Mebane represents to current residents.

Bringing A Brand To Life

Once all of our research, interviews and conversations were done, we put pen to paper. A team of two designers made hundreds of logo sketches, mock-ups and doodles, while our copywriters worked to write the perfect tagline.

watercolorEventually, the designers moved from pen to paintbrush, using watercolors to develop a logo that was natural and timeless, while at the same time bold and progressive. Working freehand to find the perfect brushstroke, page after page of concepts were developed, searching for just the right look, until the final design was digitized and constructed into the final logo.

The Mebane City Council unanimously approved the new logo and shortly thereafter applied it to the new water tower. (That makes it official.)

The logo of course, wouldn’t have been complete without the city of Mebane’s new tagline: Positively Charming. This tagline speaks volumes to what Mebane is to the people who live their lives in this unique and vibrant city. Together, the logo, tagline and new city seal provided Mebane something exciting and new – a symbol of pride and clarity.

Carrying A New Brand Forward

While the new logo and tagline give the city of Mebane a powerful tool, there is more to a brand than just a logo. Our focus now shifts to implementing this new brand, from creating signage to decals on city vehicles to letterheads. With all the city has to offer, planning is essential to the implementation of a new brand.

This unique partnership between Mebane and North Star Marketing has not only helped a city to communicate their identity, but has given us at North Star a memorable reminder of how much a brand can mean to the people of a community (especially since our firm principal Andy Lynch grew up in Mebane).

Do You Need A Rebrand?

If you would like to talk about what a rebrand could do for your city, school, business or non-profit organization, contact North Star Marketing by phone at 336.229.6610 or request more information today!

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