- Scope definition, project charter and creative brief, including engagement options
- Development of engagement tools, content and processes
- Engagement of citizens and stakeholders
- Interim and summary reports of findings and proposed brand approach
- Creation of final recommended brand option and presentation to Regional Council
- Development of brand guidelines, templates and policies protecting the brand’s integrity and value
- Assistance with an incremental and prioritized implementation plan
What is a brand?
A brand is much more than a logo, tagline or a jingle. A brand is the net impression of all the thoughts and feelings someone has for a particular person, place or thing. It conveys a personality, evokes an emotional response and promises an experience – one that highlights our best attributes.
What is a place brand?
A good place brand better positions regions in a global market and helps manage their identities. It reflects the best characteristics and attributes of the region and is the cumulative stories of the people and activities that are authentic and different from other regions. This project is about defining a place brand.
Good place brands are based on extensive stakeholder engagement. We want to do it right so investing upfront in research and stakeholder consultation is of the utmost importance – so much so that nearly three-quarters of the project budget is devoted to these activities. Much of this activity will focus on broad citizen engagement. Other activities will include engaging key stakeholders. The Greater Halifax Partnership will work with HRM on the design and delivery of the business and economic-related aspects of stakeholder engagement. Feedback from all of these activities will help define the brand.
Does this brand project include the development of a new brand for the municipal government (organization) as well as the region (place)?
This project is focused on articulating a ‘place brand’, that is, the brand of our region. As part of this effort, the organizational identity of the municipal government will be also be articulated – and aligned with the brand of the municipality as a whole.
The branding initiative will serve to provide consistency and connectedness amongst the municipal government’s departmental identities (expressed via logos, promotional materials, etc.). This will be achieved throughout the organization using a ‘master brand’ approach which will be reflected in all programs, services and activities.
Some municipal services that have a distinct and relevant impression with the public (e.g. Police, Fire & Emergency, Recreation, Metro Transit etc.) will maintain their existing, individual brand identities until they are considered through the lens of the ‘master brand’.
The legal name of Halifax Regional Municipality will not change.
What are the benefits?
Since the amalgamation of distinct municipalities within the region almost 20 years ago, a collective identity has evolved, but neither in a cohesive nor consistent manner.
The marketplace has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Our community is competing in a global environment for investment, tourism and talent. We need to effectively capture and share what sets us apart as a community – our brand must inspire residents, businesses, investors and visitors to experience all that we have to offer.
Research shows that the current identity is not particularly successful in this regard. Recent feedback from citizens’ focus groups and surveys indicate residents are looking for something not yet defined - an expressive, shared sense of identity to which they can rally and support.
A strong brand will allow us to successfully compete with other regions in attracting new citizens, talent, tourists, businesses, investments, and events. Having a strong well-conceived place brand will also give citizens a shared sense of identity to which they can rally and support.
Good place brands facilitate “on brand” decisions about growth, marketing, sponsorships etc. These are decisions that draw from a shared set of values and a vision of what we collectively aspire to become – a vision that we, not others, define for ourselves.
Based on successful place brand efforts in other destinations, HRM can expect return on investment in the coming years simply by having an effective brand guided by detailed brand standards, templates and policies to protect the brand’s integrity and value.
These standards will drive consistency, efficiency and clarity in all of our communications efforts.
Why do we need to replace the old logo?
The creation of a strong place brand is an opportunity to capture and define who we are and who we aspire to be. We want to it to resonate with local citizens, staff, businesses and visitors both nationally and internationally. Part of a place brand is visual identity. We need a visual identity that is representative of our region, is easily recognizable, and that people truly connect with because it is relevant and inspiring.
The branding initiative also will serve to provide consistency and connectedness amongst the municipal government’s departmental identities (expressed via logos, promotional materials, etc.). This will be achieved by fostering broad support throughout the organization for a ‘master brand’ approach which will be reflected in all programs, services and activities.
How can a brand development process make a region a ‘better’ place to live?
A strong well-conceived place brand can mean the difference between economic growth and decline. A brand is the basis for promoting the region in a strong consistent fashion. We want to attract and retain skilled workers and professionals. By creating a fresh, new cohesive way of communicating our municipality’s identity, we are telling the world what a great place it is to live, work, invest and visit.
Will the name of the municipality change as a result of the branding project?
The project, as part of articulating a brand for the municipality as a whole, will express a unified identity for our region and HRM as an organization. This will help distinguish municipal services and programs while promoting the best attributes of municipal interests and assets. However, it will not change the legal name of the municipality (Halifax Regional Municipality) or replace its official crests or flags.
How much will the branding project cost?
The successful proponent, Revolve Branding Inc., was the highest scoring respondent for the RFP (#P13-083) at a cost of $216,914.88 net HST and subcontract costs included. Revolve Branding’s sub-contractors include: Genivar Inc., and Corporate Research Associates.
Why will it cost this much?
We want to do it right so investing upfront in research and stakeholder consultation was of the utmost importance – so much so that nearly three-quarters of the project budget is devoted to these activities. Also the project has intensive creative and strategic development phases that require a significant investment of resources to be completed successfully.
What does the money pay for?
Phases in the creation of a brand include:
When can you expect the brand launch?
The brand recommendation will be brought to Regional Council in the spring of 2014. Pending Council approval, a phased implementation will begin, guided by detailed brand standards, templates and policies to protect the brand’s integrity and value.
Where are we going to see the new brand unfold?
We are currently assessing priorities and will be developing a strategy to best introduce the brand. It will include both short-term (website re-design, business cards, sign in Council Chamber, etc.) and long-term (fleet, facility signage) tactics.
Collaboration and input from partners such as Greater Halifax Partnership, Destination Halifax, Halifax Chamber of Commerce, etc. will be critical to the successful roll-out of the brand. Once it’s launched, we expect these partners to embrace the brand and help us live and promote it in the region and beyond.