Form vs. function. Although modest in population at 40,000, Columbus, Indiana is ranked a surprising fifth in the U.S. for architecturally significant cities putting it in the same company as New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami. Research showed that residents are well aware - and proud -- of Columbus' architectural status. But many don't see the connection between an interesting building and the things that matter most in their lives including jobs, safety, children and education. So how can a city with a reputation for design excellence optimize that advantage and still create a brand that's "of the people."
More than just a pretty building. North Star's research revealed that Columbus' architecture is not just significant, it's memorable! Dazzling modern design combined with exemplary building standards turn common structures like schools, city hall, bridges and the fire stations into functional works of art people won't soon forget. Research also showed that the outstanding architecture of Columbus is not just about the buildings, it's about applying a standard of excellence to the everyday in a way that inspires greatness in all you do. Ultimately, Columbus doesn't just do buildings better, it strives to do everything better. And that's a connection hardworking residents can feel good about.
Position Columbus as a place where there's an environment of excellence, which creates an uncommon atmosphere that inspires you to shape your world.
One of the ways North Star brings your brand to life is with a Brand Identity package, which is the creative representation of your identity. Creative goodies include recommendations for a logo, strap line, color palette, print ads, outdoor boards, t-shirts, websites and more! (Note: The “initial concept” is North Star’s recommendation. As our client’s brand implementation progresses we will provide their “evolution of the idea”!)
Evolution of the Idea
The following logos were developed by MyersCroxton Group.
Bringing a two-dimensional brand to life in a three-dimensional community takes a strong brand action plan. Following are a sampling of action ideas from the hundreds developed specifically for Columbus. All were designed to help them wear their brand like a second skin.
For a complete list of brand activities currently being implemented, click HERE.
- Surprise visitors in their rooms - Work with local hoteliers to make hotel rooms a place full of unexpected branded treats for visitors. For example, provide relevant reading material like Architectural Digest in every room. Place modeling clay in branded containers in rooms with an invitation to “Shape your Perfect Stay.” Have chocolates made in the shape of your most famous buildings to leave on pillows at night. Include samples of local wines in wet bars, etc.
- Inviting all architects - Host a national architecture convention in one of your architecturally significant institutes of higher learning. Include an architectural tour as one of the activities associated with the convention. Simulcast presentations for those interested individuals who can’t make it to the meeting.
- Design something new from the old - Work with a local artist to design a public art project using pieces of the torn down post office.
- Make it fun for business prospects - Send out a business recruitment package that includes branded modeling clay and the line, “Come shape an unforgettable business in Columbus” or a box of Legos with the line “Come build an unforgettable business in Columbus.”
- Greet them at the Airport - Incorporate the brand identity into airport signage. See the idea in action by clicking HERE
1,500+ Residents Respond to Plea to Brand Columbus
Columbus Unveils New Branding
For a complete list of recent growth and developmet in Columbus, click here.
- Columbus ranked at the top of Area Development's 2012 Leading Locations List
(Click here for more on
- In 2011 Columbus experienced: a 19.2% growth in tour sales income, the website had 172,799 visitors, and Columbus enjoyed a 18.5% increase in innkeeper's tax collections
- Lilly awarded a $38-million dollar grant to fund workforce development (Advanced Manufacturing, Health, Hospitality and Tourism) Project to include Pelli-design for Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Dream It Do It initiative – also to support careers in manufacturing
- Columbus Chamber was named Indiana Chamber of the Year.
- Columbus Visitors Center was named National Association of Sports Commissions’ Member of the Year in 2008.
- Columbus was recognized as one of America’s Top 100 best places to live and launch a business by Fortune Small Business magazine in April 2008 issue.
- 2008 National Geographic Traveler ranked Columbus 11th out of 109 of the globe’s most historic destinations – higher than any other U.S. city – calling it the “jewel in the region” which boasts "world-class mid-century modern architecture."
"More than a tagline or an ad campaign, this brand creates our own unique identity. It also lets us tie marketing and business together in a cohesive package."
- Fred L. Armstrong, Mayor, Columbus, IN
"The best part of the program for us was the research that substantiated the ultimate differentiation."
- Rick Johnson, President Johnson Ventures; Columbus private-sector branding partner