Branding Update – Aug. 1, 2011

CREATIVE

The branding initiative is making great progress and exciting things are happing with the Creative component.

We have transitioned from the Research (Science) stage to the Creative (Art) stage, which is much more subjective. The Creative Subcommittee, which consists of Josh Schamberger, Mary Quass, Tysen Kendig (UI), Joel Milefchik (Rockwell), and Ann Ricketts (UI), is doing a great job of working with North Star in refining the names and taglines. Their ultimate purpose is to recommend to the Task Force a final name and tagline, etc based on the brand platform.

Joel Milefchik, the corporate brand manager for Rockwell, has been particularly helpful during this creative process.

North Star’s first set of names and taglines/strap lines presented in March were not embraced by the Creative Subcommittee. After more discussion and input from the Subcommittee, North Star came back with a second set of names and taglines. The Subcommittee met again on July 12 and selected two primary names from the second set. Before they submit their final recommendation, they have asked North Star to apply some graphic development to the two names identified.

I expect that the Subcommittee will meet again in late August after North Star has been able to add those graphic enhancements, and hopefully will have something to recommend to the Task Force later in September.

TIMING

The entire branding process is taking longer than I anticipated, but I am comfortable with the extension. I’d much rather do it right than rush a final recommendation that we aren’t going to be happy with.

There have been several times this year that more information or more clarity on items like the Research or the Brand Platform were needed, which then caused some delays. It is okay, however, because this considerable thought and honest questioning along the way is very healthy and I think only reinforces that this entire branding process, while challenging, is almost as important as the final brand recommendation (i.e. name/logo/tagline, etc.).

After all, we are creating, for the first time, a tangible regional product so there are bound to be challenges along the way.

I will be trying to set up a new Task Force meeting in early Sept. to have us hopefully approve the final recommendation from the Creative Subcommittee.