The Brantford Identity Project is a community-wide initiative led by a group of community based volunteers to brand our city.
Building The Brand
The brand that we call our city – our home – becomes a foundation that we can help define, shape and share.
The brand of a community is more than just a logo, it is the identification of key messages that tell the story of the community; one that is authentic and reflects not only the fabric of the community, but its future vision.
A strong brand identity will:
- Create an authentic and unique brand that reflects Brantford
- Build on momentum
- Reinforce that Brantford is a dynamic, vibrant city
- Foster pride in all residents
- Support economic development
- Be meaningful and relevant to all stakeholders
A brand is a relationship defined by a promise symbolized by an identity expressed by communications and delivered through performance to create a seamless set of experiences that strategically shape the perceptions and behaviors of key stakeholders to create value and build trust.
Developing a successful brand is a three phase process:
The development of one ultimate idea, word or phrase that you want to own. It should capture both the tangible and intangible benefits we want the brand to stand for.
Is a visual expression of the brand strategy (personality traits and core values) determined in the brand strategy. The brand identity allows citizens, Council and staff to connect to our brand – one that is an authentic reflection of our community - one we can take pride and ownership in.
What the brand offers and what it provides. How do we deliver on our brand promise?
A number of components are explored in order to develop an effective Brand Strategy including:
Currently, Brantford is seen as a 'small town'
What is the current perception of the City among various stakeholders, as well as barriers to moving forward? Feedback and input obtained from city stakeholders including City staff, elected officials, business partners, and community. This input helped to shape the current image assessment of the City identify key challenges and opportunities going forward.
Personal interviews were held with Brantford Mayor Chris Friel, all members of Brantford City Council, and the City's Chief Administrative Officer.
The Community Survey had 670 participants (Click to review the survey results). From that, an extensive analysis took place, and a report was created.
A complete communications audit, including a review of social media and news, as well as a scan of the PEST (Political, Economical, Social and Technological environment) and a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) was completed as part of the input to the brand strategy process.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Analysis
- Strong post-secondary presence
- OLG Casino as revenue source
- Vibrant recreational & arts community
- Affordability & accessibility
- Negative external & internal perceptions
- Below average education & income levels
- Academic, Community and Corporate collaboration
- Entrepreneurial hot-bed
- Creative oasis
- Inability to attract & retain top talent
- Over-dependency on student population
- Inability to differentiate
Our vision for Brantford is to be a contemporary community, thriving in a modern economy.
The second step is to establish a vision for the future of the brand – an aspirational, enduring goal that is founded in reality. The City of Brantford of tomorrow is progressive and prosperous. A place that respects its past and embraces its future. It’s a city that welcomes opportunity and new thinking through education, business, and community.
Brantford is the most liveable city in Ontario because it champions transformation through education, supports small business and fosters a natural urban environment.
What sets Brantford apart today and into the future? This step defines a true point of difference for the brand and is key to establishing what is unique, special, different and memorable. Being able to truly establish unique points of difference in the hearts and minds of our stakeholders is critical for the City of Brantford’s long-term sustainability.
What are the core areas we value and are capable of delivering on now and in the future?
Creating a hub for entrepreneurs and small businesses
The City of Brantford is rooted in entrepreneurship. Developing and marketing current success stories will create a sense of pride and attract new businesses. Collaboration among organizations who support Small and Medium size enterprises can help create policies, programs and committees to serve the small business community.
Continously transforming the city and its citizens through education
We are champions of re-invention and transformation. Education will be the key in transforming the city, ensuring ongoing evolution. Brantford will promote a culture of lifelong learning through academics, sports and creative pursuits.
Harmoniously building the urban and natural environment
Brantford actively supports the sustainability of the unique balance between the urban and natural environment. We support miles of trails along the Grand River (not far from city streets) and are committed to the revitalization of the city.
Integrity, Commitment, Innovation, Lifelong Learning
What are the core values we want our brand to represent that will allow the people we serve and the wider group of stakeholders to connect with? These values will guide our actions and influence the perception others have when they interact with us.
We're honest, open and sincere. It shows in our actions and in our behaviour. It's in the way we treat our community and our citizens. We are united in our beliefs that together we will create a better place to live – remaining true to ourselves, always.
We are devoted to doing what it takes to build a future where anything is possible. And we’re in it for the long haul. We can rely on ourselves and each other to create a community where families thrive and people prosper.
We are proactive in our thinking and our actions – introducing new ideas and finding innovative ways to bring them to life. We support and nurture new solutions that drive progress.
Education is the gateway to making lasting change and we believe that learning should never stop. To meet new challenges and ensure growth, we pursue opportunity through education – within our community, for all of our community.
Welcoming, Forward-thinking, Collaborative, Community-oriented
What are the character traits we want to have represented in our brand?
We are a welcoming community and our residents are an open and honest group. But our spirit is what sets us apart. Our city invites new ways of thinking, different points of view and has a charming quality to anyone who chooses to make Brantford their home.
We are a group of passionate, intelligent people constantly adapting and challenging the status quo to stay relevant and to better our community. We are keenly aware of the past, but connect with the world around us – imagining new solutions, driving progress, and inspiring each other to be proactive, not reactive.
Sharing and being open with each other is one of our keys to success. We are a city that’s committed to working together to bring about change, well-being and community spirit. This sense of belonging is at the heart of what living in Brantford is all about.
Our residents look out for each other. We are a resilient bunch who support a progressive way of thinking and a progressive way of life. Our family-centric mentality contributes to hosting and taking part in everything the community has to offer.
What one ultimate idea, word or phrase can the brand own? We call it the brand essence because it is the very soul of the brand. Its purpose is to capture what we want the brand to stand for. It is not a tagline, but rather what we want to be known for.
Driven. By nature.
Changing Perceptions: From 'Small Town' to 'Vibrant 21st Century City'
Opportunity: To develop a brand that allows us to represent ourselves as a contemporary community thriving in a modern economy. To develop an identity that stands out and stands up. It’s time to give Brantford an identity that is relevant, a fresh new look.
Driven. By Nature.
What does this mean to you? To our citizens?
- Forward momentum
- Driven to succeed
What does this mean to potential business?
- Hardworking community
The brand strategy document will be the catalyst for all work developed. It will be used as our platform on which to build, define, shape and share our brand.
The brand personality traits set the tone and manner of all communication materials. Going forward, everything created - starting with the identity - must measure up to the brand essence: 'Driven. By Nature.'
We need to represent the City of Brantford as a 'vibrant 21st-Century City' – a contemporary community thriving in a modern economy. We must adopt this message in a way that appeals to all community groups.
The goal, to attract new people, new businesses and encourage new thinking amongst our community.
Our task now is to develop a look and feel that stands out and stands up to these defined criteria, giving our brand identity relevance, and a fresh, new look.
We believe anything is possible when you're driven, by nature.
Ever since Joseph Brant chose to settle at this spot on the Grand River, Brantford has been seen as a place of opportunity. Over the years, people here have seized that opportunity to create a life for themselves and their families, to build business, to form a community.
There's a spirit that runs through Brantford – a can-do attitude firmly rooted in the soil still close to us – yet our spirit, like that first telephone call, has always sought connections to the world around us. For we believe as much in interaction as we do in transaction.
It's in our nature to imagine new solutions, with the kind of drive that has led to manufacturing greatness and is forever embodied in the records of The Great One.
We continually take on new challenges and inspire others to reach their goals.
We are naturally driven to achieve our future by acting instead of reacting; by being self-reliant and knowing we can always rely on each other; by building on the knowledge of what we have accomplished and with the knowledge that learning never ends.
Ours will be a future that entertains new ideas and sustains the heritage we treasure.
One that balances an urban environment where business comes alive with a unique natural environment of endless fields and riverside trails that provides our better way of life.
Throughout our history we’ve had the vision to see what needs to be done and the resolve to see it through. With an unshakeable belief in our community and ourselves, we continue to work hard for our future because we believe anything is possible when you’re driven, by nature.
Simple. Unique. Ownable.
The Brand Strategy has been well conceived and provides the basis on which to build a brand identity for the City of Brantford. The Brantford community is a passionate community and is energized about Brantford’s new brand. Tapping into that passion and focusing it to drive forward will be the goal of the Branding Taskforce.
Stay tuned as the Taskforce develops a strategy to engage the community in the development of alternative logo designs for Brantford.