After two years of research, discussion, design and preparation, Charlotte community leaders are prepared to unveil a new community brand that is authentically Charlotte — traditional, timeless, and optimistic.
The community brand, which was developed by Redhead Design Studio of Old Town, and funded by the Can Do! marketing committee and CharlotteRising promotions action team, will be unveiled the week of April 23 on two billboards located directly across from the Charlotte Performing Arts Center.
Charlotte has seen tremendous success in the past with community branding campaigns. The “Celebrate Charlotte” campaign in the early 2000s helped to create a more positive perception of the community in the greater Lansing region through its catchy jingle, “Celebrate, Celebrate Charlotte,” and television ad campaign. The #CharlotteRising brand is the most recent success story, which played off Charlotte’s selection as a Rising Tide community and was used often over the course of the last two years in identifying revitalization efforts and success stories.
The new community brand has the ability to do much of the same. Only this time intention was made to create a brand that could be used seamlessly by organizations throughout the community to put forth a clear and consistent message. Its very creation was the collaborative effort of a number of organizations and individuals who were provided several opportunities to offer feedback to Redhead’s team throughout the creative process.
“The most poignant thing I heard was, ‘it feels like home,’ and ‘it just feels right,’” said Jennifer Estill, Creative Director with Redhead Design Studio about the response the new brand and logo has elicited already. “This brand feels like the absolute best of you. It has just enough character and uniqueness to set you apart, which is what is happening here in Charlotte. You’re not just any old small town, this is a specific and interesting place that is a destination unto itself.”
Redhead Design Studio was selected through a bidding process in 2016 to help the CanDo! marketing advisory committee develop a new community brand. Marketing Committee Chair Darice Darling said Redhead Design Studio was chosen for a number of reasons. One of which was that their team very clearly understood the direction the community was heading. Redhead has worked with Lansing’s Old Town as a Michigan Main Street community extensively in the past and understood the process Charlotte is currently undertaking.
“They are very emotionally invested in this brand,” Darling said. “They have been with us every step of the way.”
A preview of the brand, which includes a new community logo and marketing campaign, was presented to members of the boards of CanDo!, CharlotteRising, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Public Schools and Charlotte Downtown Development Authority on Wednesday, April 11, during the organizations’ quarterly collaborative meeting.
Matt Rush, president and CEO of Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, and a member of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce board of directors said he felt that Redhead Design Studio, “absolutely nailed” the creation of the new community brand.
“Knowing a little how this process went, this group has been amazing at leading and listening,” Rush said. “That can be hard to do when you have such strong opinions and such passion for the community. To come up with this is just astounding.”
Darling said the team working on the development talked to a lot of people over the course of a year and a half.
“We wanted to create something we are all proud of that accurately represents Charlotte and who we are,” Darling said. “It was amazing throughout this process how consistent the feedback we received was, so we knew we were on the right track.”
Darling said the marketing advisory committee and CharlotteRising Promotions Action Team will be working on a communications plan and branding standards for use of the new community brand following its unveiling in two weeks.
“#CharlotteRising was a very strong brand for us in the Lansing region for some time and I think that carried us very nicely to a spot where, we’re still rising, but it is time to introduce this new brand and keep it fresh in people’s mind,” said Jason Vanderstelt, CharlotteRising board member and Can Do! marketing advisory committee member.
Information regarding the formal unveiling will be released when details are finalized.