CH City Council undertakes branding study
Cleveland Heights City Council approved a promotional branding initiative at its July 2 meeting. The branding study is intended to define and refine the Cleveland Heights story, and to help tell prospective homeowners and business owners why Cleveland Heights is a great place to work and live. The study is expected to begin by early August.
The city hired Align2Market, an Ohio-based branding and consulting firm, to conduct the study, collect and review the data, and create a strategic marketing plan. Data collection is expected to take about two to three months, with the analysis, message development, creative design and rollout expected to take another four to five months. The cost of the study is not to exceed $85,000.
Align2Market will also study five other cities, not yet chosen, that compete with Cleveland Heights to attract residents and businesses.
The study will consist of focus groups and surveys, as well as one-on-one interviews. The city wants to hear from residents and business owners regarding why they chose to live, work, and open businesses in Cleveland Heights, and what they feel differentiates it from other cities. It plans to convene four or five focus groups, each limited to around 12 people, including residents and business and community leaders.
“We want to [be] collaborative with the residents and businesses,” said Mary Trupo, Cleveland Heights’ director of communications and public engagement. “We are trying to reach as many people as we can through as many avenues as we can.”
All residents who are on the city of Cleveland Heights email list, currently about 13,000, will receive a survey. [To sign up for the city’s e-mail list, go to the city’s website, www.clevelandheights.com.] The survey will also be available on all of Cleveland Heights’ social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor.com.
Cleveland Heights is currently putting together a promotional branding steering committee that will provide guidance throughout the study, participate in a brand alignment workshop, review research, help develop the brand narrative and review strategic implementation. The committee will comprise members of various city departments, including economic development, parks and recreation and public relations, as well as three representatives from community organizations, three residents and three business owners.
All of the information gathered will be compiled into a singular brand intended to give residents as sense of pride in their city, attract new residents and encourage new or expanding businesses to choose Cleveland Heights. The city expects to use the study to determine messaging for use in speeches and interviews, and to review new, creative designs for the city logo.
Anyone interested in the study can follow Cleveland Heights on Facebook, and on Twitter at the handle @ClvHtsGov.
Julie Hullett, a 2018 graduate of John Carroll University, is a summer intern for the Heights Observer. She has worked for The Carroll News, WJCU and the Society of Professional Journalists, and held internships with the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, ABC News and the Office of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge. One day, Hullett hopes to connect her community through the art of storytelling.