CH's brand survey reveals diversity 'most valued'
It was a busy summer moving forward with the city of Cleveland Heights’ branding effort. Over a two-month period, our branding consultants held a series of one-on-one interviews, focus groups, expanded outreach and a community survey. All in all, we heard from around 1,000 Cleveland Heights residents and business owners. We also gathered input through our Facebook page and at www.clevelandheightsbrand.com. In addition, a competitive analysis was completed on seven other Northeast Ohio cities.
What was discovered will be no surprise to many of you. Cleveland Heights is a remarkable community nestled in the inner-belt of Cleveland’s East Side. With a purposeful, intentional focus on the values of diversity, acceptance, and a fervent sense of “home,” the city has a powerful distinction relative to peer cities.
Diversity stands out as the most valued characteristic. In our case, diversity encompasses races, faiths, incomes, education and thought. Diversity in Cleveland Heights is really more than a characteristic—it is a foundational and purposeful tenet that is protected and embraced by the city.
This is not to say we are without our challenges. However, the strong sense of home seems to outweigh many of these weaknesses. We heard over and over again that “there is no place else I would ever live,” or that Cleveland Heights “may not be for everyone, but for some it’s the only one.”
Through the branding initiative, we will take all the information gathered and develop an authentic (another strong characteristic valued by Cleveland Heights residents) brand story and messaging. This effort will lead us to the development of creative elements including a logo and tagline.
A well-branded city, with its businesses and residents sharing a unified message, can help position the city as a desirable place to live, visit and build a business—all of which can result in increased economic prosperity.
We have our work cut out for us throughout the holidays, but our plan is to roll out our new brand early in 2019. Having our community—residents and businesses—be brand ambassadors to help support the new brand will be a critical component of our success. We’ll be sure to keep you abreast of new developments and ways to remain engaged.
Visit our branding website at www.clevelandheightsbrand.com to review the results of the research and for ongoing updates and information.
Mary Trupo is director of communications and public engagement for the city of Cleveland Heights.