North Olmsted Brand Strategy & Identity

Case Study

Brand Experience, Brand Identity, Civic Branding

North Olmsted is an established suburb of Cleveland, with tree-lined residential streets, where generations have planted roots, raised families or run businesses. People of all ages and ethnic backgrounds live a comfortable life at an affordable price, equipped with new state-of-the-art school facilities, robust parks and recreation, and high quality city services.

Challenge

In 2010, the city worked with Guide Studio to develop a new logo and color palette. While these tools brought more clarity to the city’s personality, they didn’t help the city tell their story. Adding to the communication issues was a lack of consistency across city divisions and departments, as well as an influx of new employees.

As Lieber described it: “We wanted to make the brand more useful and usable; we needed a way to put the non-tangible qualities that make us stand apart into words. This helps everyone understand that our brand is not just a picture — there is a philosophy behind it.”

“Most people understand how important physical infrastructure is. But there is more to the body of the city than the infrastructure. People have choices with where they live and spend their free time. This brand strategy helps articulate why North Olmsted is a good choice. It creates the ability to tell our story.”

Kim Lieber,Director of Planning & Development, City of North Olmsted

North Olmsted Discovery Session
North Olmsted Challenges and Advantages

Solutions

  • Using discovery workshops, interactive exercises as well as candid discussions, Guide developed a comprehensive Brand Strategy Framework — including four key personality traits, a positioning statement, a fully defined brand purpose, brand voice and marketing-ready messaging.
  • Guide also refreshed and expanded upon the existing visual identity, including: logo variations, color palette, logo applications, brand standards and more.
  • Additionally, Guide held training sessions for all those using the brand, showing how the unified look and messaging could be applied to what city employees do every day. This reinforced the importance of the work, and how it is a tool for everyone.

“It’s remarkable how the slight changes we made to the logo from 2010 to today make it more relatable and more consistent with our brand purpose. Those small change made a big difference.”

Kim Lieber,Director of Planning & Development, City of North Olmsted

North Olmsted Brand Guidelines

Results

The new brand is being rolled out through print and digital communications as well as via the physical space, using gateway and other key signage. “This will be icing on the cake,” as Lieber describes it, “carrying the visual brand forward in the way we had hoped and aligning all of our efforts.”

Furthermore, only a month into implementation, the Parks & Recreation department and Springvale Golf Course & Ballroom, which had previously operated as “sub brands” with their own identity, have launched marketing efforts under the new Brand Strategy Framework.

“I’m seeing people get excited about what we’re doing as a city. These departments have both had capital investments in their facilities, and they’re seeing how the investment we’ve made in our brand can make their work even stronger,” says Lieber.

Photo Gallery

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