Fairfield unveils new brand
After more than 18 months of research, assessment and planning, the Fairfield Iowa Convention Center & Visitors Bureau along with the city of Fairfield unveiled the new tourism brand and city brand at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.
CVB Director Rustin Lippincott, Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy and CVB assistant director Terry Baker unveiled the new logos and taglines while explaining the branding process and what the new brand means for tourism and the city of Fairfield.
“To be attractive and competitive, cities like Fairfield must constantly adjust to their changing competitive environment,” Lippincott said. “They have to do this while maintaining a balance with the values and vision of their residents. Fairfield is competing for relevance, respect and reputation against an abundance of similar places in the Midwest. In this environment, branding provides the most effective means to set us apart from other choices. Fairfield has set the course for the future to attract visitors and is positioned well to be a place for new residents and business to consider.”
After a community assessment conducted by DMO Proz of Madison, Wisconsin, a firm specializing in tourism and economic development, it was suggested that the bureau improve visitors’ perceptions and experiences and develop a fresh brand identity the CVB hired Oregon-based marketing firm Total Destination Marketing to assist with the branding process. The CVB later partnered with the city to establish a community brand as well.
According to a CVB press release, Bill Baker of Total Destination, an internationally respected author and speaker with more than 30 years of destination branding and marketing experience in 25 countries, was the chief strategist who led the branding advisory committee’s development of the branding platform process, and defining Fairfield’s tourism brand.
The new brand statement is: “Fairfield provides Iowa’s most creative and eclectic small community where visitors feel a sense of connection, enrichment and escape.”
According to a CVB brochure, “A brand is a set of perceptions and images that represents an organization. While many people refer to a brand as a logo, tagline or audio jingle, a brand is actually much larger. A brand is the essence of promise of what will be delivered or experienced.”
“People already think [they know] what we are,” Lippincott said, later adding that the CVB and city have something different.
Total Destination worked for months to extract Fairfield’s essence and tell its story.
According to the release, the brand strategy was revealed after months of research, analysis and extensive consultations with resident, businesses, community leaders and external customers through interviews, workshops, and local public opinion.
Although both the city and the visitors bureau share most elements of the new logo design including the “Tree of Inspiration,” the entities have different catch phrases. “Tune Into Our Vibe,” is the new tagline for the visitors bureau, while “Connect. Create. Celebrate,” is the city’s new slogan.
The CVB had been using “Tune Into Our Vibe” since before the branding process began.
Lippincott said several taglines were tested among people who represent various user groups before the taglines were decided on.
According to the release, “Tune Into Our Vibe” was tested along with other tagline concepts for tourism marketing, as well as “Connect. Create. Celebrate.” for the city; both passed the test.
The visitors bureau wants to invite tourists to tune-in to Fairfield’s unique vibe, while the city wants to encourage its growing community to continue connecting, creating and celebrating.
Malloy said, “Fairfield is a community that is growing in distinction as one of the best places in Iowa to visit. We are in the midst of enhancing our downtown and continue to enjoy a growing reputation as a center for culture, arts, music and sustainable living. We have been rewarded for our efforts by being named an Iowa Blue Zone, an Iowa Great Place and named one of the coolest cities in America to do a road trip by Buzzfeed. Com. To continue to support and stimulate local spending and our visitor economy in a competitive environment, the importance of developing and communication our brand has never been more apparent than now.”
Baker explained the logo design, and said the “Tree of Inspiration,” with its colorful circles represent the community’s diversity and creative energy. It also represents a painter’s palette and growth.
She said the separations in the second letter “F” in Fairfield, represents the community’s “quirkiness.”
Lippincott said while going through the branding process, he realized that the same reasons why someone would want to tour Fairfield are the same reasons why people want to live, work, do business and study here.
The bureau identifies the “Fairfield Vibe” as the creative energy pushing to build a community that people will love to live in and that visitors will enjoy exploring.
Baker said local embracement and grass roots marketing efforts are key to the Baker suggests a number of ways to promote the Fairfield Vibe.
“Hash tags are becoming an important component of our online marketing strategy,” Baker said. “We’re asking for ‘#FairfieldVibe’ to be included in social media to provide a way of grouping messages, having conversations and allowing people to search for a particular interest regarding Fairfield.”
Baker said other ways to promote the Fairfield brand include using the Fairfield Vibe icon in email signatures, websites, advertising and event posters.
The Fairfield Vibe icon is available as a download at the website www. TravelFairfield.com. The CVB also has “Tune Into Our Vibe” buttons available and will soon have shirts available for purchase.
For more information, contact Lippincott at 472-2828.