Godfrey, Illinois has launched an intensive branding program aimed to discover, define and design the area’s competitive differentiator so it can stand out in the marketplace. The ultimate goal of this community-wide initiative is to attract more residents, businesses and visitors to the Village.

To bring outside objectivity to the project, Godfrey has partnered with Nashville-based North Star Destination Strategies. North Star has helped develop brands for more than 150 cities, regions, communities and municipalities nationwide. To encourage community-wide participation, residents are encouraged to attend an open educational presentation on June 18 from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. at Godfrey Village Hall.

“Over the next several months, using our  Community BrandPrint process we’ll be digging out Godfrey’s competitive identity that is derived from the history, the culture, the geography and the society of a place,” said Don McEachern, CEO of North Star.  “Branding the Village of Godfrey will give community members the tools to effectively manage the conversation that is taking place in order to build a reputation that is fair, honest and powerful.”

The integrated process includes research, strategy and creative development. The first stage is research and comprises about 80% of the work.  “Here we determine the state of your existing brand,” said McEachern.  More than 15 pieces of qualitative and quantitative research will paint a thorough picture of where Godfrey is today.  This research includes an assessment of the environment; inquiry origin, visitor origin, demographics and psychographics of residents and visitors; perceptions of visitors, residents and stakeholders; and a review of current communications and the competition.

Using that research, North Star will develop a brand strategy that is relevant to Godfrey’s current situation but also differentiates the Village to consumers. “The research will not only tell our existing story, it will yield insights that point us in the direction of our desired future story,” said Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick.

The final stage of the project will involve the development of a brand identity guide for Godfrey. “You will get suggestions for a new logo and tagline as part of this guide. But a brand is so much more than that,” said McEachern. “Your Village needs to wear this new brand like a second skin. We will provide you the creative tools and ideas to make that happen.” This includes ideas for communications, signage, special events, community outreach, online initiatives, merchandising and more.

“We have a lot to be proud of here,” said McCormick. “We just need to let everyone know that.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Village of Godfrey, go to http://www.godfreyil.org/.  To learn more about North Star Destination Strategies, go to www.northstarideas.com

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