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Broken Bow's 'Brand' unveiled

August 28, 2014

Rooted, but not standing still

Broken Bow, you’ve been ‘Branded!’ and it’s been a long time coming.

The official logo shown here as a graphics with this article, along with its accompany narrative was introduced to the community this week.

“I love it, love it, love it,” said Melissa Garcia, president of the Custer Economic Development Corporation.

Work on the branding process was launched over a year ago and is funded by the Custer Economic Development Corporation, Custer County Tourism, Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce and the city of Broken Bow, with donations from Jennie M. Melham Memorial Center and the Custer County Chief.

The goal of the process was for all of the organizations to work together to create one identity for the community. Over 700 people were interviewed as the development company, North Star, embedded themselves into the creative process.

The words North Star heard over and over were progressive, community, friendly, small town. Its people reinforced that Broken Bow is a place where things happen and the energy of progress is palpable.

In the interview process, the company talked to members of the community, its stakeholders and residents, to its consumers as a regional hub, and to former residents and those who have worked in Broken Bow. They also talked to the competition.

In the report, North Star talks about Broken Bow seeing itself in real time, and in that regard has worked tirelessly for improvement.

A comment was made that most often, communities will work through the branding process when they find themselves losing population, when things are in need of change. The company was exceptionally impressed that Broken Bow elected to work on a unified image when the town is succeeding, and this, they said, spoke volumes about the progressive nature of the community.

While the process rooted out the positives, it also provided opportunity to address challenges, including the recruitment and retention of young professionals, additional housing and increased retail and dining options.

The Platform

A Brand Platform was created, putting the essence of Broken Bow into a single sentence.

(Target Audience) For those who see what needs to be done and do it,
(Frame of Reference) Broken Bow, welcoming you to the beautiful Sandhills of central Nebraska,
(Point of Difference) is where a small-town, get-it-done attitude reaches the world,
(Benefit) so you can enjoy being a modern-day homesteader (build community, connect with others, lay down roots) and a pioneer (progressive, innovative and entrepreneurial) in one place.

In the end, the community received a new brand, a new logo that each of the partners may use with specific variations for its organization, as well as a narrative, a working vocabulary, a new website design and a multitude of ideas for how to come together as a united community building community pride.

City Council member Cody Schmick didn’t waste time during Monday’s City Council meeting in agreeing.

“The city needs to jump on board ... get the changes into place right now. We need to show that the city is a partner with this.”

The Chamber and CEDC have already changed their websites to reflect the change, and there have been offers of ‘spilling coffee’ on outdated letterhead to utilize the new logos sooner.

“This is a nice thing,” City Administrator Dr. Virginia Moon added, “It captures what Broken Bow is about. People dont know how fast we’re moving.”

The brand narrative focuses on the emotional language of the character of the community of its people, and it speaks of this forward motion.

A short excerpt follows: Rooted. But not standing still.

“There’s a kind of identity that’s inherent in the agricultural tradition. The straight plowed rows would still be familiar to the long-ago settlers who found their way to this place. It’s a way of life with its roots planted deep in the earth, not by chance, but by the dedicated work of many hands. And it’s a way of life that endures in Broken Bow and Custer County ...

Jumping to the end of the narrative ...

“We’re a small town. We’ll always be a small town. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. But we also know that today is different world from yesterday, and that tomorrow will be different from today. And that, if we don’t move with the times, the times will ultimately pass us by.
The roots are dependant, and the roots are strong. But they don’t keep us earthbound. They keep us growing. Broken Bow. Rooted. But not standing still.”

Enjoy, wear the brand with pride, promote the brand with vigor ... share with the world.

For more information contact Melissa Garcia President Custer Economic Devopment Corporation.

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