Cedarburg brand initiative moves forward
Onsite work to begin in December

By Laurie Arendt - News Graphic Staff

Oct. 24, 2017

CEDARBURG — What is Cedarburg’s brand? Chandlerthinks, a Tennessee-based marketing company specializing in municipal branding, will be able to tell us next year after being selected as the agency for Cedarburg’s Brand Strengthening Initiative.

“We received 15 different proposals and five of those made it to the second round,” said Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Andreas, who noted that some local firms were among those who submitted proposals. “We selected Chandlerthinks in part because of their extensive experience in working with and helping municipalities – this is what they specialize in.”

Beyond its direct business experience with municipal clients, Andreas said that Chandlerthinks was also selected in part due to where it is also located: Franklin, Tenn.

“Though Franklin is a much larger city, it also has a similar feeling to Cedarburg,” she said. “We felt that was also a benefit in their proposal.”

The firm has completed branding projects for a number of other cities, including Danville, Ky., Freemont, Neb., Elk River, Minn., and Northfield, Ill.

According to Andreas, the city’s Economic Development Board has been interested in pursuing branding efforts for some time, and this is where the idea originated.

“It’s about looking toward the future and creating a unified branding message for Cedarburg,” she explained. “The project itself is being funded by the six local stakeholders, and I’m also pleased to note that we’ve come in under budget. When all is said and done, we’re probably looking at about $75,000 for this initiative.”

The stakeholders – the city of Cedarburg, Cedarburg School District, Cedarburg Light & Water, Cedarburg Landmark Preservation Society, Ozaukee Bank’s Gift to the Future Fund and Cornerstone Buildings LLC – have each committed up to $15,000, with an option to split the cost over two years.

The collaboration with Chandlerthinks has already started, noted Andreas.

“They’ll be working with us for a good three to six months,” she said. “We’re providing them with a box of materials and information now, and then representatives will be in Cedarburg for a three-day visit in December.”

At that time, they will be touring the city, holding focus groups and meeting local stakeholders, among other activities.

Andreas noted that while the objective of this project is to provide the city with a one- to three-year marketing plan, there are other components beyond a strategic guideline.

“We have also asked for wayfaring research,” she said. “Cedarburg is not located on the freeway, and we are interested in learning more (about how to get people to the city).”

Even though the project will not be concluded until next year, the ongoing work will be accessible by anyone soon through a temporary website “It’s actually going to go live in about a week,” said Andreas. “Anyone who wants to know how the project is doing can soon go take a look.”