When Steve Chandler came to town early last week, he met some
charming ladies visiting from West Bend who were in town for lunch,
he snapped a few photos and made a stop at Amy’s Candy Kitchen … and
that was only in his first two hours of his multi-day visit.
But this wasn’t
a social visit for Chandler and his research director, Greg Fusion.
The duo from ChandlerThinks was in town for some firsthand Cedarburg
remember logos and taglines, they remember how a place makes them
feel and the experience they had,” Chandler said. “We’re here to see
what makes Cedarburg tick.”
was in town to tour and talk, conducting interviews with not just
the city’s movers and shakers, but residents and even students to
get a feel for what the city’s brand should be.
creating a city’s story,” he said of the work his firm does for
cities around the country. “The logo and a tagline are just the
beginning of that story.”
place, which is what ChandlerThinks specializes in, is not as easy
as it may seem.
“A place is not
a bar of soap for sale at the grocery store,” Chandler said as an
example. “You’re not given its ingredients, what makes it special
and a top-down directive on how to market it. It’s not 1953 and
you’re trying to sell a product.”
What makes a
city special, and what is the core of its brand, is much more
difficult to quantify. And it’s an effort that never stops.
works on its branding, it doesn’t finish the job and say, ‘Now what
should we do?’” Chandler in a Dec. 11 presentation to the City
Council. “It’s an ongoing process.”
In the last
seven years, Chandler and his firm have been involved in branding
for about 40
different municipal clients. He noted that oftentimes, the
outsider’s perspective is what brings a place clarity.
have to get out of your own way,” he said candidly. “When we come
in, we’re looking in from the outside and we bring a very broad
perspective. With that said, there shouldn’t be any surprise in what
ChandlerThinks’ research is complete, he said they will go back and
begin work on the creative aspect on the project. Chandler said he
will next be back in Cedarburg for a return visit in two to three
months, which is when he will present some initial findings.
The project is
being funded with the contributions of six local 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.
has set up a website to follow along with the project at
www.brandingcedarburgwi.com. Anyone interested in providing
their input into the project will soon be able to take a survey on
the website as well.