As the city of Seguin looks to build on a future of prosperity, it decided to spruce up its image with a new slogan — It’s real!
“City council and staff wanted to create a cohesive identity for the city to embrace and use to market us in a competitive way,” Public Information Officer Morgan Ash said. “We used our branding company to research what makes Seguin great and help us package it to tell our story. We want to be consistent in our messaging to build a positive reputation of the city.”
More than 30 residents were present for the demonstration given by the branding company’s owner Steve Chandler, of Chandlerthinks, on Wednesday evening at city hall.
“First and foremost, congratulations you all decided that your reputation matters,” Chandler said. “We need to stay ahead of that. In the absence of a strong identity, someone else will do it for you.”
In February 2015, the city established a Branding/Website Committee to oversee a branding campaign and website redesign.
“The committee selected Chandlerthinks based on their demonstrated experience, passion for community, emphasis on research, use of technology and outstanding references,” Main Street Program Director Kyle Kramm said in a June 23 memorandum to council. “With Chandlerthinks, we will not simply receive a logo and tagline, but a road map guiding the city on how to live the brand.”
Council approved the $59,500 contract with Chandlerthinks for the branding campaign including up to $6,000 for travel expenses at a meeting in July of last year.
“Many cities are doing the exact same thing,” Ash said. “We are competing with thousands of others of places to bring in new businesses and visitors. Branding Seguin is like marketing a business or invention.”
During the presentation, Chandler explained how the two main attributes people used to describe Seguin was its history along with the significance of the Guadalupe River.
“We had to take all of that research and boil it down to what we call the grand truce,” he said. “We have to recognize this because no matter who we asked we kept hearing it over and over again. So what we did hear, number one was Seguin’s history significance to outsiders and how that is a major point of pride for the community.”
With that in mind, Chandler said his company worked over the last few months to develop what he believes is a “strong” new logo for Seguin.
“Seguin’s logo is developed to be bold and simply stated,” he explained. “It is intended to be just as authentic as Seguin. The font that we used is meant to be a combination of strength and personality ... Texas is spelled out, not abbreviated because Texas is a big part of our identity, a big part of what we are proud about. The greenish-blue background is intended to show really a couple of things — our love of the outdoors, parks and a little hint of the Guadalupe River.”
Up next, the city is looking at ways to expose residents to the brand by launching a new website, making T-Shirts, signage and other ways to help show what the city’s new logo and brand are all about.
“We will be getting our revamped Branding Rangers Task Force together and begin the process of implementing our brand,” Ash said. “The city will be incorporating our brand in way-finding signage, our new website that is currently in the works and billboard/advertisements. We will also be changing the way our business cards look, along with vehicle and hardhat decals — basically anything that promotes the city of Seguin or any materials we generate (permit information, utility bills, flyers) will incorporate the brand.”
Moreover, Ash said she believes the new logo — It’s real — is a great representation of Seguin because it’s true.
“Seguin is a real small town with real Texas history,” she said. “We have a real downtown where we have our real events and celebrations. We’ve preserved and protected our assets — unlike other cities who are trying to ‘recreate’ a town center. We are perfectly imperfect, and we have a lot to be proud of.”