Monday, October 20, 2008

What is Dunwoody’s Brand? What does the city represent to you and what should it mean to others?

Does the Dunwoody Farmhouse truly represent our "brand"?

Tomorrow’s City Council work session has a “City Branding” discussion item on the agenda and after a little discussion of the Council an ad-hoc committee may be formed to put together a Brand for the City of Dunwoody. Myself and others initially believed that since the iconic symbol of the Dunwoody Farmhouse already tops most of our street signs and is already a prominent fixture of our city seal, shouldn't that be our “Brand”. Maybe, maybe not?

The problem is what does the farmhouse symbol say about Dunwoody to the people who currently live here? Does it really represent their values and if so explain in words what the farmhouse means so that those ideas can be properly conveyed to a person who doesn’t live here but may want to relocate his family or business here? What does the Dunwoody Farmhouse and the “Dunwoody Brand” mean to the young couple who currently lives in Midtown and is thinking of starting a family? What does it say to Singles, Seniors, businesses, shoppers & investors? Is the farmhouse symbol a positive, a negative or a meaningless abstract item?

My research tells me that the Dunwoody Brand should…
  • provide a positive image which has year-long and long-term economic benefits
  • be complementary to the desired quality of life of local residents
  • be viable, marketable adaptable and achievable
  • be believable, simple and close to reality
  • be appealing and distinctive (there are already too many friendly places out there)
If we look at the officially adopted Vision for the City of Dunwoody, maybe we can get a few more ideas about what Dunwoody is or could be?
The City of Dunwoody will provide quality service to our citizens and support the largest economic engine in the Southeast by planning in a careful and thoughtful manner. The City of Dunwoody will be inventive, transparent and embrace responsible progress which is tempered by our rich history and our desire to maintain a close but vibrant community atmosphere that values family life and entrepreneurial spirit. Dunwoody is a community where activities are centered around the family, our schools, our religious institutions, and our beautiful parks.
Since the farmhouse icon clearly represents responsible progress and the rich history of the City but little else out of our Vision Statement; I am looking forward to hearing more about the "Branding of a City" at the meeting to see what the experts have in mind.

Any suggestions or comments?


tim said...

The Farmhouse is definately an ingrained symbol for Dunwoody. It represents our past...our roots so to speak. The location is our City Center, a gathering place in spirit and in reality for our Community.
While I live in Dunwoody for quality of life, and the schools, I believe that our future is tied to the economic engine of the PCID, and all of the benefits that that this engine provides the other factors that will make Dunwoody...good services, continued quality of life.
We should keep the Farmhouse. However,we should incorporate into the brand, behind the Farmhouse, a tall, confidence inspiring office building of some sort. This symbol represents our power, our ties to the forces that drive not only our economy as a City, but the Metro area, and the State.
We should embrace our roots. We should also embrace our future, and we can say "roots" with the Farmhouse, but we clearly need to establish a tie to our future, and this brand change... or edit... will do that very nicely.
One opinion.

dunwoodydad said...

The farmhouse is fine, please consider a better rendering though.

Maybe an artist's rendering of a school trailer in front of the Farm House would be more apropos. Consider using a stained ceiling tile from the High School as the canvas.

One guy... many opinions...

Repartee said...

Whatever you do - PLEASE use a professional. Check out the city of Snellville's new branding - this person is really good - so good that a place named "Snellville" actually ended up looking quite dapper!