Community Round Table
From an article by Nancy Branstetter in the Spinal Column Newsweekly on February 13, 2018 which can be seen here: http://www.spinalcolumnonline.com/news/highland-launches-new-brand
When you hear the words “Pure Michigan”, images of beautiful beaches and other welcoming destinations around the state come to mind. Pure Michigan is one of the most well-known and successful brands in the country.
After years of research, community surveys, discussion and support from the board of trustees, Highland Township has developed a brand for the township that includes the tagline “Warm inside, Great outdoors.” Led by the branding and marketing firm Digitalliace of Birmingham, Highland’s newly-created brand is ready to be shared with the community.
“The branding project was spearheaded by Highland’s Community Roundtable, a partnership of residents, civic and governmental leaders,” said Treasurer Judy Cooper, who leads the group. “The brand celebrates our community and our rich natural resources, which is reflected in the brand graphics. The letter ‘g’ in the word Highland has an exaggerated loop that holds the image of woods and waters. The cradling hand shows the caring nature.”
Communities large and small around the state and country have developed brands to capture their identities. “Meet me in Milford”, Fenton’s “Be Closer” and Traverse City’s “True North” are a few brands that have been developed and used to share their unique characteristics and heart.
Supervisor Rick Hamill explained that it was important to reflect the voice of the community in the brand.
“People repeatedly told us they treasure the rural feel of Highland and it was important to share that pride in our brand,” he said. “The natural beauty and friendly people are Highland’s identity.”
He added that, “We were able to reduce the cost of the branding project to $6,700 by subsidizing it with the help of the DDA through Main Street Oakland County.”
The new brand will not replace the Highland Township official seal, which will continue to be used for official business. However, the brand will appear in conjunction with social events, such as festivals and the annual reworks display.
During the research phase of the project, members of the Community Roundtable spoke with branding experts and with other communities in order to understand the benefit of creating a brand for Highland.
Colleen Creagh Rosso led a branding effort for Hartland while she was the director of communications. Rosso said, “Creating our brand brought the community together. Our ‘Friendly by Nature’ brand is a point of pride for Hartland residents, and our partners, including the schools, have never been closer.”
Highland Township’s Community Roundtable was formed in February 2014 with the mission of building relationships and discussing common issues. In addition to leading the brand creation effort, the group has worked in many ways to connect the community and foster better communication.
The group created tools for communications, including a township Facebook page and a Neighborhood Network Roundtable of homeowner association and lake board leaders to discuss common issues and find solutions to assist each other, and supported the use of an electronic sign to display information important to residents.
A four-page insert to The Spinal Column has been included in this edition so that residents can see the results of the extensive branding process. In addition, the new brand, including banners, will be part of the Founder’s Festival in May. Your comments of the new township brand can be shared at highlandtwp.net.
Highland Neighborhood Network