Mayor: Fairfield’s branding efforts ‘very important’ to marketing

Pictured are the types of signs that can be seen around the city of Fairfield, and without a unifying theme. The city hired a consultant to develop a plan that designs a unified way to communicate the city to the public. FILE/CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

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Pictured are the types of signs that can be seen around the city of Fairfield, and without a unifying theme. The city hired a consultant to develop a plan that designs a unified way to communicate the city to the public. FILE/CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Fairfield has numerous ways it communicates itself to the world, but those messages can be disjointed, city officials said.

The city is nearing the completion of a comprehensive branding initiative that will unify the city’s message and look.

“Across the city, we have a lot of different ways we portray ourselves. You can see in the signs that we have at our facilities and parks, and so forth, we have a lot of different ways we are communicating ourselves to the public,” said city spokeswoman Jenny Dexter.

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The city contracted the consulting firm BLDG to “develop a comprehensive brand identity for the entire city and a plan that markets it short term and long term,” she said.

The first two phases — strategy and research — are complete, and the city is now in the design phase as the company’s staff reviews gathered information and city-produced material, including the city’s comprehensive plan that was presented to the public Tuesday night.

Part of the material BLDG has gathered includes a survey of residents it conducted, and received three times the number of respondents it normally sees from a city the size of Fairfield, Dexter said.

“We really have a lot of engaged citizens around Fairfield, and wanting to share all the good points they see in the city,” she said.

When the project is finished, Dexter said BLDG will provide citywide branding standards and guidelines, and city officials multiple files and standard color scheme for the city to adopt.

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Mayor Steve Miller said unity and common themes are “very important” to be able to market itself not only to potential businesses but also to new residents. He said the city has a lot of positives, including amenities like its parks system, but branding will elevate the city even more.

“That identity is important,” he said. “You have to have that common theme, but each department should be unique.”

Fairfield City Councilman Tim Abbott said this would be expensive to implement, and Dexter said it would take several years to roll out.

One thing that will not go away is the city’s seal, but City Manager Mark Wendling said it may not be at the forefront as it is now. He said the seal, which was launched in December 1963, is important to the city’s history and likely to be incorporated in more official capacities.

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