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Downey Officials Launch New ‘Branding’ Effort

All-America City Award for 2013 is presented to Downey, California!  City officials are working on a new plan to market the community more aggressively.

All-America City Award for 2013 is presented to Downey, California! City officials are working on a new plan to market the community more aggressively.

By Tammye McDuff

City officials in Downey are in search of a new “branding image.”
In June 2010 an RFP was approved by the community development commission to work with Northstar, Inc. allocating redevelopment funds for a rebranding contract for the city of Downey. The new branding initiative was discussed in the hope of creating an updated and unified image for the city.
According to staff reports the original contract was to implement a three phase branding program. Northstar was to evaluate the city’s strengths, weaknesses, community assets, competitors and prospective residents. The first phase would launch a Downey specific website featuring information about the branding program and educating the public as to the process. The programs second stage would analyze residents, visitors and consumers on their perception of Downey and lastly they would provide a new logo, graphic materials and marketing message for the community.
According to a staff report, the comprehensive branding initiative was estimated to cost nearly $90,000. The entire branding process was expected to take approximately one year. At the State of the City address in 2012, then Mayor Roger Brossmer stated due to “Downey is burning through its savings, and hard choices have to be made.” One of which was to put the project of Downey branding on hold.
Community Development Director, Brian Saeki approached the City Council this past Tuesday to approve a Professional Services Agreement with Downey Art Vibe to provide branding and strategic marketing services with an approximate $57,000 from the General Fund. Creative director for Downey Art Vibe, Gabriel Enamorado approached the council stating “The first thing we did was study the Northstar report concerning the strengths and weakness of the city of Downey. One major deterrent were the symbols being forced in the Downey brand. We need something simple, modern clean and to the point.”
The process began with a meeting of the brand subcommittee which includes Councilman Roger Brossmer, Councilman Mario Guerra, Community Development Director Brian Saeki, city staff and the executive management team of Downey Art Vibe.
Saeki stated the new brand platform for the city will be “For those seeking a dynamic community, Downey is well situated between major thorough fairs, where classic American ideals meet drive and new dreams with pride and independence” although this will not be the specific city tag line.
Mayor Vasquez states “I am very excited for the launching of our new City branding. We are working with the Downey Art Vibe/Stay Gallery to roll out a whole new unique and distinctive brand that will better serve to market and promote our City. We feel this will help convey our City’s real identity and will help put Downey on the radar, especially for economic development purposes. This is a bold step for our city. We are thinking out of the box.” You will begin seeing marketing for the new brand in the Downey Patriot, as well as all City publications.
Guerra promoted the new #DiscoverMyDowney video stating “The concept and reasons are a big part of who we are. We are still keeping our historic city seal. Progress, future unlimited and celebrating our past is all part of who we are. We really are a future unlimited. This progressive update to our city is much needed and is welcomed by our business and residents.”
Over 600 responses were solicited in an outreach in 2013. Overwhelming response from residents was to represent the past but to stress the energy and vision for the city’s future. The rollout plan for the branding of Downey was passed with a unanimous vote.