Some of the various current “brands” for Burien seen around town in 2015.[/caption] The City of Burien announced Wednesday (Oc. 21) that it has contracted with an ad agency – and may spend up to $149,300 – to begin an official re-branding process as a way to “define itself, grow community pride, and expand the economy.” Over the next eight to nine months, a Tacoma-based agency called JayRay will begin doing research, outreach, creating of brand identity and messaging, as well as graphic design for a new “brand” for the city. The branding initiative is one of five priority economic development goals and actions the City Council set for 2015-2016 (download PDF of the city’s RFP here). JayRay’s base contract is for $93,000, with optional products/services up to $149,300, according to Katie Trefry, Communications Officer for the City of Burien. “A community’s brand plays a big role in defining and relaying its success,” said Dan Trimble, Burien Economic Development Manager. “All sorts of brand impressions are created for Burien by people who maybe don’t know Burien as well as the community itself does, and we want to make sure we’re telling our story ourselves, authentically and effectively. We need a brand that is up to date and an ongoing branding effort that supports the community’s vision.” First up for the branding work is information gathering and evaluating opportunities. “JayRay will find out what people think, good, bad or indifferent, when they hear ‘Burien,’” Trimble said. “They will seek input through surveys, interviews and discussion groups with both internal and external audiences.” The brand development process will focus on what contributes to Burien’s unique identity as a compelling place to live, create and conduct business. “A brand is more than a logo and tagline – it’s the sum of all things that form customers’ perceptions. For Burien, that includes what distinguishes the community from other cities,” said Kathleen Deakins, JayRay President and Owner. JayRay will begin the research phase this month. Brand messaging and identity work will start early in 2016. By mid-summer 2016, the firm will roll out a comprehensive brand story with creative messaging, a marketing plan and an implementation plan for Burien. “Ultimately, branding shines a spotlight on our strengths and our potential, builds our community, and propels Burien to achieve our vision for the future,” added Kamuron Gurol, Burien City Manager. JayRay partners with national and regional clients on branding, advertising and strategic communication programs from its office in Tacoma. Trimble said the City selected JayRay because of the firm’s research-based model and public sector experience. Recent clients include City of Fife, Pierce County, University of Washington, Tacoma Public Schools and Travel Tacoma + Pierce County. “A strong brand identity will help drive awareness and inspire people to refresh how they think about Burien,” said Deakins.]]>