KAUKAUNA — Kaukauna’s north and south side business districts are getting an early spring spruce up with the installation on new banners on light polls, part of the city’s ongoing rebranding efforts.
City workers were seen installing the banners this week.
The look is part of a new brand launched in August of 2020.
The branding initiative is a part of a larger effort to spur economic development and to retain and attract residents, with a municipal identity focused on the city’s inherent strengths and distinct character.
In late 2019, the City of Kaukauna Common Council supported the Planning and Community Development Department’s efforts to launch the Community Branding Initiative.
After nearly a year of planning, community engagement, and implementation strategy, Kaukauna launched their new brand in August 2020.
The new branding included the development of a new logo, a brand strategy and communications tools for the city that will be used to champion economic development initiatives.
To develop the brand, the City of Kaukauna worked in collaboration with Guide Studio – a firm specializing in branding, wayfinding and strategic communication for cities – to unearth and hone the new brand identity over the last eight months.
According to a news release announcing the project, Kaukauna boasts an impressive network of offerings for residents and businesses under the umbrella of the municipal organization: the Kaukauna Public Library, 1000 Islands Environmental Center, Charles A. Grignon Mansion, full-service Police, Fire and EMS departments, and a municipally-owned electric and water utility (Kaukauna Utilities). In addition to these offerings, Kaukauna’s rich history has helped to shape the culture of the Fox Cities with an extraordinary track record of “progressive firsts”.
Historic, industrial, and environmental areas are among the “progressive firsts” that began in, and were innovated from, the City of Kaukauna – public education, manufacturing and technology, environmental conservation, and renewable energy production. Kaukauna seeks to be known for these “progressive firsts” and its beautiful natural landscape; characteristics that were noted as points of pride by community members during the extensive public engagement efforts of the brand initiative.
“The branding process took a look at the disconnect many community members have between the assets that they love in the City of Kaukauna, such as our ample greenspace, public accessibility to the Fox River, 1000 Islands Environmental Center, the Kaukauna Public Library, and the fact that these assets are managed, protected, and supported by the City of Kaukauna. We need to ensure that our ‘hidden gems’ in the City are no longer hidden. The new brand helps us highlight our City’s best attributes that people may be unaware of – it’s time that we shine.” said Allyson Watson Brunette, Principal Planner for the City of Kaukauna and Project Lead on the Branding Initiative.
Members of the community, including residents, business leaders, and representatives from local organizations were engaged in various workshops and focus groups, in combination with broad reach surveys to support the development of the brand strategy, logo, key messaging, and launch/communications plan.
The new City mark has a vintage feel as a nod to the City’s industrial roots. With an abstract representation of the historic lock and dam on the Fox River, the logo is designed to highlight both the natural beauty of the area as well as the City’s uniquely progressive history, including its use of hydropower and other renewable energy sources. The vibrant colors and seal are meant to demonstrate strength, stability, and history.
A series of brand badges were also developed as part of the ‘brand family’ for use in specific marketing efforts – the badges more clearly highlight notable assets in the City, such as the 1000 Islands Environmental Center, renewable energy sources, a tradition of manufacturing, and the pride and connection to the Kaukauna Area School District, among others.
“We needed a brand that reflects the impressive range of what we have to offer,” said Bob Jakel, Planning and Community Development Director. “We’ve made significant investments in our trail network, in preservation projects like the restoration of the Historic Eagle Mill for the Kaukauna Public Library, the development of Hydro Park in our downtown area, and the soon-to-begin construction of the David and Rita Nelson Family Heritage Crossing, all while continuing to grow and solidify our municipal tax base through new commercial and residential development. This brand unifies our assets under one identity and showcases all that we have to be proud of, but in a way that exercises Midwestern humility.”