Rollingwood branding project continues

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Buie & Co. partner Ashley Kegley-Whitehead discussed her company’s progress at the Nov. 28 Rollingwood City Council meeting regarding the city’s branding project, which has been underway since September.

Phase 1, or the discovery phase, involved among other strategies community surveys and a branding workshop consisting of 100 people and yielding about a 10 percent margin of error. Included were questions on Rollingwood’s values, what imagery best represents the city and people’s fondest memories of the city. Other survey questions were asked in an effort to best appropriate what sort of branding best represents Rollingwood, she said.

During the workshop Kegley-Whitehead said residents were asked a number of questions, including what type of design style they preferred.

“By far, most of your residents that attended gravitated toward minimalist [design],” she said. “In that same vein, most of them gravitated toward a badge or an emblem-type logo.”

One of the top themes emerging from the workshops showed people’s perceptions of Rollingwood as a destination, a great location, a great place to start a business, and one that offers a variety of dining and shopping options.

“We are diving into it and starting the branding process, which is where we really get into identity development,” Kegley-Whitehead said, referring to components of Phase 2 and adding that the process is about one-third done.

Mayor Michael Dyson said that his personal experience with the branding process and Buie & Co. has been fantastic.

Alderman Gavin Massingill pointed out the initial labeling of the project as a rebranding was not necessarily correct, and Kegley-Whitehead backed that assertion, stating that it is more a branding since Rollingwood has not undergone a prior branding project.

Officials have been working on bringing a comprehensive branding effort to the city since mid-2018, and Rollingwood City Council’s approval of a motion to work with communications firm Buie & Co. in August was the final step toward beginning a project that saw approval from the Rollingwood Community Development Corp. earlier this year.

Prior to City Council’s approval, the RCDC, an entity that is underwriting $19,500 of the $33,500 project—the city of Rollingwood will cover the other $14,000—had to abide by certain regulations prior to approval that included a 60-day waiting and advertising period allowing for public comment.

The four-phase plan laid out to council by Buie & Co. in August included discovery, branding, city signage and rollout portions. The timeline for the rebranding is slated to conclude by January, possibly a little later if there are holiday delays, Kegley-Whitehead said.

Projected timeline for Rollingwood branding project

Phase 1
September to mid-October
Phase 2
Mid-October to early January
Phase 3
December to early January
Phase 4
Early January to end of January, possibly a little later if there are holiday delays

By the numbers: Buie & Co. cost per service

Phase 1: discovery
Immersion session/creative brief—$1,500
Community survey/outreach—$1,500
Community branding workshop—$5,000
Phase 2: branding
Identity development—$10,000
Brand guidelines (user manual)—$2,500
Website design support—$2,500
Collateral pieces-$1,500
Phase 3: city signage
Entryway concepts—$5,000
Phase 4: rollout
Press conference and unveiling—$1,500
PR campaign—$2,500

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Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.
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