UNCOVERING & TELLING
OUR BRANDING INITIATIVE
Downtown York and York County, working with our partners, have recently begun a research-driven, community-wide branding initiative. This effort will help Downtown York and York County stand out in the marketplace as we grow toward our preferred future.
We start by conducting research inside and outside the community to uncover perceptions, attitudes and what's unique about Downtown York and York County.
All of that data is transformed into compelling creative tools that tell the Downtown York story in ways that visitors, businesses and residents can understand.
Next begins the integration of the new brand, not just into marketing and communications, but also into the fabric of our community and our daily lives.
"Your brand is what they say about you when you're not around... branding is what you do about it."
What is Community Branding?
Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around. In other words, your reputation! Just like people or products, communities have reputations based on all the different experiences people have had with that community over time. Branding is the process of changing, clarifying, refining or improving that reputation.
The first step in our community branding initiative is conducting research to figure out what Downtown York’s and York County’s existing reputation are. At the same time we will conduct research to determine what Downtown York and York County’s greatest strengths are. What makes our city and county special and unique? This allows us to look at where we are reputation wise, where we want to be based on our greatest strength, and then come up with creative tools, strategies and advocacy programs that help close the gap between the two.
A new brand won't solve all our problems. What branding can do is focus people on the positive differentiator in Downtown York and York County, which can help us stand out relative to the competition. The stronger and more defined our reputation, the more people will want to live, work and play here.
Can you share some examples of community branding?
You can see numerous examples of community branding on the website of North Star Destination Strategies. This agency is Downtown York and York County’s branding partner
Are a brand and a logo different?
A brand is not just a logo or a tagline. Our brand is our reputation . . . our bragging rights . . . what makes York different and special. Logos and taglines are important tools for representing our community brand in marketing and communications. But they are only tools.
Why do we do research?
People have opinions about Downtown York and York County. We want to hear them all. And the only way to do that is to gather lots of data from inside and outside those communities. That data then becomes the primary driver for uncovering the Downtown York and the York County brands. A statistically significant body of quantitative and qualitative research ensures the brand represents the perceptions of all audiences including residents, stakeholders, business owners, visitors, non-visitors, articulate voices, and regional thought leaders.
How can I be a part of this?
There are lots of ways for interested citizens and businesses to get involved. One of the most important is to take our community survey, which will be available online in the weeks ahead. You can also sign up to be a brand ambassador or to receive regular updates.
Share Your Stories
At the heart of the Downtown York and York County brands are the stories of the people who call York and York County home. And we want to hear them all. Did you start a business or a family here? Buy your first house or car? Please share the details. What does your church mean to you? Did your kids learn to swim in a local pool? Where do you go to have fun with your friends? What is your favorite memory?
If pictures are your preferred way to tell your story, post a pic of you, your family and friends at a favorite Downtown York and York County hangouts. Post both stories and pictures on Instagram at #ShareYourYorkPA.
How do I get involved?
The easiest way to get involved with the Downtown York and York County Community Branding initiatives is to take our Community Survey when it becomes available. Sign up for regular updates below and you will be informed when the survey is open. Finally, if you really have a passion to help with this process sign up to become a Downtown York Brand Ambassador below. Ambassadors are kept updated on the project and given the tools to spread the good word about within their own personal spheres of influence.