Holly Springs looks to update its image with branding campaign

aspecht@newsobserver.comJuly 7, 2014 

— Town officials can’t point to any one image or logo that symbolizes what Holly Springs stands for. But town leaders hope that will soon change.

Holly Springs budgeted $80,000 to give the town’s image a facelift and opened up the contract in a bidding process. Ten companies have submitted offers to lead the rebranding effort, and the Town Council is expected to pick a contractor at its meeting on July 15.

Town officials say Holly Springs needs new logos, marketing strategies and materials that reflect how much it has changed in the last decade.

“In 1990, this town was only a thousand people. We just hit 28,000,” Mayor Dick Sears said. “I think that warrants a second look at our message to businesses and people interested in moving here.”

Other Wake County towns have also considered updating their image with a branding campaign.

Apex leaders have talked about a campaign that has been dubbed “Think Apex.”

The Cary Chamber of Commerce created the “Cary On” marketing campaign to help brand the town.

Knightdale recently spent $68,000 on an initiative that produced a new town logo and marketing materials. The town’s population doubled to nearly 13,000 between 2000 and 2012.

As part of the rebranding process, Knightdale’s contractor asked residents and businesses their perception of the town and how it should be represented to other communities.

“It gave us the chance to talk about who we are and where we want to go,” said Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen. “It builds a sense of community that you might not necessarily get without that rebranding campaign.”

Holly Springs hopes to hire a company that will do the same thing, according to Town Clerk Joni Powell, who’s reviewing the bids.

“Are we gonna be known as a sports tourism town, or a center for biomedical sciences, or a family-centric place to live?” she asked.

Holly Springs last paid for a new marketing scheme in the early 2000s, said Jenny Mizelle, the town’s economic development director.

That effort was much smaller, she said. The town gathered input from the business community that it used to boost its appeal as an industrial hub.

It paid off in 2006, when Novartis agreed to build a vaccine plant in Holly Springs.

This time, the town will take a more comprehensive approach, and the results could affect each Holly Springs town department.

For example, the town will rein in the number of logos it uses. Holly Springs uses between 15 and 20 logos among departments and the farmers market.

“We’re all over the place,” Powell said. “None of (the logos) join together and fit, so people might not even recognize them as being part of the town.”

Specht: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @AndySpecht

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