Brand Identity / Application | The Corporation of the Township of Ignace
Following years of economic decline, the people of the Township of Ignace (pop. 1,200) in Northwestern Ontario were ready to make a change. In the last 12 months, staff and community leaders undertook a strategic Master Plan exercise, designed to take the community beyond a short-term thinking approach to one that is long-term and sustainable.
Part of the plan included the development of a new brand identity inclusive of a new logo, tagline and website. The main goal was to counteract the negative perceptions and evoke within residents a sense of community pride and optimism for the future. The purpose was to highlight the Township’s unique features and potential as well as demonstrate that the Township is progressive, forward thinking and is building the right capacity to accommodate sustained growth and development.
Local residents and businesses – as well as prospective visitors, residents and investors looking for the kind of possibilities Ignace has to offer.
One challenge was the strong and influential voice of seniors that made up almost one third of the Township’s population. Community engagement played a vital role in this process providing essential responses and feedback.
Outcomes (Meeting Objectives)
Capturing the community’s characteristics and assets – its natural beauty (wilderness, lakes, sunsets, and recreational opportunities) combined with the strength of its people (resilient, resourceful, friendly and caring) form the essence of the brand. The strength of the bold name ‘IGNACE’, along with the visual depiction of its northern nature form the logo part of the brand. The invitation to visitors and potential residents and businesses is best summed up in the tagline – ‘Explore our Possibilities’.
The Township’s new brand now provides an identity that resonates not only with its residents but its key target audiences. It extends a warm invitation to come and explore all the possibilities Ignace has to offer – whether it’s conducting business, visiting or making the decision to move to the community. There is now a heightened sense of optimism for the future among community members who are now fully engaged and enjoy sharing their voices in shaping the future of Ignace.
The new brand sets the stage for consistent and effective application across all media – from stationery and collateral printed materials, to displays and banners, to signage used to identify town buildings and wayfinding. Included with the Brand Guide is an Appendix showing additional signage to reflect the brand.
Also, the brand established a look and feel for a new website (www.IGNACE.ca). The new website features videos that also reinforce the brand. (See separate EDAC submission.)
It’s important to note that sustainability was the premise on which the Township of Ignace was rebranded. For this reason, it was imperative for the views and insights of all residents were captured in the positioning and development of the new brand. Residents now take ownership of their future and will hold others accountable for the same.
The awareness created through the unveiling of the new brand (June 14, 2018) has spiked interest throughout the region. Since unveiling the brand, the Township has received numerous inquiries for relocation and investment from individuals and organizations, some of which are exploring land availability options for commercial and residential development. There have also been several requests from media outlets to speak about the work being done, while other municipalities have reached out for assistance in their own branding initiatives. The latter has presented a prime opportunity for regional integration and the collaboration of resources.