Do you know the top 5 most valuable brands in the world? They are Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook.1 Each name likely conjures up an emotion, image, or expectation because of their products, service, and branding.
When a potential resident, business, or visitor thinks about West Fargo, we want to offer an authentic story that helps them understand what this community is about. This is especially important for business. For the past 20 years, residential development has outpaced commercial development. This has led to commercial properties only providing 30% of the valuation for property taxes in West Fargo.
To help that percentage grow, the City's comprehensive plan prioritizes developing a distinct brand to support economic growth. The plan also highlights a vision for West Fargo that an enhanced brand will help us achieve. The vision was created through public feedback and calls for West Fargo to become:
- Vibrant - with dynamic economic, educational, and cultural opportunities that support our citizens by growing our local economy, encouraging local businesses, and improving the arts.
- Authentic - with a distinctive sense of place and community identity that is uniquely West Fargo, creating places that are interesting, beautiful, useful, and likely to provide long-standing value.
- Bold - moves forward with initiatives and programs secure in the knowledge that we are worthy of the best, and staying one step ahead of peer cities in innovation, creativity, prosperity, and quality of life.
- Proactive - plans for future success rather than react to today's outcomes.
Chandlerthinks, the City of West Fargo's community marketing consultant, also cautions that if a city doesn't define itself, others will define it for you.
"Truth is, we must be the narrator of our story. When we fail to do so, the dominant message may create a negative conversation that affects consumer attitudes towards our destination."2
We'll be kicking off the City's branding study with public feedback events the week of October 4. We hope you join us at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, to help shape the brand of West Fargo.
1 The 2020 World's Most Valuable Brands. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/the-worlds-most-valuable-brands/#3e55b885119c
2 Why branding places matters now more than ever. Chandlerthinks. https://www.chandlerthinks.com/blog/why-branding-places-matters-more-now-than-ever/