HUMBOLDT — “Heart of it all.”
Those are the words the City of Humboldt will use to present itself to the world.
“We have had a number of different brands over the years, but there was one thing that was in common, it seems, and that’s the word ‘heart,’” said Rob Muench, Humboldt’s mayor, during the brand’s unveiling on Oct. 19.
Humboldt has branded itself as the “heart of the sure crop district” and “a little part of Germany in the heart of the prairies” in the past.
The mayor said the new brand was the result of work from the community.
“This was not a slogan that was brought together by a marketing company from outside of the community,” he said.
At the beginning of the process, the city’s marketing committee, which included representatives from the city’s business community, had received 352 submissions at a booth at the Summer Sizzler.
The city has been working on a new brand for years, with this being the result of a second attempt. The first attempt ended up fizzling out.
“It started off as an item on the to-do list, something that we needed to do to refresh our brand,” said Lorne Pratchler, the vice-chair of the marketing committee. “Something that would better represent us and it would leave us with something to market, for people to remember us by.”
Then the community – and the world – was rocked by the Humboldt Broncos bus collision on April 6, 2018.
“It shook us. It forced us to pause and think about who we were as individuals, who we were as a community,” Pratchler said. “That project now took on new meaning, it had become a way that we could lift ourselves from the state we're in.”
Muench said the brand was done on a shoestring budget, with most of the work, including the new graphics, designed in-house.
The brand is designed to be interchangeable with what the city is promoting. For example, “Heart of the Iron Triangle,” could be used for efforts to attract manufacturing.
“The word heart is going to stay consistent, as it has been in the past, and then [we’ll] just add those elements to it to promote what we're promoting at the time,” Muench said.
The mayor said it’s the job of the city’s marketing people to make sure the brand isn’t made generic by connecting it to too many different aspects of the community.
Muench said the new brand was originally planned to be revealed in the spring, but the pandemic affected those plans. It was revealed now because this was a project of the current council.
“Because we're heading into the busiest retail season of the year, we wanted to make sure that our merchants and our local businesses in town can capitalize on some of the promotion we're going to be doing for this for the coming Christmas season.”