Thursday, April 18, 2013

You can help design Colorado's brand

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Last week, we attended the Governor's Arts Award Luncheon at the Colorado Creative Industries Summit in Pueblo.

As you may already know, Pueblo, along with Aspen, each won the Governor's Art Award, a new and distinctive honor bestowed upon towns that have truly made a concerted effort toward funding and fostering creative development.

But more on that later. For now, the big announcement out of the luncheon is the search for graphic designers, copy writers and other creative types to help build a new, lasting Colorado brand. As it is, Colorado doesn't really have one — or maybe it does, but since no one knows what it is, it doesn't count — and, in order to become more competitive on the global market, attracting businesses, tourists and talent, we need it.

It's one of the five core goals outlined in the Colorado Blueprint, a state-wide economic development plan.

Because of that objective, GovernorJohn Hickenlooper hired Aaron Kennedy, an ad man who started Noodles & Company, as the state's chief marketing officer.

As Kennedy explained, the state had two options in building a new brand.

"We can do it the easy way, which is, hire the New York place branding agency," he said, adding he used to work for one. "The hard way to do it is, 'Made by Colorado for Colorado.' So we do it ourselves, and that’s the way we’re going to do it.”

That's where a creative team comes in. You can apply yourself, or nominate someone else for the job. Those who are chosen will work with Alex Bogusky and Dave Schiff, big names in the industry (Bogusky is the man behind Coca-Cola's polar bears and the anti-tobacco Truth campaign. Schiff launched Coke Zero in 2004. Both now work in Boulder for MadeMovement), who will oversee the project.

As the brand develops, Kennedy says that it will be vetted through the website,, through surveys of citizens throughout the state, and other quantitative analyses both in and outside the Centennial State. Plus, an internal crew consisting of a brand advisory council and review board will review things. After all that, Kennedy will sit down with Hickenlooper and "fight it out."

They hope to launch the brand by the end of August.

“We want an engaging process that’s entertaining because we’d like to get a million people involved in this," Kennedy said, "from inside and outside Colorado.

"We want it to endure the test of time. We’re developing a brand that will hopefully not be replaced in three or four or five years. This is just really capturing the heart and soul of this place, and hopefully that won’t change much in the next 20 years.

"And we want to showcase the depth and strength of our creative community here, that’s a big part of why we’re doing it [this way.] And this concept of homegrown: Made by Colorado, for Colorado.”

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