NSW largest council has rebranded itself with the help of more than 2,000 ratepayers and hit back at perceptions that it is boring.
Canterbury-Bankstown Council, which was created in May last year from a merger between Canterbury City and Bankstown City Councils, launched its new logo and slogan: ‘where interesting happens’ yesterday (Monday) and released a video to accompany it.
The south-western Sydney council is the state’s largest council area and has around 350,000 residents.
The council’s administrator, Richard Colley, said that residents, community and sports groups and business leaders had all chipped in their thoughts on the rebranding and so had visitors, through workshops, interviews, surveys and roundtables.
Mr Colley said the council involved the community from the outset so that they could ‘own and be proud of’ the rebranding, which reportedly cost $375,000.
“It’s not every day you get to stop and think about what defines you as a place and community – we know we are multiculturally diverse, and that’s very important, but what really defines us and sets us apart from other areas and the pack,” Mr Colley said.
“It’s based on the idea “Where Interesting Happens” and will allow us to promote our fascinating stories, unique experiences and much more.”
The council’s survey of ratepayers found they wanted the area to become a destination where people stopped, rather than drove through; they were proud of diversity and wanted to project a more confident image.
Mr Colley said residents would see the new brand popping up in the area from this week on signs, council vehicles and PR material and that various related events would follow.
“Our new city brand is about sharing what makes us special and uniting the two great cities of Canterbury and Bankstown. It’s much more than just a logo, it’s a whole new destination marketing approach for everyone to join in, including residents, businesses, community groups, cultural institutions, sporting groups and visitors.”
But the rebranding was not just about what people who live or work in the area thought.
Mr Colley said: “We also wanted to understand what people outside Canterbury-Bankstown think of us, so we can attract them to our many businesses, places and activities, and help grow our local economy.”
Focus groups and online surveys of around 500 Sydneysiders from outside the Canterbury Bankstown area found that some of them had negative perceptions that there was not enough to do there.
“The research showed some Sydneysiders don’t visit Canterbury-Bankstown because they think there’s not much to do here. Well, that’s about to change!
“Interestingly, we also heard, some people living in our City believe other Sydneysiders think Canterbury-Bankstown is unsafe. We found this is not the case at all,” he said.
It’s early days but the reaction on social media have been mostly positive so far, apart from one or two digs at the council’s slogan and social media hashtag.
One Facebook wag said the hashtag should be #whereoverdevelopmenthappens or #whereinfrastructureisneeded, while another criticised the slogan: “ ‘Where Interesting Happens’ isn’t even a grammatically correct sentence! But then neither is ‘Think Different’ and that worked for Apple. Good luck with the new initiative.”
CEO of Chess Engineering Steve Facer, who was involved in the consultation, said the process had “captured an honest and real feel of locals and non-residents”.
“They were unafraid to face whatever realities may present themselves and then have the courage to address them in an open-faced and positive way,” Mr Facer said.
“The new direction seems highly inclusive. It already has, and will continue to generate energy for a ‘can do’ area that may now start to evolve at an ever increasing rate. I loved the bold simplicity of the package.”
What do you think of the rebranding?
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