Town of Warrenton

Branding, Design

Case study of a grassroots campaign and association advertising that Model B has done for Warrenton, Virginia

Why You Should Never Be Afraid to Rebrand

No one can deny the fact that the DC metro area has become quite the hot spot. Individuals flock to the area chasing ambitious career goals and elite educational opportunities. And with the increasing number of inhabitants, there becomes a pressing need for them to inhabit the Northern Virginia suburbs.

Case study of a grassroots campaign and association advertising that Model B has done for Warrenton, Virginia

Introducing the Town of Warrenton.

The 209-year-old Virginian community has a rich history, a vibrant present, and future that offers a great place for families to live. Because of Warrenton’s close proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are breathtaking views and a plethora of chances to experience the great outdoors, serving as an exciting getaway for friends looking to escape the congestion of DC. The region is also home to some of the most undeniably charming businesses in the DC metro area. Unfortunately, this charming town lacked a definitive brand identity to convey its appeal to nonresidents. This lack of a recognizable brand identity made it difficult for the town to tap into its full potential when it came to economic growth.

Enters Model B

Realizing that the town had room to grow its economic footprint, Warrenton officials convened a few savvy business and marketing experts from the area, including one of Model B’s very own, to see what areas in Warrenton’s current marketing strategy had room for improvement. It was from these meetings that it became evident that Warrenton wasn’t as successful as it could be in terms of attracting more visitors because the name “Warrenton” didn’t evoke a distinct and identifiable meaning to the outside community. Despite all the town had to offer, many individuals who aren’t town residents were associating Warrenton as just another suburb on the map. And Model B was chosen to rectify that.

Our creative team was tasked with designing a branding campaign strategy that the town could use to convey the identity of Warrenton. It was our job to create marketing material that shared the stories of why the town is so unique and worth visiting. We wanted to develop something that would greatly assist the government and area businesses in cultivating the economic growth Warrenton knows it’s capable of achieving. Per the culture of Model B, we decided to accomplish this task like we do every task, using math, technology, and creativity.

Case study of a grassroots campaign and association advertising that Model B has done for Warrenton, Virginia

Our Findings

Looking at the then-current marketing material Warrenton had developed on its own, we quickly noticed that like many towns across the country, the town’s messaging and independent outreach mechanisms were disjointed. For starters, from a design standpoint, there lacked a sense of brand cohesion. There weren’t a set of strict guidelines determining the colors and fonts to be used in official Warrenton content and communications.

In addition, the then-current messaging of Warrenton’s marketing material didn’t answer the question “Why should someone visit Warrenton?” The information put out to the world via advertisements didn’t adequately channel all the charm and beauty of Warrenton to non-local residents. In a sense, there wasn’t a compelling argument being made to convince individuals that Warrenton should be the chosen destination over its surrounding communities.

With all of this in mind, we developed a game plan that Warrenton happily received.

The Approach

Given we were developing branding guidelines for an entire community, we wanted the input from the people that live in the town. We met with local business owners, longtime town residents, council members, and the mayor to gauge what Warrenton meant to them, what all the town has to offer, and how they’d like to see it grow in the foreseeable future.

With the town’s input in mind, we took the time to develop what we call a “Message House” for Warrenton. We used this as a tool to help the town stay focused when it comes to future marketing endeavors, and to prevent any further issues with disjointed messaging. We often recommend the use of Message Houses when companies, governments, or other organizations are seeking to hone in on a brand identity.

Furthermore as part of the branding campaign strategy, we worked with Warrenton in establishing a branding foundation that will make the town’s messaging more recognizable to the public. We chose specific colors, typography, signage, and stationery that will help this Virginian suburb standout amongst its neighboring peers.  These elements go a long way in making a brand distinguishable and essentially more appealing, as evidenced by the world’s largest companies.

Case study of a grassroots campaign and association advertising that Model B has done for Warrenton, Virginia
Case study of a grassroots campaign and association advertising that Model B has done for Warrenton, Virginia

And lastly, we created a Warrenton logo to achieve from a marketing perspective what a town seal alone just isn’t able to. Through a series of revisions, we came up with a logo that the town loved, and is currently using on official marketing material.

Case study of a grassroots campaign and association advertising that Model B has done for Warrenton, Virginia

Looking Forward

As Warrenton continues on its rebranding journey, we feel confident we’ve equipped local leaders with a strategy that will bring the area more recognition, and place the town on track to achieve more expedient economic growth. As we now begin embarking on their digital outreach efforts, we’re excited to help share their beautiful story.

If you have a desire to rebrand your organization in hopes of being more marketable like the Town of Warrenton, make sure you contact Model B. We’d love to work with you. Let’s build things together.

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