What is Decatur’s story? That’s the question the city is trying to put into a slogan to promote itself, but it’s back to the drawing board for the company hired to create the slogan.
The city council rejected the slogan “a little different” Monday night. The branding is all about drawing people to Decatur as North Alabama grows.
A local community branding expert says a slogan is important because it creates personality, pride, and perception from outsiders.
“What makes them stand out from other cities,” said Ellen Didier, president of Red Sage Communications. “What makes us different and what makes us us.”
Decatur is paying about $200,000 to the company Big Communications that works on brands like the Department of Commerce’s “Made in Alabama.” City Councilwoman Kristi Hill says it won’t cost more taxpayer money for Big Communications to go back to the drawing board.
Some locals agree starting from scratch is the right thing to do because they say city branding will affect their business.
“We’re a local real estate company,” said Daniel Alexander with Shield and Stone Realty Group. “What’s really gonna bring people in where I can get them to stay?”
What they want to shine through in a slogan are the things that make their city special to them.
“I moved here from south Florida, really big city, you feel like you don’t exist,” said Luiz Minardi. “But you come over here and you meet so many people that are just incredibly nice. So I really feel that’s something that should kind of be captured in that. Just the hospitality of the area and the ingenuity, the creativity of the people around here.”
Putting all of that into a slogan is why the experts aren’t surprised it didn’t work out the first time.
“And then how do you capture that in three words or four words?” Didider said. “It’s very difficult.”
So they’re trying again. A lot of data analysis and research goes into coming up with a slogan.
On August 29th you’re invited to a special meeting to brainstorm new slogan ideas. That meeting will be at 3:30 at city hall.