Cinnamon Toast New Media

Mixed bag of viewpoints at logo public meeting

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A crowd of about 20 people attended the public consultation session at the Libro Centre regarding the proposed new logos with varying opinions on which one they liked best.

Cinnamon Toast New Media, led by owner/creative director Bronwyn Mondoux, made a presentation to parks and recreation committee members and heritage committee members followed by another presentation to the public last Saturday at the Libro Centre. At the public meeting, Mondoux brought forth the results of the “Talk the Burg” survey, which had 558 responses and 468 of those identifying as being from Amherstburg. Eighty tourists replied while ten identified as local business owners.

About 47 per cent of the residents liked “Option B,” which was the stylized “A” logo while 37 per cent of the tourists liked “Option A,” which was the original logo brought forth to council in mid-January.

“Option C,” the other logo that was presented after the council meeting with buildings and waves in it, was the second favourite of both residents and tourists, Mondoux reported. The least liked logo in both groups was the simplified version of the original logo.

Logos discussed include Option A (left), Option A simplified (centre),Option B (top right) and Option C (below right).

Option A will be the one that will again be recommended to town council for adoption, as Cinnamon Toast New Media believes that is the one that will connect with millennials and also will address the town’s strategic plan and values as well as what was in the original Request for Proposals (RFP).

Norm Mickle said of Option A that “I don’t understand the logo concept at all” and that Option B looked too similar to that of the Amherstburg Admirals’ logo. Mickle said that Amherstburg is a town that “pioneers new things” and that “we do things here that other towns follow.” He didn’t believe the logos he referenced would inspire tourism or businesses to move here.

“My personal feeling is that neither of these do any of that,” said Mickle.

CAO John Miceli said the town’s Official Plan that was adopted in 2009 outlines the economic importance of tourism “and how important it is to the growth of this town.”

“We got this right back in 2009,” he said. “It’s been ten years and no one did a thing.”

Miceli admitted he wasn’t a fan of Option A at first and preferred Option C. However, he said Option A captured everything the town was looking for in a logo.

“We’re trying to develop tourism as an industry,” he said. “We’ve said since 2009 that we should be doing this.”

Gord Freeman pointed out local artist Elio Del Col designed a logo several years ago that didn’t get off the ground. He believed the consultants should have been given copies of the two-volume book series on Amherstburg to get an education on what the town is about.

“I am not in favour of rebranding. We are the brand here,” said Freeman. “We are recognized in the province. We are the historic heart of southwestern Ontario. Pretty much no one else has what we have, except Sandwich possibly.”

Nancy Atkinson said she circulated the originally proposed logo to family and friends who questioned what it was. She added that when she vacations, “never do I look for a logo.” Atkinson added that she doesn’t understand why the logo is so important and that festivals “are awesome and speak better for all of us.”

Bob Rozankovic questioned why the recommendation supports the 37 per cent of 80 tourist respondents, rather than the responses from the residents.

“This doesn’t make sense,” said Rozankovic. “Shouldn’t the new logo carry the approval of the residents first and foremost?”

Rozankovic added “a logo will never draw tourists here. I’ve travelled the world – a logo doesn’t do it.”

Former councillor Diane Pouget pointed out that she voted against the $76,000 branding expenditure because “I think it’s a waste of money.” She believed that a logo design could have been found within the community and not by hiring a firm from outside of Amherstburg.

“We could have done it with high school students,” said Pouget, adding “I have not heard of anyone that likes it.”

Pouget added that she was previously at the committee meeting and reported they were having difficulty achieving consensus.

Sarah Gibb believed there was too much focus on the town logo and that it’s “one piece of the puzzle.” She added she plans her family’s vacations and uses online tools such as new websites to do it.

“It’s a bigger picture item,” she believed, of the branding strategy. Gibb added that “we need to attract people here” over other local municipalities.

“I want them to come here,” she said.

Gord Freeman pointed out the town had a new logo designed several years ago by Elio DelCol.

Janet Willoughby supported Option A, believing that “it makes us unique.” She added that logo will look good on a t-shirt or mug and that the colours were nice as well.

Mondoux noted the logo helps “set the tone” but noted there are other components of the branding project to come, including the new tourism website.

“This is going to turn into so many pieces,” she said.

Anne Rota, the town’s manager of tourism and culture, also said the logo “is a small piece” and there is a “beautiful, beautiful website that is coming.”
“Let’s not get stuck on the logo,” she said, though added the recommended option “has a piece of what everyone wanted in a very edgy way.”

Both the town and Cinnamon Toast New Media revealed that the new logo will not replace the current town crest, the latter still said to be in the plans for more official documentation and will stay on town vehicles.

“Perhaps we should have done a better job communicating that,” said Rota.

The matter will appear before town council again Feb. 25.

Town council sees one logo recommendation, wants to see others

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The town is moving towards getting a new logo but remains unclear as to what that new logo will look like.

Cinnamon Toast New Media – the firm developing the new logo, tourism website and communication plan – presented the new logo to town council Monday night with owner/creative director Bronwyn Mondoux noting they received the most feedback the company ever had through its survey. A total of 383 surveys were completed with another 25 or so attending public meetings.

Top values identified by the public included the town’s history, scenic aspects, friendliness and uniqueness. However, when that was pulled together into a logo, council members joined members of the general public in being hesitant about the design to the point where they asked to see the two other designs the company did. The public will be able to see those as well at a yet-to-be scheduled public meeting with the matter coming back to council Feb. 25.

A horizontal look of the recommended logo from Cinnamon Toast New Media.

Councillor Donald McArthur noted that he didn’t envy Cinnamon Toast New Media as it was impossible to satisfy everyone, however, wasn’t captivated himself by the logo and tagline “Born to Make History” when he first saw it.

“I wanted to love it, I wanted to be blown away by it but I wasn’t,” said McArthur, adding after the meeting that “I think we can do better.

“I was looking forward to loving it and I didn’t.”

McArthur noted he received similar feedback on his website and social media pages. While the town could eventually decide that the first logo will be the one they go with, he said they want to take a look at the others and consider all of them.

Councillor Michael Prue said the logo was too “busy” and that “in colour, it’s not so bad.” When the logo is in one colour, it requires further explanation as to what it contains.

“I think you are trying to capture too much,” Prue told Mondoux, adding the “heart and soul” of the town is its history.

“For me, it fell a little bit flat,” added Councillor Patricia Simone.

Simone asked if there was anything left in the budget if council were to send this first one back, which it did, and Mondoux indicated there were two other designs that the company prepared. Mondoux added that she believed many of the other Essex County municipalities had similar looking logos and encouraged town council to “choose the one that makes you feel uncomfortable. The ones that are safe are the ones that get left behind.”

Councillor Marc Renaud also wanted to see the two other options that had been prepared. He didn’t think the logo that Cinnamon Toast New Media brought to council Monday night had the “wow factor.” Councillor Peter Courtney also commented that the logo was “too busy” but agreed with McArthur that it was tough to please everyone.

A vertical look at the proposed new town logo.

“There was no emotional connection,” Courtney said of the logo. “I’m not convinced and I’m feeling that from residents.”

Deputy Mayor Leo Meloche said the logo grew on him the more he looked at it. He tried to envision whether his children would like it and has started to believe the logo was “modern and edgy.”

“It does send a message,” said Meloche. “I have grown to like it.”

In addition to having a public meeting, Prue wanted to ensure that the parks and recreation committee and possibly the heritage committee have a look at it as well.

The cost to engage Cinnamon Toast New Media for the complete branding strategy is in the neighbourhood of $76,000.

 

Amherstburg moving forward with branding strategy

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Town of Amherstburg, in conjunction with Cinnamon Toast New Media Inc., have hosted a pair of open houses with the aim of creating a new “brand” for the town.

The public meetings were held last Wednesday with 25 reportedly at an afternoon session and ten at an evening session.

Bronwyn Mondoux, owner and creative director with the Hamilton and Ottawa-based firm, said their hope is to have a new logo and other new branding materials to the town by December. She said they will be providing the town with multiple logos and concepts that the new council will be able to choose from.

Cinnamon Toast New Media creative director Bronwyn Mondoux makes a presentation to the public during an evening open house Aug. 29 at the Libro Centre regarding the town’s rebranding strategy.

Cinnamon Toast staff will take the information gathered through an online survey and the two public meetings and put forth a logo, tourism website and related branding information that “tells the story” about what residents feel the town looks like.

Mondoux said they received approximately 400 responses to their online survey, the most out of any town the company has been engaged by. Cinnamon Toast New Media has done work for five towns and two cities, she said.

A brand is a person’s “gut feeling about a product, service or company,” said Mondoux, and that branding provides a competitive advantage for municipalities, establishes a stable asset and creates trust, provides economic value, sets expectations and improves recognition, creates an experience, supports advertising initiatives and inspires residents to be “brand ambassadors.”

“A good brand looks towards the future,” said Mondoux.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo indicated that while the town is spending approximately $75,000 on the rebranding exercise, he said it’s more than just a logo. The tourism website will allow that information to be separated from the other information from the town’s main website.

“In the grand scheme of things, the town has got a lot of history and a lot of great attributes, but I’m not sure that we’ve really focused on how we brand the image of who we are,” he said.

By rebranding, it will enable the town to stand out better and allow people from outside the community to discover it and find out what Amherstburg has to offer.

Paul Hertel goes through one of the exercises at a rebranding open house last Wednesday.

Responding to critics who question the spending of $75,000 on the initiative, the mayor stated surrounding municipalities are already undertaking or have undertaken similar initiatives.

“The bottom line is, look around,” said DiCarlo. “I see a lot of municipalities that are very progressive and very active and have done what we are doing now. They’ve been very successful and they’ve brought people in. Not only have they brought them there, but that means that we are losing some of those people to them.”

There is “no denying” the town’s history, but Amherstburg will be able to further discover “what sets us apart from other municipalities,” he said.

DiCarlo added the exercise will help people discover “what Amherstburg has that makes me want to go there.” He said the survey and the meetings are key.

“It is important to consider all ideas on what sets us apart,” he said.

 

Public engagement sessions on possible town re-branding Wednesday afternoon and evening

The public is reminded that the town is holding two information sessions with regards to its proposed new branding strategy Wednesday afternoon and evening.

The town has partnered with marketing agency Cinnamon Toast New Media Inc. to develop the branding strategy, as well as “an innovative new tourism website” to attract visitors, guests and investors.

Cinnamon Toast has aimed to gather information about what makes Amherstburg unique to other municipalities and what elements stakeholders would like to see reflected in the town’s future brand and logo.

Information is also being sought on how often the town’s website is accessed, and what visitors to the site find most valuable, including ease of use, information about events, attractions including restaurant and accommodation recommendations.

“Amherstburg continues to be progressive in meeting the growing interests of new markets. We encourage everyone to participate in filling out the short survey to help us in the creation of an exciting new logo and tourism website,” manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota stated in a press release published online last month.

There will be two public consultations sessions Aug. 29 and those sessions will be led by Cinnamon Toast New Media Inc. and attended by town representatives. The first session will be at 3 p.m. with an evening session planned for 6 p.m. Both will be held at the Libro Centre.

The town agreed in May to spend up to $75,000 plus HST on a branding strategy, which will also include a communications strategy and a “brand identity manual.”

The Town of Amherstburg is encouraging the public to find the survey on its “Talk the Burg” online feedback website and at its main website of www.amherstburg.ca.