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