Tempers flared and frustrations ran high at the bimonthly Anna City Council meeting. The council revisited an agenda item that was tabled two weeks prior, voting to adopt the new City of Anna logo and establish a new brand for the city. Jessica Perkins, assistant to the city manager and Economic Development officer, gave a quick overview of the logo and brand to refresh the council and bring them up to speed.
City Councilman John Beazley asked Perkins to remind him and everybody else the purpose of rebranding. Perkins said rebranding helps market outside the community and assists with bringing in potential businesses and residents.
“New businesses will diversify the tax base of Anna and expand the job market,” Perkins said.
The new logo and brand also helps reflect the path Anna is moving on, in terms of growth.
“The current logo does not represent Anna,” Perkins said. “It is outdated.”
She added that the city website is also outdated and needs an upgrade, since the platform no longer exists. With a new platform, comes a new design.
A few residents weighed in on the subject, and the consensus was against the design. Tom Plunkett, a resident of Anna, said that he, along with many people in the online forum, did not like the logo.
“There were many comments on the logo, and 97 percent of them were negative,” Plunkett said.
Anna resident Sandy Perkins told the council that even though she appreciates all the time and hard work that was put into making the logo, she does not like it.
Some of the councilmen and residents were not satisfied with a few minor things on the logo. However, Jessica Perkins said there is more to a logo than a squiggle of the “N” or the colors.
“The brand identify is more than just a logo or tagline — it is a comprehensive look and feel that supports a community; a wide vision to be marketed in a variety of print publications, social media and on our website,” Perkins said. “The purpose of the new brand is to tell a story by layering personality on top of strategy to make a memorable connection with our community.”
Councilor Justin Burr and a few residents voiced their concern on why the council did not let the citizens choose a logo.
“I believe the mistake that was made was not choosing three different logo options and allowing the citizens to vote,” Burr said.
Perkins said the citizens were given a chance to weigh in on the creative process. North Star Destination Strategies had created different surveys for the residents and businesses of Anna. North Star also created surveys for potential businesses and residents and seven different focus groups to get an outsider's perspective.
“North Star's comprehensive and proven approach includes research, strategy, creative design, and action through implementation of deliverables,” Perkins said. “Through the Community BrandPrint process, North Star determined Anna's most relevant and distinct attributes. A strategic platform was drafted to generate a brand position or DNA strategy. The DNA strategy acted as the springboard into the creative design phase where North Star developed a compelling, creative identity to support the strategy, along with a range of deliverables … for bringing the brand to life. Each of these tools reinforces Anna's true distinction, competitive advantages and exact brand position to stand out in the marketplace.”
After much discussion, the final brand identity vote failed and was not adopted by the city council. The council then directed city staff to reconnect with North Star to review other options.