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City launches branding initiative


FAIRBORN – As part of its re-branding initiative, city officials are asking citizens what resonates with them when they think of Fairborn. Public Relations Specialist Katie Lewallen of the City of Fairborn said a brand is an emotional response individuals experience upon seeing a logo or other items associated with a company, and officials are hoping to capture the overall beliefs and feelings held about Fairborn.

“The overall goal is to get a brand, a seal, for Fairborn,” she said. “When you visit Fairborn, what do you think? What do you feel? We’ve got to get something that resonates with the residents, businesses, people who visit and work in the city. We want to get something that’s consistent … We want to have something that is also moving Fairborn forward that says ‘we want new businesses here,’ and ‘we want our residents to stay.’ We are a place for new homes and new developments, and we’re trying to put ourselves out there.”

Its current logo was developed in the 90s, and officials feel that Fairborn has evolved since then. The city is working with Upward Branding to complete the project, taking place in three phases with the first currently occurring. Lewallen said phase one, which will end by officials unveiling a brand possibility, is expected to be completed by the spring months. During this phase, officials are gathering information and conducting research in order to capture what the next brand will consist of. Phase two will include of marketing the brand, which consists of changing the old logo out of city documents, signage, entryways, shirts and other items with the new logo. The third phase, which may take place a few years from now, will allow officials to tweak as needed.

“We are getting input from citizens, pastors, business owners, residents of all ages, the education [institutes] and the military,” she said. “We are trying to get different people collectively to ask them what they think of when they think of the amenities of Fairborn … It’s to get an overall feel for what they like to do when they’re here, and we want to build on that … We’re going to have something for everyone and we want to get that out there.”

Lewallen and Fairborn City Manager Deborah McDonnell feel that this project cannot be completed without the input of the citizens, and are asking for feedback. The initiative was presented at the latest citizens forum, in which residents contributed their ideas regarding what they think about when they imagine Fairborn. Some of the ideas included the parks and annual events.

The recently-launched MySidewalk tool, found at https://mysidewalk.com/sidewalks/6746/fairborn-oh, also allows the city to receive feedback from citizens. Lewallen said it is how city employees can speak to citizens.

“Do it, get on, talk to us, tell us what you think, help offer ideas and solutions and expectations,” McDonnell said. “It’s a great opportunity to interface with us … We’re reaching out and hoping people will reach back to be a part of it.”

MySidewalk allows city officials post questions in the form of multiple choice or forums, and ask citizens to contribute their ideas. McDonnell said the city wishes to see citizen involvement, but understands that they may not be able to make the council meetings.

“The community belongs to the people who live here,” McDonnell said. “We have a better community when everyone participates.”


By Whitney Vickers

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Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532.