Photo courtesy of the city of Spring Hill
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
Spring Hill city leaders have released an online survey designed for both residents and those familiar with the city to better help direct its new place branding initiative.
Back in July, city leaders had approved up to $50,000 for a branding initiative, which sought to outline a concrete and distinguishable identity for the city as to better recruit desirable businesses, attract tourism, and just have a more distinct identity as a place.
Introduced by Alderman Vincent Fuqua, the proposal saw a mixed reception from the board, with then-Aldermen Chad Whittenburg and Alderman Matt Fitterer citing a lack of clear measurables of success as issues with the proposal, and Alderman Amy Wurth calling the amount “a monumental amount of money.” Other Aldermen, such as Fuqua, Susan Zemek and Mayor Rick Graham were in favor of the proposal, with Zemek calling it “long overdue.”
Supporters also pointed out that the proposal’s funding would only come from the city’s hotel and motel tax, which is restricted to only being spent “for the sole purpose of tourism development.”
After reviewing multiple options for the place branding initiative, city leaders eventually settled on the marketing firm Chandlerthinks LLC for a total cost of $66,000, 32 percent higher than what was originally allotted.
In the online survey, residents will be asked to describe things such as what adjectives best fit the city of Spring Hill, what are the city’s most notable and iconic locations, and what sort of personality would best suit its residents.
The process of branding by Chandlerthinks would be broken into four distinct phases; research, strategy, positioning deliverables, and plan of action. The research phase, of which the survey is a part of, includes multiple focus groups, interviews with city leaders, and essentially breaking down what makes Spring Hill, Spring Hill.