Tuesday, February 28, 2012


UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo., Feb. 24, 2012--The City of University City will unveil its new brand identity at the city’s “Celebration of Diversity” community event on March 3, 2012. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Centennial Commons and is free and open to residents and non-residents.

The celebration will include performances by local groups and musicians, information tables hosted by local organizations and institutions, refreshments and more. A special presentation by Mayor Shelley Welsch will begin at 7 p.m. and will include the unveiling of the city’s new brand identity.

“The new identity is the result of a formalized branding process undertaken by the City that included input from residents, businesses and community leaders,” said Mayor Shelley Welsch. “Our new community identity captures the true brand essence of University City.”

University City is at the leading-edge of municipal branding as more and more communities understand the importance of identifying their assets through formalized branding. As competition grows to attract residents, tourists, as well as business, branding provides a differentiated identity that assists communities in promoting and communicating their true core assets.

The University City branding effort began in August 2011. As part of their assignment, City Manager Lehman Walker charged the Avant Marketing Group, the City’s public communications and marketing firm, to develop a renewed identity for the City that would assist in promoting both the opportunities and quality way of life in the community.

“The Avant Marketing Group provided a formalized analytical approach to define our identity,” stated Walker. “Through focus groups, one-on-one interviews and online surveys, the new identity was developed based on community input and will highly resonate with our residents because of its source.”

The market research was a community-wide engagement effort and included focus groups with 39 residents and business leaders, over 25 one-on-one interviews with key community and business leaders, and participation from over 80 residents through an online survey.

The new brand identity will begin appearing on City signage and in communications. It will be used in the City’s economic development efforts and as a “calling card” for all marketing and promotional efforts. In addition, the new identity will be featured in several new planned City communications activities including a resident newsletter and website that will assist in the communication needs of residents, businesses, newcomers, tourists and business prospects.

Monday, February 27, 2012

What is Planned for 2012?

What's being planned for 2012? Take three minutes to participate in our confidential online survey about anticipated sales and planned marketing allocations. By participating, you can get a copy of the results. Go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/avantbusinessexpectations

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Southern Group of State Foresters Selects Avant Marketing Group for Forest Products Marketing Coordination

St. Louis, Missouri/February 22, 2012 – The Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) has selected the Avant Marketing Group to coordinate its Forest Products Marketing. The SGSF is a non-profit organization made up of State Foresters from 13 Southern States, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to Mike Zupko, Executive Director of SGSF and Chair of the SGSF Services, “Avant’s experience and expertise in the timber and building products categories will assist in the marketing efforts of our organization.”

Mark Vogel, Avant Senior Partner will lead the project management efforts for this initiative.

The SGSF mission is to provide leadership in sustaining the economic, environmental, and social benefits of the South's forests. The group of State Foresters works together to identify and to address existing and emerging issues and challenges that are important to southern forests and citizens. More information about the organization can be found on its website: http://www.southernforests.org.

Avant Marketing Group is a market planning firm located in St. Louis, Missouri. The experienced group of professionals provides market research and planning with specialization in enterprise brand development, market communications, market segmentation, channel strategies and new product development.

Avant Case Study: Tiryaki Agro

In terms of food and grain processors, you may know the brands ADM, Bunge and Cargill, but have you ever heard of Tiryaki Agro?

The Avant Marketing Group was challenged with the assignment to rebrand Eastern Europe's leading food processor. Tiryaki started its commercial activities by opening up a lentil processing facility. After 30 years, Tiryaki is today a leading agri-business and food company that operates over 80 countries around the globe. Tiryaki is Turkey's biggest private sector company and exporter in the agro foods industry, buys grains, pulses, dried nuts and oil seeds from growers, transports them, processes them to food manufacturers who market them to consumers at retail. As an agricultural commodities company, Tiryaki provides a pathway by which products grown by farmers are turned into the foods that are served worldwide.

Strategically located at a key crossroad of trade for emerging economies, Tiryaki sources food from over 25 countries and export to more than 80 countries on five continents. Tiryaki is also the world's biggest certificated organic wheat exporter and the top player in the pistachios market.

Avant was challenged to develop a new corporate identity for Tiryaki. Using our proprietary Brand Development Process, we conducted market research with company leadership, employees and customers. This resulted in defining a formal Brand Platform.

Key elements of the new Tiryaki Brand Platform included its Vision, Mission and Shared Values that resonate with all stakeholders.

Vision -- To become a regional power in our industry, targeting the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Middle East and North Africa regions.

Mission -- To contribute to the sustainability and easier supply of the basic foods for the economic and healthy nutrition of both present and future generations.

Values -- Diligence, honesty, reliability, fairness, modesty, challenging.

Our assignment took us to Istanbul (administrative headquarters) and Gaziantep (operations headquarters) to conduct the work. Cultural and language differences always make assignments more complex, but Avant drove deep into both the Turkish and company cultures to complete this assignment.

The new brand identity can be viewed at http://www.tiryaki.net.

In terms of a Brand Essence that resonates with both employees and customers, Avant developed the Turkish term, "iyi insanlar. Bereketli topraklar." In English, the Brand Essence simply translates to "Good People. Good Earth."

We would like to thank Tiryaki for this assignment and allowing us to gain tremendous insight into their organization and the agricultural commodities markets of Eastern Europe. We would also like to thank Pro Wolfe Partners who collaborated with us on this project and is responsible for the graphic logo design.

The next time you snack on a pistachio, you now know the "Good People and Good Earth" that is most likely behind the product.

For more information about Avant's Brand Development Process or about our "Living the Brand" brand management approach to marketing, please contact us at http://www.avantmarketing.com.