Monday, April 3, 2017

New Brand For Florence, South Carolina

FLORENCE, S.C. — The city of Florence introduced its new brand "Florence — Full Life. Full Forward." to the public during a press conference Friday morning at the Waters Building downtown.

Council members, community leaders and others attended the brand launch event, which featured a performance by the Wilson High School marching band and the cheerleaders from Wilson, West Florence and South Florence high schools.

Tim Norwood, chairman of the Downtown Development Corporation, said the last time Florence created a new brand was 10 years ago. At that time, the branding wasn't readily publicized but Norwood said he wants this rebranding to be different.

"We're taking this into the community," Norwood said. "This is a cultural difference we're making."

Mayor Stephen Wukela described the brand as a "distillation of the spirit, the strength, the essence of this community."

"It's altogether an appropriate time for us to do this," Wukela said. "We have made incredible progress over just a few years and we want to celebrate those accomplishments and look into the future. Our brand speaks to that progress."

Not only does the brand speak to the vast strides the city has made in recent past, but Wukela said it also captures the nature of the Florence population as kind, hardworking people who live enriched lives in the Florence area.

"There is a richness of life in this community that I think rivals any other," Wukela said. "The progress and success that we are having and that we continue to have and the richness and fullness of life that is experienced here. 'Full Life. Full Forward.' encapsulates that."

Avant Marketing Group and MPA Strategies both aided the city with the rebranding. The groups formed a branding committee and met with council members, city staff, community leaders and hundreds of Florence residents to determine the perception of Florence and after much consideration a new brand was created.

The new logo will be featured throughout the city as the branding committee plans to introduce new directional and venue signs, lamp post and display banners, city vehicle decals, among others.

To further introduce the new brand to local residents, the city of Florence organized a brand launch block party held at 6 p.m. in downtown Florence. The street festival included performances by The Holiday Band, which played a mix of old and new hits plus a special song written specifically for the city of Florence and its new brand.

Food and drink vendors lined South Dargan Street as hundreds of Florence residents came to enjoy the street festival. White T-shirts printed with the new logo and tag line were distributed during the block party so the community could get its first look at the brand.

Florence resident Joan Billheimer was among the first to get her T-shirt and she said she is both happy and excited about Florence’s rebranding.

“I love it,” Billheimer said. “It’s simple. Downtown is coming to life and we’re moving forward.”

Paul MacDonald, another longtime Florence resident, said this rebranding comes at an appropriate time for the city as downtown Florence has seen many improvements in recent years and is moving Florence in a positive direction.

“I like what they’re doing with the new logo. It’s a fresh look on what we hope to be a great future for the city,” MacDonald said. “We’re pretty excited about the future and it’s nice to see considering how far we’ve had to come.”

“If enough people see it, they’ll see what a great job we’re doing and where we’re going.”