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UGA Institute Aids Vidalia Rebranding

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Vidalia will soon have a new brand. “As a City, we have never really created a brand that has been used consistently across all departments and was reflected across all signage and marketing materials,” said Vidalia Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Alexa Britton.

She is coordinating a rebranding project for the city that recently focused on city leaders. As part of Vidalia’s rebranding project the City Council was interviewed by representatives from the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVI). The Institute is assisting the City of Vidalia in the project. The rebranding effort has three phases: the survey of the city and community, the development of design, and the Implementation phase.

Currently, the City of Vidalia is in the first stage of rebranding, which includes a community survey, meeting with the local steering committee, meeting with multiple focus groups, and participating in a community immersion tour. The steering committee will also work to develop the brand position, general brand messaging, tagline and brand direction. The CVI met with the Steering Committee – composed of Mayor Doug Roper, three City of Vidalia employees, and members of the local community from small businesses, the faith community, industry, education, and tourism – to explain the steps of the branding process and to identify goals in the rebranding. The CVI Team presented the Steering Committee with examples of possible signage and logos for various City departments to illustrate the possibilities of this change.

Britton pointed out the need for a consistent brand for the City of Vidalia by sharing a quote from Andrew Beattie: “A brand is the collective impact or lasting impression from all that is seen, heard, or experienced by customers who come into contact with a company and its products and services.”

The CVI Team also met with focus groups on September 21-23. Each of these focus groups were comprised of 10 people from the following areas of interest: the arts community, the Vidalia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Board and tourism partners, the Mayor and City Council, church leaders, a Vidalia High School student group, industry representatives, experienced leaders, the Downtown Vidalia Association board and small business owners, City employees, and parents with children in a local home group.

Mayor Roper commented on the process, “We are looking forward to the next phase and hearing the feedback collected through the focus groups and survey,” he said. “The goal is to launch the new brand at the 2022 Vidalia Onion Festival.”

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