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Our Branding Initiative

The City of Carbondale has recently begun a research-driven, community-wide branding initiative. This effort will help Carbondale stand out in the marketplace as we grow toward our preferred future. Currently we are conducting research inside and outside the community to uncover perceptions, attitudes and what’s unique about Carbondale.


We start by conducting research inside and outside the community to uncover perceptions, attitudes and what's unique about Carbondale.


All of that data is transformed into compelling creative tools that tell the Carbondale story in ways that visitors, businesses and residents can understand.


Next begins the integration of the new brand, not just into marketing and communications, but also into the fabric of our community and our daily lives.

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“How people think of a place is less tangible, but more important than just about anything else.”

 Richard Florida


What is Community Branding?

Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around. In other words, your reputation!  Just like people or products, communities have reputations based on all the different experiences people have had with that community over time.  Branding is the process of changing, clarifying, refining or improving that reputation.

The first step in our community branding initiative is conducting research to figure out what Carbondale's existing reputation is.  At the same time we will conduct research to determine what Carbondale’s greatest strength is.  What makes our city special and unique? This allows us to look at where we are reputation wise, where we want to be based on our greatest strength, and then come up with creative tools, strategies and advocacy programs that help close the gap between the two.

A new brand won't solve all our problems. What branding can do is focus people on the positive differentiator in Carbondale, which can help us stand out relative to the competition. The stronger and more defined our reputation, the more people will want to live, work and play here.


Can you share some examples of community branding?

You can see numerous examples of community branding on the website of North Star Destination Strategies.  This agency is the City of Carbondale's branding partner.

Why do we do research?  

People have opinions about Carbondale.  We want to hear them all. And the only way to do that is to gather lots of data from inside and outside the community. That data then becomes the primary driver for uncovering Carbondale's brand. A statistically significant body of quantitative and qualitative research ensures the brand represents the perceptions of all audiences inside and outside the community. 



At the heart of the Carbondale brand are the stories of the people who call Carbondale home.  And we want to hear them all.  Did you start a business or a family here?  Buy your first house or car? Please share the details.  What does your church mean to you?  Did your kids learn to swim in a local pool?  Where do you go to have fun with your friends?  What is your favorite memory?   

If pictures are your preferred way to tell your story, post a picture of you, your family and friends at a favorite Carbondale hangout.  Post both stories and pictures on Instagram at #ShareYourCarbondaleIL. The best pictures might even be used in a social media campaign associated with the roll-out of the new brand!



 If you really have a passion to help with this process sign up to become a Carbondale Brand Ambassador below.  Ambassadors are kept updated on the project and given the tools to spread the good word about Carbondale within their own personal spheres of influence.

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