Welcome to the new Diamond Municipal Solutions website. There is a new color scheme, a new logo and new content; but it is the way that our “brand” has been incorporated into the website that I am most proud of. In fact, I am pleased to be able to say that we spent more effort and time in discussing how our brand would drive the overall design than we did on any other part of this initiative. The site had to reflect the values and qualities that we think are fundamental to who we are here at Diamond in order for it to be authentic and this is a key point that I think every one of our clients should keep in mind as they move through similar initiatives going forward.
It may seem a bit strange to talk about the value of a “Corporate Brand” within the context of local government, but there is a lot more here than meets the eye. Your brand is your identity. It portrays a message to the world about who you are and the kinds of people that work for you. It sets expectations for your clients/constituents so that they are predisposed towards a certain kind of experience when working with you, even before you have a meaningful interaction. For a municipality, it tells your citizens and prospective citizens what it is like to live in your community and what values the community has in terms of citizen engagement & involvement and why they might want to reside in your city versus the one down the highway.
There are several notable municipalities in our client base that have begun to think through their brand in different terms than they have in the past. The City of Stratford, Ontario has established itself as a technology and innovation hub and they exemplify this everyday through involvement in programs such as the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). A few hours away, the Town of Innisfil recently engaged in a comprehensive municipal re-branding initiative called “Innisfil 2020 – the place to be”. This involved a comprehensive re-positioning of community values and priorities based on feedback provided by the people most vested in the future of the community – its constituents. Both of these communities understand that having a strong brand helps focus the strategic goals and objectives of the community and creates a higher level of engagement with constituents. I would encourage anyone who has an interest to review some of the things that these two Diamond clients are doing to drive their “Brand” through the following links here and here.
Our “brand” at Diamond is about trust, technology leadership and the creation of strong ‘value-added’ relationships with the people who drive our business. We embrace employees who want to engage with our customers and help them to improve their operations through the use of our products & services. We encourage creative thought and authenticity and aspire to be the best at what we do, each and every day. Of course a brand is a promise and therefore it continually evolves. It rises and falls with the collective experiences of customers and employees and can grow stronger or weaker over time. Having a strong sense of identity is the place to start, but the best brands in the world build over time through consistent behaviors and experiences until they are able to evoke an emotional response in name alone. We will talk further about brand in a future blog entry. For now, I would encourage everyone to contemplate the brand that they are establishing for themselves, personally or organizationally, each and every day.
Derek Locke, General Manager
Diamond Municipal Solutions