Last week at the conclusion of the COIN Summit Colorado released an new brand for the state. The new branding effort was lead by Aaron Kennedy (of Noodles fame) with the help of a brand ‘committee’ (I was a member) and, importantly, a large network of ‘brand ambassadors’ around the state. The process was an interesting one and was designed by Aaron to be inclusive of opinions and ideas from around the state. The idea was to identify a unifying brand that could represent Colorado across a wide variety of uses (both inside the state and outside). The result is the image in the upper left of this post and the tag line “IT’S IN OUR NATURE”. The logo draws from the green on the Colorado license plate, using updated but similar mountain/peak imagery but also including CO and Colorado (I guess for the avoidance of doubt about what we’re talking about).
I think it’s impossible to undertake an initiative such as this and find any kind of true consensus. And I suspect that people reading this will have mixed reactions to the new logo and branding. That’s kind of the nature of the beast. You should see the size of the three ring binder that I received as part of the Brand Counsel that reviewed all sorts of information from focus groups and brand brainstorms (now would be a good time to point out that the funding for this project was all private – the state didn’t pay for the fancy binders and formal letterhead, etc that I received). Personally, I like the new logo a lot and I think it was time for Colorado to update its image. I also like that the state will be consolidating around the use of this logo but also be allowing companies from Colorado to use the logo to tag themselves as Colorado proud (there are derivatives of the logo that signify that products were Made in Colorado or Designed in Colorado, etc.).
I can’t help but point out the similarities of both the logo and the tag line to the Colorado Entrepreneurial by Nature initiative that I helped start with a handful of other local entrepreneurs (and that was announced about a year ago) – if you’re a Colorado business and you haven’t signed up and badged your website you can do so here. I think the similarities speak to the broad view of Colorado as a place where business and nature mix (and reinforce each other). And I’m really happy that the work that our small group did around EBN was validated by the much broader work of BrandCO.
Look for both the EBN logo and the new BrandCO logo to proliferate.