Orange Park to consider branding at future meeting

By Nick Blank nick@claytodayonline.com
Posted 1/5/22

ORANGE PARK— Town council members considered a pitch from a Jacksonville-based marketing firm at Tuesday night’s council meeting, which could end in an overhaul of the town's image.

Council …

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Orange Park to consider branding at future meeting

Posted

ORANGE PARK— Town council members considered a pitch from a Jacksonville-based marketing firm at Tuesday night’s council meeting, which could end in an overhaul of the town's image.

Council members unanimously approved authorizing the town to enter negotiations with North Star Place Branding and for both sides to review more information before a final decision is made.

Town Manager Sarah Campbell said the $81,000 branding process could take eight months, so the town had the opportunity to piggyback a similar contract with Newport News, Virginia on Tuesday. A “piggyback” is a function agency can use to advance the procurement process with justification. Campbell said a request for proposal alone takes three months.

Addressing council members, North Star Place Branding CEO Will Ketchum said the town of Orange Park was at a critical juncture.

“There's a lot of compelling reasons to think about owning your story for the town of Orange Park,” he said.

Ketchum said St. Johns County had its moment in the sun and Clay County was right behind it. However, Ketchum said, the town of Orange Park has to maintain its identity. While branding won’t solve everything, it’s an arrow in the town’s quiver.

“We ask what makes Orange Park distinct? What is authentic about Orange Park and what is ownable?” he asked.

Ketchum referred to the town as an “edge community,” basically a unique area next to a large city. He presented the firm's branding efforts for Dublin, California and Santee, California, smaller cities that border San Francisco and San Diego, respectively.

Through surveys and discussion, Ketchum said the goal is to find Orange Park’s DNA.

However, Council Member Alan Watt didn’t want the town to duplicate ground the town had already covered with its visioning process. He said the town conducted surveys and branding is a component of the visioning process.

“I want to take advantage of money we've already spent, that's the bottom line,” he added.

Council Member John Hauber wondered how many new residents the town had and said aspects of the town like branding are things people have to see 20 or 30 years down the road.

He asked if the branding could extend to the Orange Park Police Department and Campbell said those were discussed in North Star Place Branding's process.

“We kind of wanted something that's unified,” Hauber said.

Council Member Susana Thompson also said it was elected officials’ responsibility whether to spend $81,000 or not, which comes out of taxpayers’ pockets.

“Honestly, because it is so much, we should probably discuss this a little more,” Thompson said.

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  • jamesorvis360

    Coincidently, last August I became a homeowner in Orange Park, having moved here from the Santee, CA area. I lived in Santee from 2004-2015, (eventually building a home outside the nearby community of El Cajon), but witnessed Santee's rebranding process firsthand. Santee had a lot of changes in the community in process when I moved there, and during my time in the area, it was transformed into a significantly better community. I believe that the then-mayor and council members had a lot to do with the positive changes, but if any council members would like to hear what I witnessed there, I'd be happy to share. I'd just need to know who to contact and how to reach them.

    Wednesday, January 5 Report this