How One City Reinvented and Rebranded Itself

TRCX 818 trails on a northbound Florida Tri-Rail commuter train passing through Boynton Beach. Vehicle traffic can be seen to the right traversing on Interstate 95 in South Florida.
Image: Flickr

Despite spending $9 million on city-wide renovations, a survey of residents in Boynton Beach, Florida, still associated the city with crime, guns and bums. Read how the city pursued a critical rebranding and reinvention strategy.

What Happened
The city of Boynton Beach, Florida, recently polled its residents to learn what they thought about the city. The results weren’t pretty. Despite spending $9 million on city-wide renovations including new docks at the marina, residents still associated the city with crime, guns and bums.

The Solution
The interim Assistant City Manager, Carisse LeJeune, realized old misconceptions were still top of mind, and the city needed to rebrand itself. As a result, the City Commission hired a marketing consultant for $9,750. One of the first acts of the consultant was to form a branding committee to discover what Boynton Beach has to offer.

In our interview with Ms. LeJeune, she took us through the city’s process:

“Let’s start at the beginning. Back in 2010 the arts commission through its annual report, found the city of Boynton Beach didn’t really have an identity. Based on that report, the city commission gave staff permission to begin a re-branding process. The city staff came up with the idea to do a survey. That’s when we learned both positive and negative feedback. The positive feedback gave us ideas for preliminary work in conjunction with a consultant, focusing on our amenities: arts, marina district, dining/shopping, and green living.

“While this was going on, city staff attended a Convention and Visitors Bureau conference, who were launching an international marketing campaign, which utilized Boynton as part of a beta test ‘Breeze into Boynton.’ We then approached the CVB about our excitement in them using Boynton and they pointed us to Dale Carlson, who is now our consultant. The CVB used a copyrighted program, ‘The Brand Promise.’ We put together a group of 15 stakeholders from all aspects of the city who helped create the Boynton Brand Promise.

“We now describe a promised “experience” for residents, businesses and visitors. HR heads up internal “culturization” of what the Promise means for everyday operations. I oversee the external team (including museum officials, city public affairs, etc.) and will be working with them to embrace this new messaging. It’s a top down consistent approach.”

As a result of the research, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency agreed to provide $2 million in tax rebates to a real estate developer who will build the largest green-energy apartment complex in the United States.

Read more about Brand Promise on Branding Strategy Insider’s website.

Editor’s Note: Updates made April 26, 2019.

Read more about city branding:

Does Your City Have Character?

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Barry Greenfield

Barry Greenfield is the founder of EfficientGov.com.

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