Waipa District Mayor Jim Mylchreest is assuring locals that nothing is changing in terms of the identity and official branding of Cambridge, following a recent announcement from the Cambridge i-SITE (Destination Cambridge) and Cambridge Chamber of Commerce of a new brand and imagery for Cambridge’s growing tourism industry.
The “C – Cambridge” logo was revealed by the two organisations last month as part of the official launch of a new tourism website for Cambridge. The new branding was met with mixed reviews from the town, some said they liked it, some said they “don’t really care” and others expressed their discontent.
The cost of the design process and the selection of an out-of-town company to carry out the work was a disgruntling factor for some, though the main cause for concern was the notion that the new brand didn’t reflect the characteristics for which Cambridge has become known, namely as the “Town of Trees” and “Town of Champions”.
Mayor Mylchreest said those sentiments are still very much part of Cambridge’s pride and joy, and the new branding wasn’t an official concept that council would be adopting.
“The i-SITE and the Chamber of Commerce own the brand and it’s for them to use as they wish to. It wasn’t a Council decision” he said.
“We won’t be changing the signs into Cambridge or anything like that,” Mylchreest said. “Council does not intend to change the Cambridge identity as a ‘Town of Trees’ or the district’s brand ‘Home of Champions’. That would need a major consultation from the community.”
“I think some of the concern from the public was that Council was changing that, but we’re not. If people want to come up with new ideas that’s great, we don’t want to stifle enthusiasm, but that doesn’t change our existing identity. Nothing has changed here for us.”
Waipa District Council shared a few common Q&A’s regarding the new logo…
Will Council be rebranding Cambridge? No.
Will Council be dropping the Home of Champions brand or the Towns of Trees brand? No.
Will this new brand replace those brands? No, the Town of Trees is trademarked and will continue to be owned by Waipa District Council.
Who ‘owns’ the new brand? The i-SITE and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce own the brand. It is for them and others to use as they see fit.
Why did Council give money to develop the brand? In 2015, Council was approached by the Chamber of Commerce to support the development of imagery and signage which could promote the town on the new expressway. The new signage was just one of many initiatives put in place to help mitigate concerns that the Waikato Expressway would see motorists bypassing the town. Council supports a number of community groups and initiatives, including things like the Waipa Business Awards and Sport Waikato etc.
Why was an ‘outside’ company used? The new brand is centred around attracting visitors to Cambridge. Those involved thought using an external agency would provide a fresh perspective on Cambridge from a visitor’s perspective.
Who decided on the brand? Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and Cambridge i-SITE decided on the final brand as they are the owners of the brand. It was not a Council decision.
Did Council run the community consultation process? No. The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and i-SITE ran a series of workshops with key stakeholders.