NORWALK – The City of Norwalk is asking for resident input as it goes through the process of rebranding itself in the near future.
Several community meetings have been held over the last several weeks in order to identify what Norwalk residents hope Norwalk will one day represent. The most recent meeting was held this past Monday at the Norwalk Sports and Arts Complex.
“A lot of cities – they have identities, and they push hard to define themselves,” said Ryder Todd Smith of Tripepi Smith, the marketing-technology-public affairs firm currently spearheading the City’s branding effort.
Monday’s meeting saw only a handful of residents come and speak their opinions. Though those who attended had many ideas of what they would like the city to represent, such as having an “old city vibe” and being a “welcoming, open arms community,” no one really had any idea what Norwalk represented currently.
This reaction mirrored comments made by Smith, who said that results of a communications assessment held last year reflected a “lack of definition.”
Norwalk City Manager Michael Egan emphasized the importance of finding the city’s brand.
“Cities are unique entities and places,” said Egan. “We attract people to live here, do business here, a lot of different things. So it makes a lot of sense for our city to brand itself based on its history, based on its people, and so we’re trying to engage the community in this process so that as we go after pursuing economic development, new business opportunities, new developments, we can sell ourselves as a quality place to be for businesses and families to thrive.”
Unfortunately, Monday’s humble attendance numbers were a reflection of the “hit or miss” community involvement in the effort up to this point.
“This is a pretty esoteric concept, so it’s not the easiest thing to get people involved with, and so you try and try as you will,” said Smith. “…We’ve put a lot of effort into trying to find people, make sure they have an opportunity to know about it. We’re running lots of Facebook ads, lots of Google ads. It’s on all the standard communication channels that the city has at its disposal. So it’s certainly not for lack of effort; we’re trying to get the community interested.”
Those who would like to voice their ideas for the city rebranding are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming meetings. For more information, or if citizens are unable or unwilling to attend one of the future meetings, residents are encouraged to visit definingnorwalk.com.