The State of Colorado wants to know – What makes Colorado Colorado? This under the “Making Colorado” initiative, a social branding initiative that aims to tap the wisdom of the crowds to come up with a new brand for Colorado.
Instead of hiring a single creative agency for place branding, the state has come up with a platform (makingcolorado.gov) where all Coloradans can submit their creative ideas and thoughts.
This will be a multi-stage five month process, with all the incoming data being filtered by 10-12 creative experts who will be part of the Making Colorado team.
The overall head of the Making Colorado initiative is Aaron Kennedy, Colorado’s chief marketing officer and founder of Noodles & Co. This entire effort aims to fulfill one of the core objectives outlined in the Colorado Blueprint, which is the state’s framework for economic development.
Kennedy says they looked at an array of branding programs before picking successful practices which felt right for Colorado.
“By defining what makes Colorado great, we can preserve all that we love about our state while enhancing the stability, growth and global reputation of Colorado for generations to come,” added Kennedy.
He added that their team had gone to great lengths to ensure a collaborative and inclusive process, and the program’s success now depends on the public support and participation that can be generated.
That we can find out in August, when Gov. John Hickenlooper reveals the results of the five-month long process at the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) Summit.
In addition to the platform and social elements, the initiative also includes a Making Colorado Brand Council comprised of influential people and representatives from companies that have a vested interest in the Colorado brand. The staff working on the program will be looking at this council for recommendations on critical decisions.
The brand council members include, among others, Hikmet Ersek, CEO of Western Union; Lynne Valencia, vice president for Community Relations at 9News; and Larry Drury, chief marketing officer for First Data.
Another rather interesting aspect is the Making Colorado Youth Ambassador Council. One high school senior will be selected from each of the state’s 64 counties to be a “youth ambassador” on this council, charged with the responsibility of contributing content from their respective hometowns, and providing updates to people back home about the project’s progress.