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Branding Dearborn

The Dearborn Downtown Development Authorities (DDDA) in partnership with the City of Dearborn and key stakeholders, developed and launched a community-wide brand in 2019 that encompasses all of the City’s assets and packages them together as part of a brand family with sub-brands that can be used independently or together. The Branding Dearborn project has delivered a unified brand for Dearborn, including re-branding of both downtown districts as major components of the brand family. The new brand is now used as a way of partnering existing and future organizations, districts, assets, and destinations of the city.

The goals of the brand are to:

  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Encourage workforce to live, play and stay in Dearborn
  • Encourage students to live, stay and play
  • Drive complimentary businesses to locate and operate in the districts
  • Grow the brand through stakeholder participation and investment
  • Increase commercial and residential property value
  • Drive tourism to the districts
  • Increase community pride and investment

The DDDA contracted with Octane Design and Applied Storytelling in 2018 for extensive research, brand development and implementation. Through these tasks the following was conducted and delivered:

Public Community Kick-Off began August 2018 – March 2019, which included:

  • Site Visits (3-day intensive + ongoing)
  • One-on-One Interviews and Correspondence with Stakeholders
  •  Group Info Sessions (9 groups)
  • Surveys (2) – 1900 surveys received
  • Visioning Session (33 participants)
  • Creative Roundtable (15 participants)
  • New Competitive Research
  • Existing Dearborn City Research

Advisory Committee and City Review of Results (January 2019-April 2019) and Vision Takeaways

Brand Development (May 2019 – October 2019) including:

  • backstory and general messaging framework
  • Logo and visual direction
  • District naming & initial map
  • District focus group reviews
  • Millennial focus group review
  • Brand story and style guide (launched January 2020)

Launch (January 2020)

  • Downloadable and shareable Brand Asset Package made available online at including logos, fonts, story and style guide, photo library, icons, patterns, color swatches, social media graphics, district map, media assets, vision takeaways, press releases, survey and outreach elements. It continues to be populated with promotional items meant for business and/or partnering organizations’ use.
  • Kick-Off Event & Stakeholder Packet (including an Intro Letter, Brand 101 Info, Sample Social Posts, FAQ, Email Query Template, Sample Outreach Letter and Sample Flyers, Stickers)


  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Management Strategy
  • Website Strategy, Design and Launch
  • Stationary/Office Templates
  • Recruitment Video & Package 
  • Downtown Dearborn Annual Report Template
  • Volunteer Program Communication Pieces
  • SWAG
  • Seasonal Videos
  • Over 140 Event & Marketing Promotional Graphics 

Funding partners included the WDDDA, EDDDA, City of Dearborn, Ford Land and Fairlane Town Center

Download the Brand Guide

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