Politics & Government

Perry seeks to build identity through branding effort

PERRY -- This Houston County city is unlikely to go through an identity crisis.

But by the end of the year, consultants said Monday, the city’s government and supporting organizations should have a better grasp on how to build up the city’s identity to draw visitors and newcomers.

A branding effort run by Tennessee-based Chandlerthinks should be completed in about seven months, helping the city figure out how it should be identified. That work can influence everything from Chamber of Commerce brochures to bike rack designs, as well as what hotel clerks and waitresses say, said company owner Steve Chandler.

“There is an essence to Perry, and the goal of this is to capture that,” Chandler said. “It’s distinct, it’s compelling, and it’s true.”

Chandler said his firm is spending much of this week in town researching how the city is perceived and what it has to offer, from the sights and sounds at the Georgia National Fairgrounds to the tastes of The Swanson Restaurant.

The results of the branding campaign will be used to create a focus for the city, not trying to tell everything that is good about Perry, he said. Saying too much means no one will remember it all, and every community will say it’s a good place to live, work and play, he said. The result would be familiar.

“It won’t be a surprise,” he said.

Robert Smith, Perry’s economic development director, said the city has long talked about building a branding campaign. This time, community partners are helping offset some of the expense.

Chandlerthinks is under contract for $59,500, plus as much as $6,000 in expenses.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.