DBJ - Colorado's push to attract entrepreneurs and tourists will be branded from now on by a green-and-white mountain with the letters "CO" peering out.
After a year-long search that cost state officials some $1.1 million, Aaron Kennedy, Colorado's chief marketing officer, officially will announce at the Colorado Innovation Summit Thursday that they have settled on a triangle-shaped mountain reminiscent of the state's license plate to be the official state brand.
The brand will be used on all state vehicles and agencies, and also can be attached to the products of companies that design, manufacture or grow things in the state, in order to make people outside Colorado think positively about the culture here.
The symbol -- which also sometimes will feature the word "Colorado" under the mountain -- will be the most outward marker of the state's new brand, but much more will go into the new way of marketing the state to visitors and tourists, Kennedy said.
Public education about the state will revolve around five new defined pillars, he said: Colorado kinship, economic opportunity, independent spirit, vitality and a sense of being powered by nature.
And efforts will be made not just to bring people to Colorado's mountains and rivers, but also to its business climate. Leaders will pitch the state as a home for established and entrepreneurial companies looking to grow.
"People are bombarded with messages all day long. And if Colorado starts to unify behind a compelling message, we can rise above the noise," said Kennedy, who worked as a brand manager at PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) before founding the Noodles & Co. restaurant chain prior to his work with the state.
"What do people think about us around the country? Do they think shootings? Do they think fire? Do they think marijuana? ... In the absence of telling them, that sensational news may rule the day," he said.
Kennedy began the branding process in November by traveling the outskirts of the state, meeting with people from Burlington to Pueblo to Telluride to Meeker to see what they thought represented the heart of Colorado.
Read the full story in the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/18n6qtZ.
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