Mount Pleasant is rebranding itself


Last night, I attended a town hall to participate in the Mount Pleasant branding project. 

Mount Pleasant is in the process of "developing and launching a brand," and has partnered with Darwin, a center for social impact, to do so.

At the town hall meeting, the representatives from Darwin explained to the community members what the meaning and purpose of branding really is. They made it clear that branding Mount Pleasant does not just consist of a logo, but of capturing what the city represents.

It was said more than once that a goal of the project is to create a solid image that people think of when they think of Mount Pleasant and what the city means to them. 

So, the representatives leading the town hall had everyone fill out surveys of popular areas in Mount Pleasant to find out what locations were the most popular, and who went where. We were then led through an image association activity, when we chose what images we most associated with the current state of Mount Pleasant, and which ones we want to associate with the future of Mount Pleasant.

The majority of the people in attendance,, especially those who have lived in Mount Pleasant for a long time, seemed to know how they felt about Mount Pleasant and what represented it. A lot of them also seemed eager to share what they felt, because they wanted to make sure the city is accurately represented.

One thing that was still unclear to me was who it was exactly that Mount Pleasant is trying to rebrand themselves for. It could be to increase tourism, or the amount of people who live here, or simply to mold a good image for the city.

On Darwin's website about the city's rebranding, are four main project goals:

  1. Identify who the city is to the world
  2. Identify what makes the city different
  3. Identify what it offers
  4. Identify an audience and what to communicate to them 

So that doesn't really clear up why specifically Mount Pleasant wants to rebranding, but it does reveal a little bit about what Darwin plans to do during the rebranding. The rebranding is scheduled to take about six months, with a public brand release planned for December.

I'm all for Mount Pleasant finding a more specific identity, and maybe updating some aspects of the city that could better serve the community and bring new experiences and opportunities.

However, if the goal is to increase tourism and population in Mount Pleasant, I just hope that the city doesn't forget who it really is. One of the reasons I chose to go to CMU was for the nice, hometown feel of Mount Pleasant, and I've heard many other people say the same thing. 

While it would be great to expand a little bit and open the city up to new things, I hope it doesn't forget about the things and people that are already here.