Writer: Staff Reports
Growth. That’s the mindset behind a new brand identity for Colquitt County.
The brand and tagline, “Where Life Grows,” reflect the area’s agricultural roots and quality of life. They were borne out of an 18-month process facilitated by UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government and Archway Partnership.
Known far and wide for its agricultural industry and annual holiday event Lights! Lights! at the courthouse square, Colquitt County offers first-class health care, abundant natural resources, outstanding educational opportunities, competitive athletics, and unrivaled arts and culture. The county also is home to the Sunbelt Ag Expo, known as North America’s Farm Show, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) South Georgia.
The branding team, led by Institute of Government faculty member Kaitlin Messich, worked with a local steering committee made up of more than 30 Colquitt County residents. They gathered public input from community members through focus groups and an online survey. Agriculture and related words appeared so often in public feedback that the brand was bound to be inspired by it, Messich said. The result was a brand message and visual identity that captured the theme of growth.
“As a representative of the Sunbelt Ag Expo, I’m of course pleased that the theme of growth permeated every aspect of this new brand, from growing crops to growing industry and growing great kids in Colquitt County,” said Chip Blalock, executive director if the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie. “As a result, the new tagline also reflects a strong agricultural influence: Where Life Grows.”
The Institute of Government branding team created the Colquitt County Brand Lookbook, a magazine-style report showcasing the new brand message and visual identity, including research and public input data, brand messaging, a brand style guide and visualizations of brand applications.
With the new brand message and visual identity, Colquitt County and its six municipalities –Berlin, Doerun, Ellenton, Funston, Moultrie and Norman Park – now have a unified voice and look to enhance marketing and economic development efforts. Capturing all that makes Colquitt County a great place to live, invest, play, and work, the brand will give all the communities within the county tools to promote themselves.
“The message behind the new Colquitt County brand provides me with a foundation for telling our story,” said Joanne Jones, board chair of the Moultrie–Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce.
The branding will help Colquitt County to embrace its history but also forge a new identity as a growing, South Georgia community, said Jimmy Allegood, a computer consultant in Moultrie and long-time community advocate.
“I was born and raised in Colquitt County, but through working on the branding campaign, I have come to realize that we have become a diverse community and that through diversity we are no longer rooted in the past and are willing to accept new ideas, innovations, and growth,” Allegood said.
The Moultrie–Colquitt County Development Authority, Chamber of Commerce and Archway Partnership hosted a brand launch reception in late August. A new sign was unveiled as the first rebranding effort. The branding team passed out blue footballs displaying the new county logo at Colquitt County High School’s home football game later that evening.
The Chamber of Commerce will manage the brand and will continue to roll out more rebranding in the coming months. The Chamber of Commerce also will work with UGA’s Institute for Leadership Advancement students, who will spend the 2021-22 academic school year helping with community-wide brand implementation across the county.
For more information and to view the Colquitt County Brand Lookbook, visit www.brandcolquittco.com.
Baker Owens and Kaitlin Messich contributed to this report.
The branding team included:
Kaitlin Messich, Carl Vinson Institute of Government (Principal Investigator)
Allison Cape, Carl Vinson Institute of Government staff
Sarah Adams, Archway Partnership
Barbara Grogan, President, Moultrie-Colquitt County Development Authority
Jenny Dell, Project Manager, Moultrie-Colquitt County Development Authority
Tommie Beth Willis, President, Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce
UGA Terry College of Business Institute for Leadership Advancement (ILA) students