The Branding Process
In 2011 the Town of Ponoka began the process of changing perceptions about our community through developing our brand. To ensure professional and transparent process MKM Marketing was selected to manage our branding. Key stakeholder interviews with local organizations and community leaders; paired with a community visioning session helped to guide the firm. For those who were unable to make the session, the community was also invited to drop by the Town office and fill out a feedback form.
After much research and planning, MKM was able to identify some new programs and ideas to revitalise the community’s image. It was agreed that that the horse head logo provided good symbolism speaking to the history and roots of the community and could be cost-effectively integrated into the new brand. In defining the brand strategy MKM identified that many small communities strive for the kind of local amenities, local artisans, niche shops and markets that are available in Ponoka. These are some of the key ingredients for communities who promote a live/shop local philosophy and are a solid basis for Ponoka to continue to grow its marketplace in the future. MKM used research and community feedback to compile a look and feel aimed at communicating the community’s authenticity, maintainign its heritage, and promoting a vision for Ponoka in the future.
The brand maintains a consistent look and feel when communicating to new business, new residents, and tourists. Below you will find the background on the key elements of the Ponoka Brand.
Symbolism of the Horse Head
The horse head logo was designed during a regional tourism initiative; when the group later disbanded, the Town felt strongly that the horsehead symbolized a modern vision for Ponoka and offered the community an opportunity to update its image. The horse head was adopted to symbolize many aspects of Ponoka; from the first horse drawn wagons of the pioneers, to the outstanding presence of the Annual Ponoka Stampede. Through the horse flows the meandering battle river, symbolizing progress and growth; while the horses ruffled mane signifies the lush vegetation of the Battle River Valley.
The "Keep it Real" Slogan
The "Keep it real" slogan represents a promise of authenticity and speaks to the truth of our community and the genuine history and values it holds. The modern tone of the "Keep it real" slogan is intended to communicate our endeavour towards progress and to appeal to the young families and business owners we hope will relocate here. The brand is intended to guide Ponoka down the road of changing perceptions about our community and provides the vision that Ponoka has a lot of authentic experiences to offer. We hope that the organizations, businesses and residents of the community can find ways to take part in our community’s promise of authenticity. Ultimately, we hope that our local businesses and tourism industry can leverage this platform in their own promotion by emphasizing what they do that adds an extra element of authenticity. In this way our community, can build consistently off of the promise that Ponoka really does know how to "Keep it real."