Dinkytown has always nurtured a progressive culture. This unique environment embodies inclusiveness and activism with its spirit of ongoing change. By its very nature, Dinkytown is difficult to define due to this ongoing evolution. The vibrant college area is popular with University of Minnesota students, alumni, local residents and visitors, and caters to each of these groups with a host of entertainment, hospitality, service, shopping, and dining options.
The Dinkytown Business Alliance (DBA) represents a broad spectrum of interests, including those of Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association community employees, small business owners, property owners and large institutions (Target, CVS, and The University of Minnesota). In late 2014, the DBA issued a Request for Proposal to evaluate marketing and communication channels and assets and to develop a brand philosophy and brand identity guide.
Brave New Media embarked upon an 8 month journey, utilizing a unique approach to the project. Dinkytown needed a holistic method to the branding process in order to catch the nuances and subtleties of the neighborhood. We kicked off with thorough research and evaluation. Online universe mapping and channel assessments were created for both Dinkytown as a whole and individual businesses and organizations. We reviewed city master plans, previously documented survey and demographic data, and prior marketing and reporting initiatives.
This deep-dive into Dinkytown data informed our next moves. BNM created a series of branding concepts and presented them to groups of every size and configuration, culminating in a survey process for Dinkytown business owners to weigh in on various creative directions.
Having refined core concepts with this feedback, BNM conducted interviews with key stakeholders on final concepts. These interviews allowed BNM to factor in important qualitative feedback in addition to what the larger assembly had provided. Armed with the purpose, direction, and goals of the community, BNM refined Dinkytown branding creative to align with the intentions of the collective.
The end result centered around speaking to key identified audiences from the many voices of Dinkytown in a way that showcased its diverse nature. As a place whose consistency is rooted in continuous change, we created the Dinkytown Lens. Incorporating the custom D from the Dinkytown wordmark, we created a lens to highlight all elemental aspects of Dinkytown. To frame the lens you can use a splash color from the color palette or a texture that reinforces the subject matter of the lens, giving every perspective continuity and autonomy. An identity both shared by everyone and unique to the user.
In addition to the new branding, BNM designed and built a website that illustrated these ideals in a very real, user-friendly way. BNM created user guides, assets, and tools to benefit the business community as a whole by strengthening businesses on an individual level.
An eclectic community requires a creative approach that takes into account the multifaceted nature of the whole. Dinkytown presented a series of exciting branding challenges. Moving into the future, which Dinkytown has always done with earnest, they will have a unified brand to showcase the right message at the right time.