Branding Study

Brand_Identity_Memo_to_Council         Principle – Branding Services Contract     Principle – Focus Group Study Contract   COB_CouncilPacket_2018      Verbal Identity

Here’s what I know of the history of this study:

The Cultural Arts Board (CAB) suggested the branding a few years ago. Only Principle by Design, owned by a Bellaire resident, was asked by the City to provide a bid.

The initial cost for the study is $41,750. The research and focus groups are also provided by Principle at an additional cost of $7,250, for a total cost of $49,000. The visual identity presented by Principle was not well received by many Bellaire residents. You can find the original packet on the City web site.

Review the attached Principle proposal and peruse Step Three you’ll find that the cost could rise another $180,000 or more and you’ll find hourly fees as high as $165 an hour for out of scope work.  This project may never rise to this cost, but the fully executed contract would seem to present an open-ended amount.

All this is to be paid by funds from the Beautification budget, funded a few years ago for $300,000 .  By fall of 2017 the balance was $133K. Funds were used to pay for the Terrain study, tens of thousands have gone out for the Welcome to Bellaire banners along Bellaire Blvd, and tens of thousnds more have gone out on public art such as the paintings on utility boxes and the painted doors in Paseo Park.

One thing the Beautification budget doesn’t seem to provide a lot of is beautification. The route along Bissonnet from 610 to Chimney Rock is especially unsightly. Take a good look around if you’re stopped at the light at the intersection of Bissonnet and South Rice Avenue. And the entrance at South Rice and Beechnut.

Our logo represents our history as a City of Homes and exemplifies our path to today.  Our brand and verbal identity are simple. We’re a small town in a great location, have responsive city services, highly rated schools, our own police and fire departments, our wonderful library, and our parks. Publicize that.

With well over $104 million in bonded debt we’ll pay out just under $9 million on debt service, or approximately 23% of our annual budget. We had a property tax increase, but with so many flooded properties we will see a decline in property values and therefore tax revenues will be affected. I

Why spend money now to fix something that’s not broken?  What do you think?  Please post your comments on the User Comments page.

May, 2018