case study: Madisonville

Cincinnati, Ohio

the challenge

Madisonville is a Cincinnati neighborhood rooted in the American Dream. For the past 200 years, it has been ingrained in the community to write its own future, find strengths in its differences, persevere through hardship, and believe in opportunities. In 2016, Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (MCURC) was given a national grant to rebrand the diverse neighborhood and create a meaningful story and message strategy to celebrate this community’s authenticity and rich history, while defining a new synergy. The community had recently gone through a period of much progress and development, presenting the opportunity to develop a strong strategy, brand story, brand equity, and guidelines to strengthen Madisonville’s sense of place and promote current initiatives that improve connectivity within the renewed business corridor. The goals of this initiative by MCURC were to: develop a brand and marketing strategy for the Madisonville community, assess and identify physical improvements and wayfinding strategies to connect two development areas, and ensure community involvement in the process for new economic development opportunities. Madisonville celebrates individuality, rallies around community, and transforms people into neighbors. They have a story to share. They love where they live.

the solution

MCURC partnered with Kolar Design and stakeholders within the community to develop the new branding. The brand story was created with close input from Madisonville’s diverse community, setting the stage by capturing the essence of Madisonville’s spirit. In order to harness this important input, Kolar worked with Pitchbox™, the company that facilitated a meeting to gather thoughts and ideas from community members. Once Kolar received the input from Pitchbox™, they were able to strategically develop the foundation for the brand. The four core pillars, defined by the neighborhood voices, were: Welcoming, Passion, Initiative, and Community. Kolar then used these values to initially sketch and survey feedback from community stakeholders and corporate partners in order to revise and perfect the final destination for the brand.

the impact

MCURC successfully worked with Kolar to bring the thriving community together to tell one meaningful, regional story. Major businesses in the area such as Fifth-Third Bank, Med Space, and the RCF Group all shared positive feedback regarding the rebrand. MCURC was able to present the rebrand to the Madisonville community council to unanimous praise. The cohesive story told through the rebrand effectively represents the spirit of the community, using the voices of the community members, as the area continues to evolve and thrive.