Motor City Re-Store: Branding Initiative

From the Ground Up

With the successful development of their first program, Motor City Match, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) wanted to develop a program that would focus solely on aiding Detroit’s existing businesses. This new program would concentrate on businesses that were made in Detroit and have stayed during all of the city’s ups and downs. Through grants and fundraising, the Motor City Re-Store program would work with these businesses to improve their exteriors so that they could better reflect the true vibrancy and rejuvenation of Detroit.

Our relationship with the DEGC for Motor City Re-Store started early on and allowed us to work with them as they developed the program from the ground up. Beginning with only a vision for this tremendous program, the DEGC needed our expertise to bring it to life.

Developing the Brand

Before tackling any physical aspects of the program, we began with name ideation. Our team approached this process in a unique way which led to several trials of brainstorming and analysis to find the perfect brand name. During our first session, team members from both MG and DEGC came up with as many words or phrases related to specific guiding concepts. Key concepts included understanding how the community will interact with the new brand, who the end-user of the program would be, and how the brand should best reflect that. This process laid the foundation for gaining a strong understanding of the brand and its purpose.

After we formulated these associations, our project management team analyzed them to generate relevant and compelling brand names and taglines. We developed concept maps and charts with root and supporting words to ensure that all possibilities had been considered. Further collaboration with DEGC allowed us to narrow down the options. The name they chose was Motor City Re-Store which reflects the true objective of the brand: to strengthen and restore existing businesses in Detroit. Shortly thereafter, the mayor of Detroit chose green as the main color for the program.

Bringing Ideas to Paper

With the brand name, tagline, and color palette solidified, our creative team put pencil to paper to design logos for the new program. As a reflection of the logo for Motor City Re-Store’s sister program Motor City Match, we incorporated the Spirit of Detroit imagery and the unique tagline and brand colors into the design.

Our team then created a design that crisply explains the Motor City Re-Store process in a four-step infographic that was incorporated into the marketing collateral we designed for the DEGC. Among these print materials are brochures, flyers, posters, and a tradeshow display. Each piece of print material features pictures of businesses and business owners in Detroit. By drawing on real imagery of their target audience, these materials demonstrate the program’s mission and its potential to have a strong impact on the revitalization of the Motor City.

In addition to the branding project we also worked with the DEGC team to create a website for the new Motor City Re-Store program that launched in June 2017.