The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 9, 2013

Image is everything

Hennessey is rebranding to market existing business and attract growth

By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

HENNESSEY, Okla. — The town is developing a new marketing campaign to “re-brand” the town’s image and attract new residents.

Hennessey United, the town of Hennessey and KJ Productions of Enid are teaming to develop a consistent brand for the town and develop new marketing materials.

Hennessey mayor Wes Hardin said the campaign was born of a desire to market the community’s high quality of life to young families.

“We have a wonderful quality of life here in Hennessey, and we’d like to get that message out to families,” Hardin said.

He said Hennessey is a great place to raise a family and offers good opportunities to hard-working people.

“This is one of the last true free-market places in America,” Hardin said. “You can come here and if you want to work hard you can make it.”

He said Hennessey offers prospective residents good schools, two medical clinics and close proximity to hospitals in Enid and Oklahoma City, a good library, cheap utilities and a relatively low sales tax rate. Hennessey has a current city sales tax rate of 3.5 percent and total combined sales tax rate, including the county and state rates, of 8.75 percent.

Hardin said the new marketing campaign is not just about attracting new residents and businesses — it’s about supporting existing businesses.

“Sure, we want new businesses, but we definitely want to help the ones who have been here and stuck with us through the hard times,” Hardin said.

Jimmy Berkenbile, president of Hennessey United, said the new marketing campaign will be an economic development tool to strengthen local businesses.

Hennessey United is a coalition of local civic leaders, town officials and volunteers. It originally formed in 2000 as Hennessey 2010 to form a 10-year vision for the town.

Berkenbile said the new brand and marketing campaign will “help get everyone on the same page.”

“It will create a kind of trademark for our town that shows the unity — what Hennessey is all about,” Berkenbile said.

Once the new brand is created, Berkenbile said Hennessey United hopes to form a coalition of downtown business owners, similar to a local chamber of commerce.

“In a small community the best way to get things done is in a united fashion,” Berkenbile said, “and that’s what we’re trying to do with this (branding campaign).”

Jack Quirk, president and CEO of KJ Productions Marketing Group, said the branding campaign will help create a unified image of Hennessey and its future.

“When the sign on the south end of town is different than the logo on the police cars, and that’s different than the sign on the north end of town and the water tower, there’s no consistency,” Quirk said. “This will help create an image for the town. They need a brand so they can say ‘this is us, this is what we do, and this is what we’re all about.’”

Quirk said he’s excited to be a part of the marketing campaign since Hennessey is his hometown.

“This has always been something I wanted to do, but I have never had the opportunity before,” Quirk said. “The opportunity now is to try to help them with their branding, marketing and execution.”

Quirk is working with Friesen Designs of Enid to develop the logos and print marketing. Friesen Designs developed the logos and marketing material in the city of Enid’s recent branding campaign.

Quirk said the branding campaign will be a “multiple-year program,” beginning with several months of initial development, already in progress.