The city of Zephyrhills wants the last letter in the alphabet to become more prominent.
Pasco County’s largest city, Zephyrhills has long been known as a snowbird destination and the home of Zephyrhills bottled water. Its current slogan is “City of Pure Water.”
This week, Sam Preston, director of project management for North Star Place Branding, gave city leaders a new look at what their community, with its big “Z” signature, could do to attract more attention.
Using a teaser line of “jump in,” Preston said the new brand could welcome those intrigued by the community springs and skydiving activities as well as draw people to downtown, the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis Center and the city’s growing municipal airport.
City Council members said they liked the use of the “Z” — unique because Zephyrhills is only one of two cities in the state that start with the letter. (The other is Zolfo Springs in Hardee County.) Council members also said they appreciated the color palette of two shades of blue for the sky and the water and green for the rolling hills and open spaces that have characterized the area.
North Star spent months examining Zephyrhills’ history, surveying both those in the city and other communities to determine what makes the municipality unique. The research showed that people associate the city with the bottled water company and the springs. They also see Zephyrhills as a neighborly community that welcomes outsiders to a tranquil, cost-effective corner of old Florida.
Those surveyed also acknowledged the community’s growth spurt, its vibrant downtown and the potential of its airport.
The summary of the city, Preston said, was that “for those seeking new energy in the peace and ease of a charming, authentic Florida, Zephyrhills amidst the rolling countryside of Pasco County, just north of Tampa, embraces an invigorating legacy of well being that endures and where opportunity springs eternal.”
Boiled down further, Preston’s logo offerings urge people to “jump in” to what Zephyrhills has to offer.
He showed the council various logo ideas for city worker attire and city locations, explaining that the continuity of such a brand is helpful for cities wanting to attract people.
But the hope, he said, is that the new marketing effort will be more “than just putting a logo on hats and pens” and will “bring the whole brand to life.”
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Preston predicted a gradual rollout of the new brands, given city budget constraints. That could mean that the old brand and new brand are side by side for awhile. The old brand focused on the city’s pure water, which took a bit of a hit earlier this year when community growth — and the reality that water available for new development is finite — forced the city to enact a temporary moratorium on new projects.
The rebranding website states the work “will elevate our resident and visitor experience” by creating a cohesive sign system to help guide those who are driving, biking or walking.
Zephyrhills City Council member Lance Smith said he was “shocked at the amount of research” that the company had done to support its branding concepts. “I couldn’t be happier about how it turned out,” he said.