* Note: This strategy work done for COHN, Inc.

The Issue

  • Rapid transit is expanding into Aurora, Colorado, giving the city a complete line. 
  • Aurora is traditionally thought of as a suburb of Denver to most residents and more importantly, real estate developers who are the primary target audience. Aurora has grown to be a city in its own right and wanted to begin communicating this using the transit line and transit-oriented development opportunities as a primary vehicle.


  • Brand Discovery was conduced including a discovery session with the city’s team and key partners such as the Chamber of Commerce, Visit Aurora and others.
  • The brand strategy resulted in both internal and external positioning statements. The internal statement– Bold, Committed, Connected– is representative of Aurora’s approach to transit-oriented and other urban developments within their city. The external statement–Urban Unexpected–was directly created for messaging to targeted real estate developers and architects.
  • Brand expression followed strategy to create a look as bold as the strategy and messaging reflected.
  • Several internal brand trainings were conducted for the development department and other relevant departments to ensure the new, bold messaging was consistent and employees were both engaged with the brand, as well as able to feel comfortable speaking the new brand.


  • Aurora’s city planning and marketing teams received both strong messages and visuals for their upcoming launch to the development community.
  • A major tradeshow was used as a primary launch tool. City booths are typically understated. Not only did Aurora’s booth stand out with strong visuals and messages, it attracted more than expected and valuable traffic to the booth.

Apply it to Your Company

  • Sometimes a brand needs to shake things up – forego safe pathways to make bold statements. Your brand comes from within–your drive, your goals, your needs to succeed. The brand development process offers structure without rigidity to help companies reach their goals.
  • Brand strategy
  • Brand expression/design
  • Internal brand education and launch
  • Tradeshow readiness