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

The Issue

  • The City of Westminster, Colorado, scraped an old mall site with big plans to create an urban core within their suburban city. Many other area suburbs are also creating ‘downtowns’ and city centers to give suburbanites a more urban experience without traveling to Denver.
  • Westminster needed to understand the current perception within their own city and in adjacent communities in order to best position this new development to developers, residents and city council.


  • Brand research took many forms including: desk research, societal trends research, competitive analysis, city team and city council discovery sessions, in-depth interviews with key community stakeholders, and focus groups.
  • Develop a brand opportunity framework showing ten potential brand pillars (further refined in the brand strategy process) that would set this project apart from other major developments.


  • The City became aware of how the place could come alive capitalizing on residents’ desires, mega societal trends and creating an intentional brand experience from day one.

Apply it to Your Company

  • Brand research uncovers new insights and facilitates the creation of messaging that resonates with target audiences.
  • Ideally, a brand process would be one of the first steps of the marketing function to align business goals with target audiences and key messages.