Roeland Park wants to change its image with new branding strategy; part of strategic planning group goals

The tree logo could soon be gone if Roeland Park settles on a new strategy for branding the city.

The Best Little Town in Town. Gateway to Johnson County. City of Trees. Those are a few of the branding slogans Roeland Park has used over recent years.

“We need a new image,” Tom Madigan told a community forum this week. Madigan chaired the 2015 citizens strategic planning committee that came up with one of its goals as branding the city. It is the only goal on which there has not been movement so far, Madigan said.

“Roeland Park needs to be unique,” Madigan said. “Almost every city is a tree city.” The committee found that people do not want the tree on the logo, he said.

“If you have a unified movement, it is more likely to send a message,” Mayor Joel Marquardt said.

Former council member Scott Gregory was one audience member who questioned the value of spending money on branding, suggesting the focus should be on lowering the tax rate. Councilor Ryan Kellerman responded that getting the branding work done pro bono was an option on the table.

The city has approved money that can be used for designing a brand, but not for implementation of the brand.

Councilor Michael Poppa said the branding involved more than a slogan. “It’s our image. We have a lot of development opportunities right now.”

The city has issued a request for proposals to get a consultant to help with the branding effort, which will include engaging residents about the strategy.