iCity Johnstown

situation
strategy
solution

The Johnstown region in western Pennsylvania has experienced an economic renaissance over the last 20 years, successfully transitioning much of its economy from an historic base in mining and steel, into high-tech manufacturing, healthcare research and aerospace applications. Unfortunately, this transition was largely accompanied by an exodus of major employers from the City of Johnstown into surrounding suburbs, where many companies - attracted by low land acquisition costs and easy highway access - migrated. Recognizing both that the city's economic health is essential to the region, and that knowledge workers increasingly prefer to live and work in an urban setting, the city's economic development team commissioned a comprehensive Master Plan that defined a roadmap to economic recovery for the city's urban core.

Wendt Partners was retained to lead the development of a Business Development Plan and accompanying deliverables that could firmly establish the city's foundation for success -- with a focus on investor attraction and marketing of the city's appreciable assets. The Wendt Partners team performed extensive research and stakeholder analysis, as well as competitive benchmarking, to determine that Johnstown's urban core would provide a highly marketable alternative. The city's tight, walkable downtown; well-maintained historic architecture; recent delivery of class "A" technology-related office space; and ready access to amenities would all play a key role in defining the city's new brand strategy.

After identifying six key market advantages that Johnstown could prominently promote, Wendt Partners worked with the city to design and deliver a new branding program called iCity Johnstown. The program is truly comprehensive, encompassing five specific urban districts - each with its own brand components. Engagement deliverables included brand design; a unique website and information portal; content development; custom imagery and map design; business profiles of successful entrepreneurs; a complete investor prospectus; and integrated social media and e-newsletter components, as well as tools and resources to support marketing efforts aimed at specific industry sectors and investor audiences. The program was successfully launched at a major stakeholder event that garnered an immediate and positive market response, leading to early interest in the opportunities that the iCity can afford to new knowledge enterprises.

Sectors:

Business-to-Business, Economic Development, Nonprofit, Technology, Workforce Development

Services:

Strategic Consulting, Branding & Messaging, Organizational Development, Integrated Communications

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"With iCity Johnstown, the team at Wendt Partners truly delivered a complete plan, strategy and the tools we can use to drive change in the City of Johnstown. Their approach has been in-depth and world-class throughout the entire branding and communications process."
Jim White, Director of Economic Development, City of Johnstown

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