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Norwalk launches city branding project

SoNo-based Zunda Group, headquartered at 41 N. Main St., has been hired to market the city to business and visitors.

SoNo-based Zunda Group, headquartered at 41 N. Main St., has been hired to market the city to business and visitors.

NORWALK, Conn. – SoNo-based branding and design firm Zunda Group will develop a strategic marketing plan for Norwalk that will include a brand implementation program.

Mayor Harry Rilling and Economic Development Director Elizabeth Stocker announced the deal in a Tuesday email.

“Norwalk recognizes the power of presenting the city with a strong brand image,” Rilling said in the email. The plan aims to capitalize on the city’s assets, attract and sustain new business, develop its workforce, and to continually improve its quality of life, he said.

“Essential to the plan’s success is the city’s ability to communicate and build local pride around an ownable brand position that brings to life Norwalk’s unique personality and benefits,” Rilling said. “Norwalk has an eye on the future and the new brand will elevate its position as a destination to live, work and play.”

Zunda Group, owned and managed by longtime Norwalkers Charles Zunda and Gary Seve Esposito, was selected by a branding steering committee through a competitive process, according to the announcement. The firm has a 35-year history of building and positioning brands.

“We pride ourselves in seeing the unrealized potential within a brand, and then supporting that by creating compelling visuals which resonate and connect with our target audience,” said Esposito. “And we are excited to execute this same process here in our hometown.”

Zunda Group counts among its successes Connecticut-based brands including Newman’s Own, start-up brands such as Chobani, and global brands such as Dove.

Over the next month, Zunda Group will be working with community and city representatives to “unearth, identify and define the key attributes that represent the City of Norwalk’s brand essence through a series of interviews, in-depth research and a brand development workshop,” according to the announcement.

The community may share their feedback about Norwalk by completing a voluntary online public survey that will be available through Sept. 22.

The new branding and marketing communication is targeted to launch in early 2016

For more information on the branding process contact Lauren Millar or Gary Esposito at Zunda Group, (203) 853-9600.

8 comments

WOW just WOW September 9, 2015 at 3:40 am

A bunch of pre election nonsense from a mayor that has accomplished ZERO in his term. Rilling must really think that the taxpayers are stupid.

I wonder if the branding will include the yellow police tape from the weekly shootings?

M. Murray September 9, 2015 at 6:35 am

I could be mistaken, but I believe violent crime is trending down in Norwalk, as it has been for many years.

Rod Lopez-Fabrega September 9, 2015 at 11:01 am

Hey! This is a forward looking initiative. If nothing were done, someone would complain.

Would those someones prefer “Discount City”? That’s where we’re headed now…

Suzanne September 9, 2015 at 11:35 am

I vote for a broken railroad bridge, giant concrete boxes and the police tape with a “Welcome to Norwalk, home of big box stores” as the motto.

Marija Bryant September 9, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Great idea. Zunda does good work and — if the input is right — they should be able to come up with something that helps define Norwalk as more than “the hole in the donut” or “on the move”.

WOW just WOW September 9, 2015 at 9:01 pm

That’s correct M. Murray you are mistake. At no time do I ever remember weekly shootings in Norwalk as we currently have, and that’s not even including the ones the NPD writes off as “fireworks” . The worst part is the NPD can’t seem to figure out how to solve any of these crimes.

Mitch Adis September 9, 2015 at 9:29 pm

How about they start with correcting the stainless steel “SONO” sign under the railroad bridge. The brand is SoNo which stands for South Norwalk. If you’re going to have a brand it needs to be consistent!

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