The Branding Process

Overview of Brand Facts

During the Timmins 2020 Strategic Planning Process in 2011, residents and community leaders suggested development opportunities to improve the City. Out of these 21 opportunities, developing a standard brand and marketing message ranked #6. More than a thousand people provided input in this process.

A brand is the story that sets the tone for all marketing materials and messages. A brand helps ensure that promotional dollars are spent as efficiently as possible. A logo is not a brand. It is part of a brand, and may change over the life of the brand.

Phase I: Developing the Brand Story

General Facts

  • Phase 1 was a research phase, not a design phase.
  • Phase I was not about developing a logo. It was about developing an inclusive brand story. The preliminary logo developed by the St. Clements Group was meant only to provide an idea of how the brand could be implemented.
  • The consulting firm did not pick our city’s brand. They presented Timmins people (around 500 of them who participated) with options, research and testing results, and the people of Timmins selected the brand.
  • The cost of the entire process was $88,465. FedNor paid for half.
  • Most of the funds were spent on consultations and focus groups, researching perceptions of Timmins, testing brand story concepts, best practices and recommendations for using a community brand.
  • The cost to develop the actual visuals used in the process (including the logo) was $3,960.
  • The visuals presented in December are preliminary and meant to be used as a basis for discussion. The RFP for Phase 2 (see below) includes a refinement process to further develop it.


We encouraged people to participate by:

  • Posting weekly ads on the Municipal Page in the Timmins Daily Press.
  • Linking survey and event schedules on the City and Timmins 2020 websites.
  • Posting information on the Timmins 2020 Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Hosting a public event at the Timmins Museum National Exhibition Centre called Timmins from the Heart.
  • Inviting people to six different focus groups.
  • Issuing press releases to inform the public of our progress.

Consultation Methods for Phase 1 Brand Story Development
These are the methods used to encourage people to get involved in the brand story development process:

  • An ad encouraging residents to get involved appeared on the City Municipal Page in the Timmins Daily Press almost every Friday during the process.
  • There is a link from the City’s website to the Timmins 2020 website, where the branding survey was posted.
  • The Timmins 2020 website, which has been active since early 2011, has a special project page for branding events, updates and surveys.
  • There is a Facebook page and Twitter account that encouraged people to take the survey, send in their thoughts and get involved in the process.
  • On September 11, 2012, there was a public consultation event called Timmins from the Heart, advertised across various media.
  • Six industry focus groups provided input; 15 to 30 people were personally invited to each group.
  • The Chamber of Commerce promoted the process in its newsletter, which is distributed to more than 700 businesses.
  • Timmins 2020 distributes a newsletter to more than 300 residents (those who have subscribed) with events and consultation information. Anyone can register to receive this newsletter at
  • The media provided excellent support through its coverage of various stages of the branding process.

Phase I RFP Process

  • The Request for Proposals was posted on the City website on April 30, 2012, with a due date of May 24, 2012. In addition, we emailed the RFP to more than 40 firms who specialize in Place Branding.
  • To our knowledge, there are no firms in Timmins with Place Branding experience.
  • The RFP contained the following language: “We encourage firms from outside the region to consider partnerships with Northern Ontario consultants if they feel they are lacking in this particular area.” There was 10% allocated in the evaluation criteria for this.
  • We received 11 proposals. None of the proposals were from Timmins firms.

Phase II: Refining the Logo Concept
and Implementing the Brand Story


  • The cost of the project is $382,000. The City’s contribution is $158,000.
  • The project includes a process to refine the conceptual logo developed in Phase I. The logo from Phase I was meant to be a concept only, and will be subject to additional consultation before it is finalized.
  • The project includes community entrance and beautification signage. This was also a recommendation from the Timmins 2020 strategic plan.
  • Signage is just one part of this project. It includes more than 30 other items, such as Tourism Timmins and TEDC marketing materials, a virtual Timmins tour video, and materials that will help other organizations market themselves more effectively.

Phase 2 RFP Process

  • The RFP was posted on the City website on January 18, with a deadline of February 11, 2013.
  • The RFP contained the following language: “We encourage firms from outside the region to consider partnerships with Northern Ontario consultants if they feel they are lacking in this particular area.”
  • We received two very good proposals. Both proponents offered to work with local contractors to build capacity and keep some of the funds in Timmins.
  • We received no proposals led by local firms.

The New Community Logo: September 2013


For information on our new community logo and what it represents, click here. 

The Water Tower

  • The water tower must be repainted as part of its regular maintenance routine. It is not being repainted because of the branding project.
  • There may be an opportunity to repaint the tower with a welcoming message that leverages the Timmins brand.

For more information, visit:

or contact:
Maggie Matear
Branding Committee Coordinator