HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Everyone in our region deserves access to prosperity.

That’s why the Greater Omaha Chamber launched Prosper Omaha, a five-year economic development campaign – and why Prosper Omaha included a brand and image initiative. To continue driving growth of our strong, diverse economy, we knew we needed to increase visibility and awareness of our region.

Inspired by these goals and committed to creating a new brand, the Chamber spent more than a year (2013-2014) reviewing other community branding processes. Ours, we determined, had to be locally driven and inclusive – we wanted it to be “the community’s brand.”

The Research Phase November 2013 – March 2014

To gauge perceptions of the region, we did our research, conducting a comprehensive scan of:

  • Data gathered from community or organizational surveys/market research about Omaha’s perceived strengths and weaknesses, including visitor perceptions
  • General demographic data published about the region
  • Media coverage

We also solicited community and stakeholder input:

  • Interviewing 42 stakeholders and elected officials
  • Gathering public input from a survey of over 600 individuals
  • Conducting moodboard exercises with more than 150 people – including key stakeholders and our Young Professionals Board – across the six county region to help find consensus and commonality about a regional brand and sub-brands. The end result assisted us in visual direction and the conversations had gave us conceptual direction.

Design Charrette April 29-30, 2014

16 artists from 15 creative agencies
Engaging in an intellectual sprint.
One collaborative effort.
One clear mission.
Two days to reach the finish line.
On your mark.
Get set.
Go!

To jumpstart development of the brand, our Creative Task Force participated in an intensive two-day design charrette that tapped each individual’s area of expertise – brand strategy and research, visual design or copy writing. Brand concepts were rotated among small groups to ensure group-wide ownership of each concept.

Experts from the Marketing Task Force and Agency Leaders Group were brought in to provide important input as well. By the end of the charrette, one concept emerged as the strongest, most effective brand story for the Omaha region.

Presenting & Refining May – August 2014

A successful charrette behind us, it was time to start introducing “We Don’t Coast” to stakeholders and partners across the six counties. We presented the concept on multiple occasions, gathered feedback, worked to build support and discussed potential uses. All this while the Creative Task Force continued to build out the brand itself — refining the look and the brand and sub-brand stories, preparing to generate a little intrigue…

The Roll Out July – August 2014

Without announcement or fanfare, “We Don’t Coast” started quietly showing up in July on street corners and other public places throughout the region.

Our stealthy campaign was part of a community-wide, grassroots approach to rolling out the brand. Working with our partners, we created multiple opportunities for seeds of excitement to take root and grow organically. We flew under the radar – and it was pretty fun…

The campaign officially launched August 6, 2014.

Next Steps

Now, we let it live!

Our entire community has the ability to use We Don’t Coast: telling the community’s story; positively communicating its character and quality of life; helping to grow, retain and attract business and talent on a national scale to the region.

The more communities, organizations and individuals that support and utilize the new brand, the louder our voice – and the positive message it spreads – becomes.

We hope you’ll join us in sharing our story — through your organization, in your community, and across the country.

Use the Brand

This is our time.
This is our story.
We Don’t Coast.

PARTNERS

Greater Omaha Chamber Project Team

David G. Brown, President and CEO
Anne Branigan, Senior Vice President
Kim Sellmeyer, Creative Director
Alissa Nehe, Marketing Manager
Shannon Stawniak, Multi-Media Communications Manager
Jessica Perreault, Project Manager

Creative Task Force

Responsible for the ultimate delivery of the brand, corresponding story and guidebook.

Kim Sellmeyer – Creative Director and Creative Task Force Lead

  • Dana Altman North Sea Films
  • Damon Andersen Creative Reservoir Interactive + Design
  • Daryl Anderson Clark Creative Group
  • Ben Drickey Torchwerks
  • Jason Fischer Surreal Media Lab
  • Jason Fox Webster
  • Steve Gordon RDQLUS Creative
  • Bruce Hartford Bozell
  • Michael Johnson Bozell
  • Katie Kemerling Ervin & Smith
  • Dan McCann DMC Freelance
  • Esther Mejia E Creative
  • Dave Nelson SecretPenguin
  • Jeff Reiner Turnpost Creative Group
  • Ed Salem Swanson Russell
  • Lynn Schneider Emspace Group

Marketing Task Force

The charge of this group was to provide consultation throughout the process to review progress and offer guidance.

  • Katrina Becker TD Ameritrade
  • Jill Beasley Harrahs/Horseshoe Casino
  • Steve Gordon RDQLS Creative
  • John Hildenbiddle Mutual of Omaha
  • Don Kohler Iowa Western Community College
  • Kevin Langin First National Bank
  • Brigitte McQueen Shew Union for Contemporary Art
  • Matt T. Ondrejko Valley Irrigation, Global Marketing
  • Erin Owen University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Brian Pickering Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
  • Brent Pohlman Midwest Laboratories
  • Dawn Ream Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
  • Lori Shields Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Molly Skold East Campus Realty, LLC., Midtown Crossing
  • Deb Ward Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Rich Warren Omaha World-Herald
  • Tammy Williams ConAgra Foods

Stakeholders Task Force

This group of individuals lead the partnering organizations within the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership and are other community leaders significantly invested in the results of the project. They will be the primary users of the brand.

  • Dave Arnold Young Professionals/Talent Chairman, Greater Omaha Chamber
  • David G. Brown President and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber
  • Tim Burke Economic Development Council Chairman, Greater Omaha Chamber
  • Harold Cliff President, Omaha Sports Commission
  • Harriet Waite Executive Director, Blair Area Chamber of Commerce
    (substitute for Denise Dein, President, Gateway Development Corporation)
  • Chris Kircher Communications Council Chairman, Greater Omaha Chamber
  • Clark Lauritzen Chairman-Elect, Greater Omaha Chamber
  • Dana Markel Executive Director, Omaha Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
  • Jane McDaniel Chair, Cass County Nebraska Economic Development Council
  • David Mitchell President, Greater Fremont Development Council
  • Steve Seline Chairman, Greater Omaha Chamber
  • Dan Thiele President, Sarpy County Economic Development Corporation
  • Pete Tulipana President and CEO, Iowa West Foundation
  • Sharon White President, Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation

Stakeholders Sub Group

Given the regional nature of the project and the importance of gathering input, this larger group provided input through individual meetings.

Prosper Omaha Leadership Investors

  • Tim Burke Omaha Public Power District
  • Mike Geary Kiewit Companies Foundation
  • Tim Burke Economic Development Council Chairman, Greater Omaha Chamber
  • Steve Grandfield Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
  • John Hildenbiddle Mutual of Omaha
  • Chris Kircher ConAgra Foods
  • Terry Kroeger Omaha World-Herald
  • Clark Lauritzen First National Bank
  • Rob Maglinger Valmont
  • Joan Neuhaus Alegent + Creighton Health
  • Mayor Jean Stothert City of Omaha
  • Bob Turner Union Pacific

Mayors

  • David Black Papillion
  • Mike Bowman Plattsmouth
  • Mike Dill Springfield
  • Scott Getzschman Fremont
  • Don Groesser Ralston
  • Doug Kindig La Vista
  • Alan Mueller Louisville
  • Jim Realph Blair
  • Rita Sanders Bellevue
  • Jean Stothert Omaha
  • Howard Stubbendieck Weeping Water
  • Rita Sanders Bellevue
  • Jim Timmerman Gretna
  • Matt Walsh Council Bluffs
  • Emil Doffner McClelland
  • Mitch Robinson Fort Calhoun
  • Eric Weuve Carson
  • Gerald Waltrip Carter Lake
  • Brian Shea Crescent
  • Eileen C. Adickes Macedonia
  • Scott Brooks Neola
  • Michael O’Brien Oakland
  • Mel Hursey Shelby
  • Bryce Poland Treynor
  • Dennis Bardsley Underwood
  • Gene Larsen Walnut
  • Jennie Maassen Avoca
  • Jeff Gress Hancock
  • Rich Armstrong Minden

Agency Leadership

The charge of this group was to provide consultation at key points and to review progress and offer guidance.

  • Kim Mickelsen Bozell
  • Elizabeth Murphy Emspace Group
  • Sally Cohen eGrowth Marketing
  • Drew Davies Oxide Design
  • E. Terry Ausenbaugh H&A Media Group
  • Joe Olsen Phenomblue
  • Rosalee Roberts Rosalee Roberts Public Relations
  • Scott R. Farkas Valpak of Omaha/R3 Digital Solutions
  • Tracy Stanko Swanson Russell
  • Kent Pavelka Kent Pavelka & Associates
  • Dan Rutledge Right Idea media & Creative
  • Linda Lovgren Lovgren Marketing Group
  • Ann Hadfield Albers Communications
  • Dave Webster Webster Design
  • MaryAnn O’Brien OBI Creative

Communities

Avoca, Bellevue, Bennington, Blair, Carson, Carter Lake, Cass County, Council Bluffs, Crescent, Douglas County, Eagle, Fremont, Fort Calhoun, Gretna, Hancock, Herman, La Vista, Louisville, Macedonia, Marne, McClelland, Minden, Neola, Oakland, Omaha, Papillion, Plattsmouth, Pottawattamie County, Ralston, Sarpy County, Shelby, Springfield, Treynor, Underwood, Walnut, Washington County, Weeping Water