The Northern Beaches Council was formed by the merger of three councils; Pittwater, Warringah and Manly. They needed to create a new identity for the organization, and the process had to engage as many people in the three areas, both in the thinking behind the brand strategy and in the creation of the new identity. It had to be representative of the area.
The Northern Beaches Council was fortunate that the name and the place, Northern Beaches, was already highly recognized and loved by residents of all three councils. It’s known for its nature (beach and bush), its relaxed lifestyle and its strong sense of community, which manifest a love of the outdoors, high levels of volunteerism and the entrepreneurial spirit in each community. We consulted widely to understand the culture of the Northern Beaches and we identified their essential nature as ‘altogether extraordinary’, delivering an experience that harnessed the social capital of the legacy sites and social media channels that aggregated 150 digital touchpoints.
We created a new identity for the Northern Beaches based on a symbol of a wave. But this wave is made up of numerous symbols that are at the heart of the place. We consulted community groups across the area to find out which symbols best represented the area. They included the pelican, the weedy seadragon and the surfboard. In total, over 2,000 people across the three former council areas were engaged in giving their opinions and advising on the new brand and values. The brand is brought to life in the consolidated information architecture and new ‘mobile first’ website as the primary service point for the community.
The new identity was voted in by current Council administration on 25 July 2017 and is being successfully rolled out across the community, with positive media coverage and community feedback received so far.