When it comes to branding in local government, change is seldom easy or straightforward.

When the City of Stonnington unveiled its fresh, new corporate brand last month, few people were aware of the many months and hundreds of hours that had gone into consulting, planning and design.

The culmination of a six-month brand transformation project, the new Brand Stonnington is an elegant re-interpretation of Council's original logo created almost 20 years ago at the time of amalgamations.

According to project leader, Icon MD Joanne Painter, Icon's evidence-based branding methodology was particularly effective in paving the way for change.

"As the level of Government closest to the community, councils are sensitive about projects that residents may feel are unnecessary or wasteful. Brand is a particularly sensitive area: everyone has an opinion and few approve the expenditure rebranding can involve."

"Working closely with Stonnington's Manager of Communications and Community Planning, Matt Clear, we designed a program of consultation and engagement to truly understand what Councillors, residents, traders and staff felt about the brand, and how far we could take the changes," Ms Painter said.

Through a series of workshops, focus groups, surveys and desktop research, the brand team established that stakeholders wanted a more modern, progressive looking brand but were concerned about the potential cost.

By keeping the basic shape and 'S' element within the logo, it was possible to refresh the logo without creating a disconnect between old and new. This means the two brands can co-exist over the coming few years as the new logo is progressively introduced via the normal program of works and upgrades with no cost implications. Keeping in mind the sensitivities associated with change of this nature, the City of Stonnington are progressively rolling out the new brand that has initially involved a story in their community magazine InStonnington under the heading ‘Time for a refreshing change’. To see a copy of InStonnington click here.