City of Charlevoix, Michigan

The City of Charlevoix has a long, rich tradition of hospitality. Located in northern Michigan between Traverse City and Petoskey, Charlevoix welcomes visitors from all over each year.

The beautiful city of 2,500 (during off-peak times) sits between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix, offering stunning sunrise and sunset views. The downtown is vibrant and outdoor recreational opportunities are abundant. Yet, cost of living is high and Charlevoix is challenged to grow year ‘round. a5 worked with the City of Charlevoix and its Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau and Downtown Development Authority to create an umbrella brand for Charlevoix that could work for the municipality, economic development and tourism.

We conducted a robust engagement process that included:
– Facilitated meetings with organization staff and board members
– One-on-one interviews with key stakeholders
– “Business After Hours” discussion with the Chamber
– Public meetings
– Blind email survey to thousands around the Midwest
– And more

The resulting brand is classic yet contemporary, and reflective of what has long been known as “Charlevoix the Beautiful”. Because the research showed that stakeholders still liked the longstanding slogan, the new brand offers a nod to the past with an eye to the future: “Classic Beauty”. The Charlevoix brand has been adopted by the other organizations and enables each to retain some individuality while working together to promote the community with one look, one voice and one goal.

After the new brand was adopted, the City asked a5 to name and brand a new business district. The Ferry Beach District has its own name and graphic identity, yet it clearly feels like a Charlevoix brand.