Howard Street

Rogers Park Business Alliance manages Howard Street SSA #19. RPBA hired a5 Branding & Digital in 2016 to create a new brand and marketing campaign for the neighborhood on the border of Chicago and Evanston.

Working with RPBA, a5 developed a robust engagement process that incorporated residents, businesses, government, education, the police department and visitors.

We listened to people inside and outside the community to understand perceptions, and learned that there were several concerns:
* public safety (perceptions of crime)
* lack of quality shopping and experiences
* dearth of foot traffic

a5 proposed that a new brand be clear, concise, consistent and compelling—with a strong call to action and a clear benefit for residents, businesses and visitors. The resulting campaign highlighted Howard Street’s diversity, with 80 languages spoken in the neighborhood, in the spirit of welcoming all.

Two key messages emerged and continue to be reinforced persistently:
* Howard Street is on the edge of Chicago and Evanston. This enables the community to figuratively straddle the line between city and suburb, helping perceptions of Howard Street.
* Howard Street is a place “where you can be you”, showing that diversity is valuable and valued.

The marketing effort included the development of the brand, creation of a web site and promotion via social media, public relations, street banners, video, advertising and events and promotions. In addition to the campaign, we proposed that SSA #19 work with its Evanston neighbors. In recent years, Evanston has invested in its southern edge, and a number of quality businesses—Good to Go Jamaican, Peckish Pig and Theatre Ubique—opened and emerged as regional destinations.