Image of Denver and busy street with traffic leading to the city.

Overview

As the acting director of marketing and communications for Panasonic CityNOW, the company's North American smart city business, IPA Founder Peter Bronski led its comprehensive rebranding in the period following CityNOW's public unveiling at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. After careful analysis of the smart city competitive landscape, Pete pushed CityNOW in a differentiated direction. At a time when most smart city players—incumbents and startups alike—used similar imagery and messaging (people-less city skylines overlaid with IoT iconography), CityNOW unveiled a new people- and city-centric tagline, Your City, Upgraded. With an emphasis on transformational urban change (i.e., the upgrade) and nature-inspired imagery, CityNOW's new visual anchor became a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, in sharp contrast to stereotypical smart city imagery.

CityNOW also unveiled a new programmatic nomenclature based on the number 5: five pillars (smart energy, smart mobility, smart streets, smart buildings, and smart living) coupled with five core categories of benefits (sophistication, safety/security, sustainability, savings, and service). Inspired by the floral logos of Panasonic smart, sustainable towns in Japan—and looking to elegantly bridge between the company's Japanese heritage and Colorado base for its North American smart city operations, CityNOW rolled out a new design motif that invoked both the 5-petaled Japanese cherry blossom and Colorado's state flower, the columbine.

Organization

Panasonic

What We Did

  • Brand Positioning
  • Tagline Development
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Media Relations
  • Sales Enablement

Results

  • 12 consecutive months of earned media coverage (Sep 2016–Sep 2017), including in TechRepublic, Denver Business Journal, ReadWrite, Government Technology, Denver Post, Efficient Gov, Urban Land, Digital Trends, and Smart Cities World.
  • Garnered strong, enthusiastic attention at key industry events, including moderating a standing-room-only panel on smart LED street light networks.
  • Launched segmented, audience-centric sales enablement collateral that helped secure the next wave of major smart city engagements.
  • Partnered with the City and County of Denver on a successful multi-week smart city demonstration in downtown Denver for the general public.