FUTURE: Sault Ste. Marie

SSM Visual Identity & Branding

Visual Identity, Branding & Promotional efforts are part of the larger community vision of FutureSSM to build a place where people want to visit, live and do business. 

This is not just about a logo, name or tagline. It is about collectively as a community discovering what truly makes Sault Ste. Marie unique, telling our story, and then building a platform and strategy around it that attracts others who share that vision. 

This exercise to assess, improve and develop the community's current visual identity and promotional efforts comes directly from the Community Adjustment Committee report that states "we need to develop a broad and cohesive community brand and communications strategy that celebrates our strengths, improves community spirit and sells our community to the world at large."

Most cities have strengths or certain competitive advantages, but attraction often fails to lack of communications and marketing. Consequently, cities are increasingly adopting marketing approaches resulting in what is commonly known as 'city marketing'. City marketing is one of the tools used by public and private institutions to improve a city's competitiveness. 

Phase 1 of this process involved broad community consultation to identify Sault Ste. Marie's 'brand story' and 'brand ingredients'. Trajectory was hired through a competitive RFP process to develop those pieces. Click HERE to view the report. 

FutureSSM is currently leading the second phase of this process to build on this work. We have a great opportunity in front of us to enhance our visual identity and create alignment on promotional material that succinctly tells the story of our community. A story that provides not only pride of place for locals, but is open and inclusive, and able to assist with attracting businesses and newcomers.

Through an RFP process evaluated by a steering committee, Scott Thornley + Company has been hired to undertake this work. This is a community activity, and as such, consultation and outreach sessions have been and will continue to take place with stakeholders and the community at large. 

Below is a timeline of this process to date:


Tom Vair, Deputy CAO, Community Services and Enterprise Services speaks to ONNtv about the visual identity and branding process.