Herzliya Searches for Slogan

Herzliya, a city whose celebrity residents include Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, businessman Nochi Dankner and the mother of Yitzhak Rabin's murderer, Geula Amir, is seeking to acquire a brand all its own.

The city has yet to decide what that brand will be, and is asking residents for their help.

Last week city residents received a mailing asking for their cooperation, and a representative sample of residents will be surveyed over the next few weeks to help the city decide whether to focus its branding campaign on culture, tourism, education, the environment or another area.

"The reason for the branding process is the need to demonstrate the city's advantages in a uniform marketing language and facilitate the creation of local pride and solidarity," said municipal spokeswoman Dorit Basman.

Herzliya, whose population includes tycoons and diplomats as well as those significantly less wealthy or prominent, is the latest of several cities to brand itself. Holon has recently begun billing itself as a children's city, and Netanya markets itself as the city of sport.

The focus Herzliya chooses will be incorporated into the graphics of the municipality's redesigned promotions and other projects.

The decision to give the city a brand was made two years ago, at which time the marketing company Open was chosen to carry out the process, which was recently restarted after a freeze due to municipal elections. The city says it is investing NIS 500 million in the project, which is expected to last a year.

The first step is research, Basman said.

"Surveys are being taken at this stage of samples of different groups of Herzliya residents, such as students, young couples, businesspeople, neighborhood committees, pensioners, youth and city workers," she said. "The research stage also includes working with focus groups and in-depth interviews with members of the public."

The second stage is to analyze the research and form a strategy. The third, Basman said, "is the greatest challenge: to incorporate the features of the trademark into the activities of local government."

"The intention is that these features will become part of the city's working plans at every level, in cultural activities, municipal events, and in the language the municipality uses with its residents and target audience," she said.