Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Centerville looks to rebrand itself

Oct 09, 2023 02:15PM ● By Linda Petersen

CENTERVILLE—The community of Centerville is friendly, safe, family-oriented, close knit and service oriented with strong ties to its pioneer heritage and a strong sense of community, city officials say. It also has much to offer with its convenience and access to I-15 and Salt Lake City. City officials say they want current residents and potential future residents to understand just what the city has to offer. They also want to attract business to strengthen Centerville’s tax base. To do that and to find out more of what residents want they’ve invested in a rebranding campaign.

In April, Centerville City hired Jibe Media, a design, marketing and advertising agency, to develop a “visual identity and key messaging” for the city. They are paying Jibe $28,500 to do so. Along with meeting with the city council and “key stakeholders” Jibe will perform a resident survey and review the city’s history and current brand.

On Aug. 8 the city council dedicated a special session to spend some time with Jibe exploring the issue. They went through several exercises to zero in on what makes Centerville unique and to determine how to market Centerville to potential businesses they’d like to see relocate here. While some initially questioned the value of investing in this project when the city’s budget is tight and it’s often difficult to find funds for all of the city’s basic needs, the investment is worth it, Councilmember Gina Hirst said.

“As I’ve thought about this, one thing that has come to mind, is we have a very finite acreage of land that is left to be developed,” she said. “And if we don't do this branding, we may be blowing in the wind and just whatever comes, comes instead of making it [happen]. I mean, this sort of ties into the general plan, eventually, but we want to have a brand so that we can say, ‘This is what Centerville is and this is how we make it that way.’”

Gathering data from the stakeholder meetings and the resident survey may help determine how to identify Centerville as different from its neighbors and in getting a clearer picture of what’s important to the community, Councilmember Spencer Summerhays said. 

“Getting that feedback from the community I think is beautiful,” he said. “And I think one of the things we want to know is … what we think people want and we and we hear from those constituents that we interact with what they want. But hopefully involving the community in this gives us way more than just the five or six of us can bring to the table, right?”

While identifying Centerville’s strengths, at Jibe’s request city council members also enumerated some of the city’s weaknesses which include a lack of clear identity, limited access, congestion on Parrish Lane, poor sidewalk system and citywide lighting, lack of some amenities such as recreation and a weaker tax base than some surrounding communities.

One of the things that’s difficult in Centerville is differentiating it from surrounding communities, Councilmember Bill Ence said. “Centerville, Bountiful, Farmington — there is such an overlap in between, and I almost see this as being more of a Davis County conversation or South Bay,” he said.

“We kind of have a lack of identity,” Hirst added. “We're sort of like the fast food stop just going to Salt Lake City.” 

The audience for the brand should first of all be Centerville residents, city council members said.

“Speaking for myself, I think the purpose of this rebranding effort is focused mostly on current residents and what does our future look like and how do we guide that future?” Summerhays said.

They also want to find ways to reach businesses that could locate in Centerville.

“We want to attract businesses that will help us to have the tax base so we don't have to put all the taxes on our citizens and that we can get more amenities to our citizens,” Mecham said.

To do so, it will be important to highlight Centerville’s strengths, which are many, they say.

“I live just across the street from here; it feels very small town,” Mecham said. “I don't have a lot of traffic, very safe. If you need anything, the doors are open, come on in. But two blocks down the road. I have everything. We've kept our neighborhoods with the small-town feel. That's one thing our planning has done. We have our neighborhood with the small-town feel. But yet we have everything that we want. I mean, within three to four minutes, you have Walmart, whatever you want down any fast-food place you want. But our neighborhoods still have the fields they did when I was growing up.”

Jibe will take the feedback from the Aug. 8 meeting and combine it with that from the other stakeholder meetings and with the results of an upcoming resident survey to get a clear picture of Centerville’s identity. From there they will develop a new city logo and materials which will help the city market to potential businesses and guide city leaders with future planning. λ