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City prepares to launch new brand

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Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Juanita Jennings, city of Roswell’s public affairs director, hold samples of merchandise that will be for sale at the “We Believe: A Celebration of Roswell” event beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center at 912 N. Main St. (Alison Penn Photo)

Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Juanita Jennings, city of Roswell’s public affairs director, encourage the community to embrace and believe in the new city brand that will be launched on Thursday.

“We’ve had some positive feedback,” Jennings said. “I think most people are really liking that it is clean and that it is simple. We’ve heard some people ‘oh, we’re just aliens — it’s very specific,’ but I think when we have a billion-dollar brand we wanted to capitalize on that. No other community can say that. Only us.”

According to a news release, “We Believe: A Celebration of Roswell” is slated for Thursday with doors opening at 3:30 p.m. The public can view booths and learn more about local community organizations at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center at 912 N. Main St.

A formal program will begin at 4 p.m. with speeches from Jim Hill, director of the International UFO Museum and Research Center; Joan Boue, president of the Assistance League of Chaves County; Police Chief Phil Smith, Fire Chief Devin Graham and Kintigh. Free decals will be handed out and merchandise featuring the new logo and brand will be available for sale.

Jennings described this program as a short presentation and celebration for the community to “come together and enjoy the new brand.” She said city-created videos on farming and ranching, Roswell’s history, art, aviation and oil and gas will also be shown at the event.

“We also looked at the fact that is it community-based or tourism-based,” Jenning said of the brand. “And we really wanted it to be community-based — and so that’s where the slogan comes for the ‘we believe,’ because it can have two meanings. We believe in our people, we believe in our land, oil, gas, farming, ranching things like that, but then there’s a play on it of believing in the UFO incident too.”

Jennings explained further that the marketing for the community will say “we believe” and tourism will say “believe.” She said it was fun to be creative and use a “play on words” in the slogan. Kintigh said the brand and slogan “speaks to all of us” whether it is the tourists, the first responders or the faith community.

Kintigh said Jennings and her team have done a “great job.” He said it is a challenge to create a “buy-in” from the community and the council alike for something that will “impact so many different parts of the city staff.”

Jennings said there are currently 22 booths set for the event and more room for local nonprofits and civic groups. She said the deadline to participate is Thursday at 10 a.m. for nonprofits and civic clubs to get a table and two chairs to decorate and have set up by 2 p.m.

Jennings said nonprofits and civic groups were invited to participate “because they truly are the bloodline to creating that positive change and impact within our community,” and to showcase what they offer with their “blood, sweat and tears into this community for positive change and improvement.”

Evenutally, Jennings and Kintigh explained that local businesses — as they are part of the community — may use the “R” emblem with their business names below in the “specifier” section, after receiving approval from the city. They explained the city has a copyright on the logo and a pending trademark with the secretary of state.

For city merchandise, Jennings said there will be minimal items with the city’s unique brand in order to not create competition with local souvenir shops, but to have something for people seeking authentic city merchandise at the Roswell Visitors Center.

The brand will be seen for the first time at the annual UFO Festival this July and Jennings said this year’s parade and floats’ themes are ‘we believe’ and ‘believe.’

Integration is the next phase of the city brand, which will evolve into an update to the city’s website and tourism website, changes to the city buses with advertising opportunities, and may include city signage and wayfinding, Jennings said.

In preparation for the event, Jennings said banners can be seen along Main Street as a beautification project featuring five designs showcasing Roswell’s assets like the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium, Bottomless Lakes State Park, Spring River Park and Zoo, Roswell Public Library and the Roswell Museum and Art Center. She said five more designs will be released after the city’s fiscal year 2020, beginning this July.

“There are people, more than you really want to admit, who don’t know where New Mexico is,” Kintigh said. “They don’t know that New Mexico is in the United States. They do know Roswell is. In some ways, I think in more ways than many realize — Roswell is better known than the state.”

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.