Campaign aims to shape town's identity

THE corporate identity has been unveiled for the Ipswich Business Improvement District project due for launch next month. A five-year £3.2 million package of initiatives designed to improve and promote the town centre area as a place to shop, to work and to visit was given the go-ahead last summer in a ballot of town centre business rate payers who will fund the scheme through a compulsory supplementary rate.

THE corporate identity has been unveiled for the Ipswich Business Improvement District project due for launch next month.

A five-year £3.2 million package of initiatives designed to improve and promote the town centre area as a place to shop, to work and to visit was given the go-ahead last summer in a ballot of town centre business rate payers who will fund the scheme through a compulsory supplementary rate.

After months of detailed planning and contract negotiations, the BID project will get underway in April, with street rangers and fast-response cleaning teams among the most visible results alongside a wide range of promotional and marketing initiatives.

“Ipswich Central” has been chosen as the umbrella brand for the various schemes, with a predominantly red logo and colour scheme selected to achieve maximum impact.


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Shaun Bailey, of Ipswich-based marketing and advertising agency Jacob Bailey which has developed the look, said that the as the BID project involved a defined zone the brand also needed to be geographically specific.

Red had been chosen as the dominant colour to help the identity stand out, particularly given the current popularity of blue logos, while the “eye” icon was designed to reflect the inclusion in the BID zone of both the traditional town centre and the waterfront redevelopment area.

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Mr Bailey - Ipswich born and bred himself - said the aim of the campaign was not just to create brand awareness but to create a positive impression of the town. “We are looking to change perceptions of the town centre,” he added. “It has a lot to offer and we need to be proud of what it has to offer.”

The target audiences for the campaign include existing town centre uses (principally shoppers and employees), potential employees (which means stressing the town centre as a good place to work), potential businesses (notably, major retailers not currently represented in the town), potential retail customers (those living within a one hour drive of Ipswich) and the visitor market (encouraging day trippers to stay over night).

The promotional campaign will involved a mix of traditional media, ranging from local Press advertising to 48 sheet posters. The adverts and other materials - the examples of which unveiled so are indicative only -will feature single-word main scripts to maximise the clarity of the message.

The street rangers, for example, will carry the word “Assist” on their fleeces and cap badges, with the red colour scheme again much to the fore. The new cleaning teams will also be uniformed.

In Mr Bailey's words, however, the “heart, mind and soul” of Ipswich Central will be its website which will be used to gain a better understanding of customers' needs as well as for e-marketing campaigns and offers.

Ipswich Central will also be closely aligned to the suffolkonboard passenger transport initiative (in which Jacob Bailey has also been involved) and, although dates and details are yet to be confirmed, early initiatives will include a free Park & Ride Sunday during May and a free car parking Sunday, possibly on the same day.

Jacob Bailey, which is also responsible for the Suffolk Development Agency's joint tourism and inward investment campaign Choose Suffolk and the new East of England Tourism brand, will continue to be involved in tracking the response to the Ipswich Central message, to fine-tune the campaign as it is rolled out.

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