By Sarah Bowman
In 2021, the City of Newport News launched a strategic initiative to uncover the community’s brand identity. The goal was to discover what is distinct and authentic about Newport News and develop messaging that conveys the city’s unique story. After a thorough process involving hundreds of residents, business and community leaders, and other stakeholders, the city has launched a new brand and strategic message — Newport News: Built on Breakthroughs.
“Newport News is a city built on breakthroughs, a place where collective ideas come together without limitations,” says former Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price. “As communities compete to retain and attract residents and businesses and increase opportunities, we must stand out with a defined brand and cohesive story to guide our city into the future. The stronger our message, the more people will want to live, work, visit and relax here.”
The brand identity was publicly debuted by Price during the State of the City address in November. During his remarks, he shared key brand messages and a brand video.
“Newport News is a city of dreamers and doers, innovators and inventors, scholars and singers, and everyone in between,” says Price. “We are a city on the move, constantly changing and always creating. Our breakthroughs are built to change today and impact tomorrow. We smash atoms and build nuclear aircraft carriers — anything is possible in Newport News!”
The new brand will come to life in a variety of ways over the next several months. This initiative is much more than a logo and tagline; it is a community pride-building campaign that will be activated artistically and three dimensionally by the city, businesses and residents. Initial plans include signage, murals, outreach campaigns, increased messaging and much more.
The city website, nnva.gov, has been updated to reflect the new brand. Additional site enhancements will increase functionality and communicate the dynamic new message.
Newport News partnered with North Star Place Branding and Marketing on this project. A leader in capturing and crafting the story of places, North Star has helped develop brands for more than 250 communities.