Group to propose new image for Modesto

A group of up-and-comers wants to give Modesto an image makeover, and they've come up with a plan to "rebrand" the city.

The City Council will get a look at the strategy at its meeting tonight.

The council is scheduled to review a list of seven qualities that are meant to capture Modesto's unique appeal. If the council approves the list, the qualities will be used to promote the city on its Web site and in marketing materials.

The list was developed by CommonWealth Modesto, a group of young professionals who are tackling community improvement projects.

In addition to the rebranding effort, CommonWealth wants to bring a Boys & Girls Club to Modesto and develop an "innovation center" to attract businesses.

For the branding project, CommonWealth Modesto asked more than 3,000 residents to describe what they like most and least about the city and what they want Modesto's image to be.

The idea is to build a brand around Modesto's qualities, instead of inventing an image that doesn't match reality, said Marian Kaanon, a CommonWealth Modesto member.

"It's important that the brand is true and that the brand speaks to what you're talking about," Kaanon said. "There are positive aspects of Modesto that we can highlight for those that want to visit or live here."

The seven qualities are:

• Agriculture and industry

• Community

• Location

• Culture

• Parks and outdoors

• Hometown heroes

• Small-town feel

CommonWealth Modesto is collecting feedback from about 30 civic and community groups on the seven brand concepts. Work groups will convene in summer to develop a marketing plan around the concepts, Kaanon said.

The City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. today in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.

Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at or 578-2378. Follow her at

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