The city of Caney, Kansas: Rebranding for a sense of Community

The city of Caney, Kansas: Rebranding for a sense of Community Main Photo

28 Apr 2022


The city of Caney, Kansas is committed to making the community an even better place for its residents to live and enjoy life. The main aim of the city’s authority is to render development services in a professional and friendly manner- to enhance and protect the quality of life, sense of community, well-being, and prosperity of the city’s residents, businesses and visitors.

A new branding initiative

“Hope Runs Wild” has emerged as the theme of Caney’s initial branding initiative, a new, multi-phase approach toward community identity and promotion. The theme — accompanied by a video produced by local volunteers and members of the Caney Betterment Group — was revealed at a branding party at the Canebrake Collective in April. The video features a mixture of young and old — including lifelong senior citizens, middle-aged residents, and several high school-aged students, all of whom revealed their reasons for living in Caney.

“Hope Runs Wild” was the culmination of many interviews and discussions, led by the Mammoth Creative Co., based in Topeka, Kan., with Caney residents over the past several months, said Jared Daniels, who is one of the leaders of the branding initiative. The company pulled keywords and values from those interviews to develop a key catchphrase that collectively embodies the values mentioned in those interviews.

Caney, Kansas: A history of determination

Jared also said that the theme draws from the determination of Caney’s past while highlighting a new generation of leaders and business owners who want to put new life and vigor into the community.

Complementing “Hope Runs Wild” is a logo that visually connects to that phrase. Similar in style to the iconic Coca-Cola logo (known for its cursive font and underlying swoop), the Caney logo will be used on clothing, letterheads, and stationery, and, more importantly, serve as the visual cue to the community at a new community entrance to be built. The sign, which will be financed with revenue from the Montgomery County hotel-motel guest tax, will be illuminated and landscaped. The sign will also be a focal point for all motorists when approaching Caney on U.S. 75 highway from the south.

The logo itself carries influence from Caney’s history. Serving as a backdrop to the logo is the design found on many brick Caney sidewalk bricks. Brick companies at the start of the 20th century crafted their unique logo or “brick print” in the production of sidewalk bricks. The unique Caney design — which includes a circular pattern — is found in a backdrop to that new logo.

Designing a brand that appeals to both residents and visitors

Josh Hockett, who joins Daniels in the branding initiative, said the idea for a new logo and brand was broached in a series of meetings in 2021 regarding new signage for the community. Upon learning that Caney has access to revenue from the countywide hotel-motel guest tax (which can only be used for tourism purposes), the Caney Betterment Group members began brainstorming about ways that a sign or brand can appeal to not only residents but also travelers and guests.

That’s when a professional marketing firm was chosen to assist the betterment group in crafting that strategic appearance for the community.

During the reveal party, apparel with the new Caney logo sold quickly, and complimentary cookies sporting the new Caney logo were made available by Pretty Baked Bakery, one of downtown Caney’s newest firms.