The Kansas State Fair has launched a new brand initiative that officials say better reflects the fair’s mission of celebrating all things Kansas.
The fair board approved the new brand identity at its Jan. 14 meeting in Topeka. Hutchinson-based BowerComm, a strategic marketing company led by Lori Bower, spearheaded the project.
“The fair isn’t just about great concerts and having fun, it’s about celebrating the people, products and communities that make Kansas great,” said the fair’s General Manager Robin Jennison. “We see Kansas’ largest gathering as an enormous opportunity to help our state move forward.”
As part of the brand initiative, the fair is refining its visual identity to reflect Kansas pride and the celebratory nature of the fair. This includes an updated logo that is more flexible and user-friendly for digital advertising and for creating sub-brands for key events and other activity around the fairgrounds.
“Nothing says Kansas as a sunflower, and we wanted to continue to build on this theme,” said Marketing Director Amy Bickel. “The addition of the ribbon to the sunflower really says fair. Our goal is for this logo to become a well-known symbol for Kansas.
“Trying to be practical, we personally chose a direction that would allow us to switch the current sunflower symbols on the fairgrounds over time,” Bickel said. “We chose a color scheme that not only reflects Kansas but also complements the colors of the buildings on the grounds.”
The fair also is increasing its focus on making the Kansas State Fairgrounds a year-round event venue. The agency manages the nearly 300-acre, state-owned fairgrounds, which has 70 buildings and currently holds about 500 events annually. The new fair strategy will help fair staff boost the usage of the fairgrounds during the non-fair season.
“We explored a lot of options with the staff and the marketing committee of the board to come up with the most inspiring yet practical approach,” said Bower. “We are excited to build the 2019 Kansas State Fair marketing efforts around this foundation”.
With the brand officially approved by the board, the fair staff is working to put together materials that will incorporate the new logo. Officials plan to roll out the new identity this spring.