WAHOO – The Wahoo City Council is trying to figure out Wahoo’s “brand” in time for the city’s 150th birthday.

The council approved hiring FES, a nonprofit organization from Lincoln, to help develop and implement the city’s brand.

Matthew Landis, director of communications for FES gave a presentation via the internet to the city council during a work session before the meeting. In his presentation, Landis defined what a brand is.

“Your brand is your promise that says, this is who we are, this is what we stand for, this is where we’re headed,” he told the council.

FES provided an estimate for services that totaled $22,000. The council approved hiring FES, with the understanding that organizations like the Wahoo Chamber of Commerce and Greater Wahoo Development Foundation would provide funds as well.

Theresa Klein, executive director of economic development for the chamber and GWDF, attended the work session and council meeting and said all parties will benefit from creating a brand.

“If you’ve got money in the pot, you’re at the table,” she said.

However, she also noted that she cannot speak for the two organizations to say if, or how much, they will contribute to paying for the branding process.

The branding process includes research and discovery. Landis said the city council will form a “rebrand team” made up of a broad cross section of citizens to provide input. FES will compile the information and present the themes that seem to be most important to Wahoo.

Using information gleaned during the discovery phase and from the rebrand team, FES will develop Wahoo’s brand narrative, Landis said. They will create three examples of logos and mottos for the city.

Once the final versions are chosen, FES will work with the rebrand team to determine where and how the logo and motto will be used. That includes incorporating the brand into organizations outside of the city’s management, according to Landis.

“This is where we really set sail and get it out there for you to enjoy,” he said.

FES will provide tactics and suggestions for the brand launch. The goal is to launch the brand at the sesquicentennial celebration this summer.

“What a perfect time to integrate a brand identity,” said Landis.

Council Member Karen Boop said she was in favor of creating a brand for the city.

“I think it’s a real positive for the community because it will improve our image,” she said.

Council Member Greg Kavan was not on board, however, and voted no on the proposal.

“I don’t know if it helps the city that much,” he said.

Mayor Jerry Johnson suggested using the city’s longtime logo, the arrow, in the new design.

“To me, it’s a way to get someplace,” he said.

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