The city of Florence faces the angry masses over a rebranding this week that for the most part missed the mark…with an exclamation mark!
The new logo, unveiled on Tuesday evening, was met with an immediate reaction from the community and many questions.
Waay 31 follows the money and how the city landed with its rebranding, at a cost of $25,000 paid to a Birmingham marketing firm named Tatum Design.
But there is more.
iTeam WAAY 31 reviewed city council meeting notes and spoke with city staff and citizens.
There is still a contract to complete for $75,000 that the city awarded to the same company for a new website.
Few say the city’s brand and website needed a makeover, and Florence city leaders are sticking with the process they used to arrive at “Live for more.” They are pushing back on claims that they did not consider hiring a Shoals area company to complete the work. They claim an RFP was put out and none of the local businesses responded, but WAAY 31 has spoken to several of these marketing companies who say they have no knowledge of the RFP. offers and only learned of the rebrand following public outcry once it was revealed this week.
In August last year, Florence city leaders embarked on the road to rediscovery, saying they wanted to “create a strong brand image that would be recognized and representative of the city as a whole”.
In a press release Wednesday following backlash from thousands on social media, they said residents were involved early in the process through a community survey sent out to hundreds. WAAY 31 could not find a copy of this survey on file on the city’s website, social media, or elsewhere. Our request for a copy was not answered by the city.
Tatum Design, again, awarded the $75,000 website redesign contract. WAAY 31 asked the city for information on this project on Thursday, but our requests remained unanswered as of Thursday at 3:45 p.m.
The city is sticking with this rollout and rebranding its original rollout to say that the new logos will be used alongside the city’s existing seal and logo. They are defending the process to get here.
But Florence City Council member Kaytrina Simmons released an open letter to residents on Thursday saying she had requested a meeting with the mayor and full council to discuss and revise the logo.
“To the citizens of Florence, I want to apologize for the logo that has caused so much disappointment in our great city. I acknowledge calls, texts and all messages, and I heard you. I have asked to meet with the mayor and full council to discuss and revise the logo with something the city can support and be proud of! hopefully we will meet next week to discuss a resolution,” Simmons wrote.
If this trademark fiasco in Florence sounds familiar, you might remember Decatur’s horribly received slogan that cost that city nearly $120,000 in 2019, before the public outcry was dropped. Today, Decatur has partnered with a local marketing agency, Red Sage Communications, to overhaul its community branding once again.