It's time for the latest episode of "Extreme Makeover: Municipal Edition."
That's right, folks. Yet another Northern Utah city is preparing to update its image by coming up with an all-new "city logo and message." It's a process called "rebranding," and in marketing -- unlike the cattle industry -- it's not nearly as painful as it sounds.
Businesses routinely engage in this sort of reshaping of their images. Indeed, we here at the newspaper are in the midst of a rebrand ourselves, looking to replace the oh-so-clever "Sub-Standard Exaggerator" label with something a bit loftier -- say, "Above-Average Exaggerator"?
And believe it or not, city councils -- usually the ones with way too much time on their hands -- do this sort of image tweaking all the time.
For example, some time back Junction City replaced its old "Ogden: Not as Bad as You'd Think" slogan with the catchy new phrase "It's All Within Reach." Which is somewhat similar to the motto I once suggested following a rash of robberies in the city, "Ogden: Reach for the Sky." (It works on so many levels ...)
More recently, Clearfield has replaced its outdated motto, which for the longest time had been "Clearfield: No, Really. We're an Actual, Incorporated City." Intent on positioning itself as a manufacturing hub, the city's new slogan is "We've Got It Made." Get it? Because it's a place where things are "made"?
Plenty of other local cities boast their own logos with slogans -- including "Bountiful: City of Beautiful Homes & Gardens," "Syracuse: The Gateway to Antelope Island," "Roy: A Great Place to Live," and "Willard: No, We Were NOT Named After That One Movie About the Creepy Guy With an Army of Killer Rats."
So then, what is this latest municipality seeking to reinvent its image? None other than Layton, Davis County's largest city. (Current motto -- "Prime Locations for Trendy Chain Restaurants Still Available.")
And they've even got a $2,500 grant from the Economic Development Corporation of Utah to make it all happen. The city is looking to hire a consultant to begin the rebranding process, and all I can say is, "Look no further."
That's right, I'm happy to help the city with a new logo and what they refer to as a "value statement." And I'll do it for half of what they're willing to spend.
"We want to make sure we don't look dated," one Layton official told the Standard-Examiner.
Well then, let's start with the spelling of your name. As anyone east of the Layton Hills Mall can tell you, the proper pronunciation of the city is "Lay'un" -- with the "t," of course, being silent; and the "o" pronounced as the "u" in "gun." So any updating of the city's logo would seem a good time to phonetically spell the town's name, Lay'un. Very fresh, very "with it."
I think we can get away with just tweaking the city's current logo, a geometric design featuring two overlapping diamonds intersected by an elongated oval -- vaguely resembling mountain peaks reflected in a lake. And that's a real selling point for Layton, it's beautifully situated between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake.
In fact, there's your new motto, right there ...
"Lay'un: Betwixt the Lake and the Mou'uns."
OK, so "betwixt" may be a bit dated, too. That part's negotiable.
But my point is, as the city's image consultant, I will even throw in the commissioning of an Official City Song, at no extra cost, to be performed at any and all city functions, called "Don't Be Hatin' On Layton."
So there you have it. Layton gets a new logo, message and theme song, and I do it all for a surprisingly reasonable $1,250.
And heck, if city officials prefer, they could even pay me in gift cards to those trendy chain restaurants.
Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/mark.saal.