For those who have not heard, “Energy Grows Here.” More than just a reference to the pipeline of oil and gas companies that fill Houston's Energy Corridor adjacent to Katy along I-10, it refers to the vibrance of the community and the people who make it what it is.
“We really wanted to define Katy more; define the brand,” said Lance LaCour, president and CEO of the Katy Area Economic Development Council.
LaCour said the multiple jurisdictions in the Katy area has a disjointed feel to it with many area residents unsure if they are a part of Katy or not.
“We're trying to create a sense of place that goes throughout the Katy school district,” he said.
It took a team of consultants and KAEDC officials more than a year of research to come up with the three-word slogan and the red and gold leaf-shaped logo.
“We didn't just throw a logo together,” LaCour said.
He said the brand is more than just a slogan and logo. He said its an attitude and an image of what Katy is all about. During the survey period, LaCour said one surveyor asked a group of five people if they knew where they were. Each one gave a different answer and each one was correct (Katy, Houston, Cinco Ranch, Fort Bend County and LaCenterra).
“This will simplify and unify the whole Katy area,” he said.
To aid in the branding effort, the KAEDC hired the marketing firm ChandlerThinks. LaCour said the KAEDC spearheaded the branding effort along with its Placemaker Team.
The Katy brand was made by the KAEDC team, but LaCour noted that the brand is not exclusive to the organization.
“It's a brand for everybody, but the EDC has adopted the brand,” he said.
Businesses, agencies and organizations wanting to use the brand must file an application with the KAEDC and adhere to branding guidelines. That assures the brand and logo will not be misused.
LaCour said the energy theme came from the vitality and enthusiasm of the people and the way they feel about their community. He said it also gives the feeling of growth and stability. Katy City Councilmember Carol Adams, who served on the branding team, said it helps create a sense of community.
“The reason why we thought it was important was because there is a great deal of division in the greater Katy area, north of I-10 vs. south of I-10, old town Katy and everything else—we wanted to create something that would resonate with everyone in the Katy community,” she said. “I think the tag line 'energy grows here' does do that. When you look at our history, the growth over 120 years and the energy in all its forms; tenacity, creativity, ingenuity, education, optimism, experience and how it has manifested in so many ways to bring us to where we are now, it makes perfect sense.”
Mayor Don Elder Jr. said the brand connects Katy's past and future.
“We need to connect what Katy was in the past—a farming, ranching, and petroleum community with Exxon being the big force in the area, with what has now become the Energy Corridor,” he said. “If we can mesh the past with the present, the brand 'Energy Grows Here' will make a difference because energy is where we started and energy is where we are currently headed.”