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Rutland's brand makeover

The image of Rutland as Kelowna's poor, downtrodden cousin - the one you don't dare invite to Christmas dinner - is about to undergo a major facelift.

At least as major as a logo, a slogan and a website can provide.

It's time to change Rutland's image, the way it is perceived at home and abroad, says Todd Sanderson, spokesperson for The Rutland Unified Stakeholders Team (TRUST).

Sanderson unveiled the group's marketing plan before Kelowna City Council Monday - ironically, before a mayor who jokingly referred to Rutland as 'Hooterville' during the 2011 election campaign.

He says Rutland, which was settled more than 100 years ago and named for John Hope Rutland, is positive, dynamic, ambitious and inclusive.

"And yet unfairly, people to this day speak of Rutland disparagingly with an undertone of disrespect. Realtors persuade prospective buyers to buy in other parts of the town," says Sanderson.

"Otherwise decent people describe Rutland negatively - hence the good people of Rutland are left to take it on the chin."

Sanderson says it's against that backdrop of negativity that TRUST was founded.

"It is very bold to refresh how everyday people view Rutland, as it is about how Rutland is perceived from afar. The family that wants to move here, the business looking to relocate and the investor who wants to spend some money in our community," says Sanderson.

The logo, which includes the slogan "Rutland we're just getting started," is just the first step in a long process says Sanderson.

"The Rutland brand is at its heart positive, forward thinking and healthy," says Sanderson.

He describes the logo, font choices and slogan the same way.

"Clean, simple, healthy, positive and forward looking. The Rutland logo gives a nod to the agricultural roots of the community, the colour palate reflects the colours of health, trust, loyalty and respect. As is Rutland, the logo is also elevated," adds Sanderson who says the logo can be used for branding on lamp standards, billboards or as an airport wall mounted ad.

Another part of the branding campaign is a website that tells the story of Rutland and the people and pioneers who built the community from nothing to an area populated by about 35,000 people.

The website is expected to be launched in the next day or two.

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