Located on Buffalo’s Westside, Urban Roots is a co-op gardening supply store that sells indigenous plants, heirloom vegetables, and gifts. Our relationship with Urban Roots began when the general manager, Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, started exploring options to market and grow their business. She came to OtherWisz hoping to gain a better understanding of their brand, so we introduced her to our Brand Audit & Marketing Strategy process.
Known as, “Urban Roots, Community Garden Center,” our audit informed us that the name causes some confusion. People think it is a shared neighborhood garden and not a gardening store. The tagline, “Where Buffalo Gardens,” didn’t help with this misconception either.
During the Audit & Strategy process, we considered the business’s uniqueness, its free spirit, and its need to project the growth of the business. After study, creative sessions, and weighing several options, we decided on a more specific name, “Urban Roots, Cooperative Garden Market.” A new tagline, “Helping Buffalo Gardeners Grow,” was introduced as a nod to the helpful knowledge they share with customers daily, which is a distinct part of their identity.
The audit also found that the logo mark, a graphic flower motif, has exceptional brand recognition within the community. The members are not only proud of the identity but also profoundly attached to the carefree nature of the mark. Although fun, the audit found that the typeface of the word mark made the logo appear childlike, so we suggested an update. We chose a few typefaces that we saw as a progression from the funky lettering Urban Roots was accustomed to. This helped the overall logo to reflect the maturity that the company has gained over the past 10 years.
But this wasn’t enough, our changes to the identity were met with a lukewarm response when we wanted it to generate excitement. Though the client was tied to the existing color scheme, we decided to explore some color options with the logo.
Since Urban Roots is open year long — another significant message found in the audit — we looked to the four seasons for color options. We determined that we didn’t just want a new logo color, we needed four distinct color palettes, one for each season. By anchoring the word mark with a solid neutral color, our design team created four harmonious seasonal color palettes that could change as Urban Roots changed their offerings for each season.
The lesson underlying this experience is to always try more. Don’t be satisfied until the end result is what you are looking for and don’t be afraid to look back at your results to look for more inspiration. Sometimes when we’re searching for something new and exciting, it makes a difference to push the client out of their comfort zone and do something unexpected.
You can find Urban Roots, Cooperative Garden Market, at 428 Rhode Island St. in the west side of Buffalo. Please visit this exceptional local business with its humble roots set in our marvelous city.