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Chamber rebrands, removes Brer Rabbit from logo

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    The new official logo for the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce is the result of hours of deliberation, and every detail was chosen with care, down to the more classic font used for “Eatonton-Putnam” and the contrasting, modern font used for “Cham

After months of work, the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce’s efforts culminated in a total rebranding, which was revealed on Oct. 7. The new brand adopted an official color palette, instated five words to describe the organization values, changed its language and overhauled the logo – which removed Putnam County’s historical Brer Rabbit.

The Eatonton Messenger reached out to Chamber President Maggie Milner to inquire about removing the iconic rabbit from the logo and received the following response: “We are an entity for all commerce and tourism, and our visual needed to reflect that.”

Brer Rabbit’s absence from the logo does not indicate total removal from the Chamber’s brand. His silhouette is one of a handful of icons created for various applications across social media and other platforms.

At the start of the presentation, Milner said she did not expect to make any drastic changes during her first year at the Chamber. The conversation of rebranding, however, continually popped up amongst her and the staff.

“We knew that there were little things that we needed to make edits to,” Milner said. “And we realized at the end of the day that you can’t make minor edits to a bigger picture without having your picture in place.”

The project was one of trial and error, and Milner said, “A lot of things came to light about what really mattered for the community and for the Chamber, and what it means as a whole.”

The staff and board of directors were “very intentional” in the rebranding process, recognizing that the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce had a history of support in the community built over decades and full of relationships they don’t take lightly. The goal was to honor what had already been done, while also ushering in positive changes for the future.

An outside source “from states away,” said Milner, came in to assist with the project by providing objective input. One thing she suggested was keywords to describe the Chamber’s values.

The five core values encompassing its mission are to be an advocate for every facet of the community and for all businesses, be inclusive to all types of industry and stages of business, be transparent by always sharing information and being proactive with information, be adaptable to the ever-changing landscape of business and commerce and be a resource to businesses and the citizens of Eatonton and Putnam County.

Its mission and vision statements were also adjusted to fit with the new brand. The new mission is “telling the story of our community to promote and support economic prosperity and tourism,” and the vision is “to be an organization that serves, encourages and represents the Eatonton-Putnam community.”

The shift in language changed the wording for the Chamber’s membership base to better reflect its mission and focus.

“From this point forward, you are not a member, you’re an investor,” Milner said to members during the presentation. “You’re an investor in the Chamber, so the Chamber at large can invest in the Eatonton-Putnam community.”

Overall, the process was not easy, Milner said, “but at the end of the day, we feel like we’re making the right move as an organization and as a community engager and investor,” and she hoped those at the presentation were pleased with the rebranding.