Since its inception as a group of Pine Avenue merchants collaborating for advertising purposes in 1937, the Downtown Long Beach Associates has been known as the voice of business in downtown. Through its incorporation and subsequent leadership as the manager of downtown’s property and business improvement areas, the nonprofit has retained its name. But in the past few years, the organization has become increasingly focused on the overall downtown community. To reflect that direction, the group recently rebranded as the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA).
Discussions around changing the organization’s name and branding – it also has a new logo emblematic of the entire downtown grid in lieu of its skyline – began about a year ago when the board was reviewing the organization’s strategic plan, according to President and CEO Kraig Kojian.
“It’s more of a community-based organization than it ever was in the past,” Kojian said. “And we felt as though ‘associates’ really didn’t reflect or represent the type of work we were doing with our stakeholders and members of our partnerships throughout the city.”
Kojian continued, “I think the momentum that we’ve been able to gain over the last five or six years and consciously moving towards becoming more of a community-based organization is very much in alignment . . . with our downtown community and the surrounding neighborhoods and, obviously, with the stakeholders with whom we are working.”
An example of how the DLBA has become more involved in the community at large was its work last year with the Council of Business Associations (COBA) related to an impending minimum wage increase, Kojian noted. “I think the role that we took with COBA really showed how we could align different sectors of our community and help come to some type of conclusion,” he said.
The new logo by local firm Commune Communications includes a new, contemporary palette of purples and oranges and depicts an abstract representation of the grid of streets in Downtown Long Beach. “Since we were updating the name to better reflect our organization, we just wanted a current, more up-to-date logo as well,” Gina Dartt, marketing and special events manager, said.
The next change for the DLBA will be to its website – a brand new one is launching later this year. “With us becoming more of a reliable news source for Downtown Long Beach, we wanted to make sure that the information was easy to access, user-friendly, and is keeping up with the modern trends,” Dartt said. “We hope to have all those elements included in the new website with ease of use and better design and feel.”
To get the community acquainted with the DLBA’s new brand and look, the organization is considering a variety of advertising initiatives, including pole banners throughout Downtown, Dartt said.
The DLBA is also in the process of updating its strategic plan. “We’ve gotten the framework approved by our board. We’re putting the final touches on it, and we’ll be launching that hopefully within the next 30 to 60 days,” Kojian said. “It’s more of a continuation of the work we’re doing. But there will be some fine-tuning.”