City of Hillsboro
The City of Hillsboro, Texas is 50 miles south of Dallas, 45 miles south of Fort Worth, 130 miles north of Austin and 210 miles northwest of Houston…that’s right, “smack-dab in the middle of nowhere.” Consequently, economic development was tough. However, Hillsboro was not without advantages. It is right on the Interstate 35 corridor between Fort Worth and Dallas—the main corridor from Mexico to Minnesota and up into Canada. It also is home to Hill College, a well-attended junior college, giving it a reasonably skilled labor force.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) helped to make Interstate 35 one of the most traveled highways in the United States. Hillsboro is a seven-hour truck ride from the main Mexican border crossing in Laredo. It is also a short truck drive away from Interstate 20, connecting South Carolina to California. Suddenly, “smack-dab in the middle of nowhere” became “everything within reach.”
We guided representatives from Hillsboro’s city council, economic development team and the mayor’s office (including the mayor himself) through our BrandSmart process. The resulting Brand Platform provided a cultural shift, some much-needed town pride and a new focus on economic development. Hillsboro had been looking inward (literally at its town square) as the main attraction. Our new focus allowed it to see what was the real draw, being in the middle of everything.
The new Hillsboro brand launched in fall of 2009 to rave reviews. The Brand Platform guided the new tagline, “Everything Within Reach,” and provided focus on business recruitment and economic development. The city council offices have been rebuilt, and the entire city is beaming with pride. Hillsboro is currently under consideration for a large manufacturing and shipping operation relocation.