City gets first look at ‘Look No Further’ campaign

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published February 21, 2024


STERLING HEIGHTS — Sterling Heights officials got a first look at the city’s new branding campaign that invites residents and outsiders to “Look No Further” for a place to live, do business and more.

The campaign preview took place during a Jan. 30 city strategic planning meeting at the Sterling Heights Community Center.

City officials say the new branding is instrumental to the city telling its story to outsiders as well as reminding residents of all the amenities and opportunities it has. Melanie Davis, Sterling Heights’ community relations director, said the city paid Birmingham-based Identity Marketing & Public Relations $250,000 in May 2023 to help craft the branding initiative.

“This fee included the research and discovery process with stakeholders, the creative process, development of campaign materials, and all paid media execution,” Davis said in a text message.

Brandon Chestnutt, a partner at Identity, spoke about the importance of branding during his presentation. He said a brand has practical and emotional components, and a city’s brand is often tied to placemaking.

To craft a new branding campaign for Sterling Heights, the firm looked at the city’s existing messaging and interviewed city staff and council members. Identity also researched what they considered to be “peer cities” that resemble Sterling Heights in what they offer, such as Novi; Traverse City; and Rochester, New York.

Chestnutt said Sterling Heights’ strong points include great schools, low crime, clean streets and a relatively low cost of living. He added that the city offers a mix of amenities, opportunities and inclusion, and that “sustainability and livability go hand in hand” there.

The result was a new campaign brand called “Look No Further.”

“There are people out there looking for what’s next in their lives,” he said. “They’re looking for where they’re going to live, where they’re going to grow their business, where they’re going to open their office. Or they’re going to put their foot down in the next high-tech facility.

“And we don’t want them looking anywhere else.”

Chestnutt said the firm also reached out to locals who are passionate about the city. As a result, a promotional video for “Look No Further” features personal stories and remarks from Shaun Greene-Beebe, the principal of Heritage Junior High School and the Gene L. Klida Utica Academy for International Studies; Tony Ventimiglia, the owner of Ventimiglia Italian Foods; workers at AGS Automotive Systems; and more.

Chestnutt said his firm planned to launch “Look No Further” in the first quarter of 2024 and planned to continue the project through the 2025 fiscal year and beyond. He said the goal is to put the “Look No Further” branding on social media, a website landing page, billboards and more over the proceeding 60 days.

He added that the campaign can be expanded or evolved over time by incorporating different voices from the community.

“This is designed to be a multiple, flexible campaign,” he said. “I think you could see any type of business, any type of person, any type of organization being part of this in many ways.”

When the City Council responded to the presentation, Councilwoman Maria Schmidt said she liked the presence of “just regular people in our community” in the video campaign, which she believed was more effective than interviewing council members or city administrators.

Councilman Michael Radtke called the campaign “our coming out party” and said it’s a way to compete against every city in the state for residents.

“It’s about saying that, you know, we’ve arrived; we have (been) doing a lot of great things here,” he said.

Mayor Michael Taylor remarked that the campaign is relevant in a time when it’s frustrating to have so many choices in life, even with streaming services and scrolling on social media.

“This is, hopefully, going to be something that resonates with those people who have been looking and looking and looking, and they can’t find what they want,” he said. “And so we’re going to give that to them.”

Learn more about the “Look No Further” campaign by visiting and typing “Look No Further” in the search bar, or call (586) 446-2489.