Colorado's new slogan is "It's Our Nature" -- calling Cabela's!

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Here in Colorado, it's in our nature to fight for the state we love -- and to get quite cranky when we see something that we don't think does this state justice. For the past year, Colorado chief marketing officer Aaron Kennedy has led an-all Colorado crew on what's billed as the most ambitious branding effort ever undertaken by a state. Colorado's new icon and slogan will be unveiled today at the Colorado Innovation Network Summit. The logo is a slight variation on the leaked finalists we revealed here last week. And the slogan? "It's Our Nature." Calling Cabela's!

Didn't any of that marketing crew working on the "brand created by Colorado to unite Colorado" have access to Google? There's an It's Our Nature store in Florida, and Portland, Oregon -- whose official slogan appears to be "Making a great place" -- recently did an entire It's Our Nature campaign. And then there's outdoor giant Cabela's, whose "It's in your nature" slogan is all over the place.

Some overlap is almost impossible to avoid, of course, but Cabela's just opened two much-ballyhooed new stores in the metro area (no, it's not a homegrown enterprise, unlike Colorado's new marketing campaign). And the Cabela's slogan has been pretty impossible to avoid, too.

There are even "It's in your nature" anthem videos on YouTube. Here's just one of them:

This is Colorado's explanation of the tagline:

"It's our nature" is at the heart of Colorado's new brand. Serving as the tagline, these three words symbolize the duality of our state--awe-inspiring scenery and life-loving people. It connects adventure with entrepreneurship, beauty with happiness and fresh air with creativity.

If only.

When Utah -- one of the states Colorado competes with, especially when it comes to outdoor activities in, you know, nature -- discovered that its proposed slogan was too close to Colorado Ski Country's "Enter a Higher State," it went back to the drawing board.

It's in our nature to suggest Colorado do the same -- at least for its new slogan.

Continue for the official announcement from makingcolorado.com and a video about touting the new logo and brand. Here's a brandCOLORADO video about the new campaign:

And here's the full release:

DENVER, Colo., Aug. 29, 2013 -- Making Colorado, the most inclusive, collaborative and ambitious branding effort ever undertaken by a state, today unveiled the first-ever unified brand for the State of Colorado. This effort was initiated to capture the spirit and energy that flows throughout Colorado in order to stimulate our economy, streamline statewide programs and reintroduce our state to the rest of the world. The unveiling marked the conclusion of a twelve-month public engagement campaign that reached and collected input from hundreds of thousands of individuals across Colorado and beyond.

The Colorado brand is comprised of a logo -- dubbed the "Peak" -- a slogan, "It's Our Nature," and other marketing assets. From now through July 2014, all 22 Colorado state agencies will transition to the new brand. While digital assets will be transitioned quickly, the agencies will exhaust their existing stock of collateral (pamphlets, stationary, signage, etc.) and other hardcopy materials gradually, to eliminate any unnecessary waste....

This logo will not replace the Colorado flag, which is a source of pride for many in our state. While the flag is "public domain" -- meaning it can be used by anyone, anytime, anywhere -- the new logo is a registered trademark that cannot be used without express permission from the state.

"We have a state flag and seal, but until now Colorado has never had a unified brand," said Aaron Kennedy, chief marketing officer for the State of Colorado. "This brand will not only help Colorado attract talent and jobs, but also save public dollars by eliminating the need to manage individual brands for each agency and department in state government."

The logo and slogan are intended to represent the state's world-famous mountains as well as Colorado's continued ascension in any number of categories, from business and innovation to agriculture and health. The final logo and slogan were selected based on survey responses from thousands of people here, nationally and internationally.

Frequently asked questions about the new Colorado brand:

Question: Why does Colorado need a brand?

Answer: Cost savings and economic vitality.

Contrary to popular belief, the state of Colorado has never had a brand. We currently have a state flag, a state seal, and a costly mix of logos for various state agencies.

One clear brand will conserve state budgets by eliminating the need to create and manage individual brands for departments, divisions, and programs.

Our reputation has an impact on how people think about and respond to our state. A brand that embodies our state's upward momentum will help Colorado attract top talent, quality companies and jobs.

Q: Colorado is doing fine without a brand, right?

A: The time to act is now, while we have momentum.

As cities, states and countries around the globe become more marketing savvy, we are seeing increasing competition for businesses, students, entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, tradesman, farmers, travelers, etc.

Over the next decade, there will be those who thrive and those who struggle. Those who thrive will enjoy healthy living conditions, economic stability, higher paying jobs, and a higher quality of life.

In Colorado, we have the benefit of great upward momentum. By being proactive now, we can market and position our state in a way that allows us to continue our upward momentum and provide a quality of life for our residents that allows them to live the life they want to live.

Q: Why not use the state flag?

A: The flag belongs to everyone, the brand belongs to the state.

The Colorado flag is a great source of pride for many in our state. We see it on everything from cars and cakes to shirts and tattoos, which is part of the reason why having a state brand is important.

The Colorado flag is "public domain," meaning it can be used by anyone, anytime, anywhere.

The Colorado state brand, on the other hand, is a registered trademark that cannot be used without express permission from the state. It will be applied consistently across all state agencies and serve to promote things that are generated in Colorado, the way "Colorado Proud" has served our agriculture industry.

In an era in which we increasingly do business online, legal ownership of our brand can help us reduce fraud -- for example, fraudulent license renewal websites -- and protect all who interact with our state via websites.

Q: Who paid for this effort?

A: Making Colorado was made possible by a combination of public and private support.

Corporate sponsors including Crocs, Boulder Brands and Crestone Capital and others contributed funds to Making Colorado. Additionally, companies including Atomic 20, Linhart Public Relations, Made Movement, Karsh Hagan, Sterling Rice Group and Egg Strategy, as well as numerous individuals and freelancers, contributed thousands of hours of pro bono services, totaling more than $1.5 million.

The Statewide Internet Portal Authority and the Colorado Tourism Office also contributed a combined $800,000 to the project.

It is estimated that the new state brand could save some state agencies, like CDOT, as much as $300,000 per year in marketing expenses. Multiply even a fraction of that number by 22 state agencies, and you can see how the new brand will actually save the state money.

About Making Colorado Making Colorado is the most inclusive, collaborative and ambitious branding effort ever undertaken by a state. Commissioned by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and led by Colorado Chief Marketing Officer Aaron Kennedy, Making Colorado is built to fulfill one of the six core objectives in the Colorado Blueprint (the state's framework for economic development): "Create and market a stronger Colorado brand." Making Colorado began in August 2012 and will conclude in August 2013 at the Colorado Innovation Network Summit in August, where Kennedy will reveal the results of this statewide collaboration. Making Colorado will capture the spirit and energy that exists in Colorado today to stimulate the economy, unify statewide programs and showcase Colorado to the rest of the world.

More from the Calhoun Wake-Up Call archive: "Nine new states that could secede from the state."

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