SOMERVILLE, NJ - Have you ever thought about what makes Somerset County unique? The Board of Chosen Freeholders and other stakeholders around the county explored that question when they started a branding initiative in 2015.

After much deliberation, the answer became clear: Somerset County excels at making vibrant connections. That has become the tag line for the county’s new brand, which was adopted by the Freeholder Board last month. Residents will gradually see a new logo incorporated in county documents and materials.

“Somerset County is consistently ranked in the top tier of desirable places to live, work, raise a family and spend leisure time,” said Freeholder Director Peter S. Palmer. “It is because our county has so much to offer that we wanted to develop a brand identity to further distinguish Somerset County from other counties across the nation.”

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“’Making Vibrant Connections’ is a great slogan for Somerset County because it reflects the successful partnerships we’ve established with residents, businesses, local governments and affiliated county agencies to promote innovative public service for the benefit of the entire community,” Palmer added. “In fact, the branding initiative is a good example - we felt that collaboration was a key component of developing a brand that resonates with the majority of stakeholders.”

The branding team included county employees, Somerset County Business Partnership President Mike Kerwin and his staff, and representatives of businesses and agencies, including Bridgewater Commons, Bridgewater Marriott, Ferrero USA, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, Raritan Valley Community College, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, Phone Tech, Inc., Somerset County Park Commission, Sanofi US and the United Way of Northern New Jersey.

Marketing professional Jeanne Murphy of Ferrero USA helped to get the branding process started in 2015 by facilitating brainstorming sessions with team members. Using a brand pyramid tool, the team was able to identify Somerset County’s features, values, attributes and ultimately its brand essence, “vibrant connections.”

Somerset County’s collaborative branding initiative was recognized by the New Jersey League of Municipalities and NJBIZ, New Jersey’s statewide weekly business paper, at the 2016 “Public Private Partnership Awards.”