East Grand Forks has never had its own brand, Economic Development Director Paul Gorte said.

But after a year of planning, he said the city is proud to unveil "Life Connected" to represent the community. Gorte said the idea encompasses the interconnectivity of the city and surrounding region while highlighting its individuality.

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"Having something that recognizes us independently as part of Northwest Minnesota but at the same time part of the Greater Grand Forks Area, that's exciting," Gorte said. "Because it says ... 'we're our own community and we're connected to all this.' It's a unifying theme for the entire community."

Gorte said the branding is important because it represents the community's values.

The city is working with consulting firm AE2S and sent out marketing surveys and gathered input from the public to develop the idea. Gorte said values that stood out in surveys were family, faith and pride about being part of Minnesota and the Grand Forks area.

The project cost about $28,000 over two years, Gorte said.

The branding is going through a soft-launch period now, and Gorte said it plans to be finalized by the end of the year, though details are still being worked out.

Gorte said the brand will be incorporated into department titles and lettering, though it may vary by department how it's incorporated.

"It's a unifying factor," he said. "It's like the NFL-when you think of the Minnesota Vikings they're just one team all under the NFL."

Gorte said other plans for incorporating the brand are still being finalized but he said there may be banners or T-shirts in the future.

"It will be an identity and if it truly reflects what the community is, it'll be something the community thinks of," he said.