The Client: The City of West Allis
West Allis is one of Wisconsin’s historically most industry-rich cities. However, since the demise of manufacturing giant Allis-Chalmers (you guessed it—the city’s namesake), the city has found itself on the downslope—a once booming hub for the manufacturing industry, now slowly eroding.
Thankfully, citywide initiatives took action to change that. A strength-based approach identified West Allis’s marketable assets to include a reasonable median cost of housing, a diverse business environment, and the city’s connectivity to the Milwaukee metropolitan area—all of which put the West Allis on the brink of ascension.
Destigmatizing “The Dirty”
If you live in or even within a 50-mile radius of West Allis, you’ve no doubt heard the nickname “Dirty Stallis.” While some residents rally around this unfortunate moniker, others detest it. And we don’t blame them.
“Dirty Stallis” denotes that the City of West Allis “is nothing but a dead, industrial old town, full of fast food restaurants and people cruising on Highway 100,” shares Mayor Dan Devine. “I really think that the stereotypes that people have of this city are very outdated.”
As the City’s new creative and strategic partner, Savage set out to uncover the truth. And it started by getting down and dirty (not like that) with the community.
Getting the Scoop
Savage ventured into West Allis and asked community members to share why West Allis became the destination for their home or business. Our interviews became featured articles on the City’s new website (built by yours truly) as well as in several publications and billboards!
We learned what people value most is the connectivity, from the city’s easy accessibility to Milwaukee and other metropolitan areas to the camaraderie between small businesses and residents. Now, we had a narrative we could work with. This theme of connectivity helped shape the City’s fresh brand identity—including an energetic, updated logo that nods to West Allis’s rich history.
An Engaged Community
Revitalizing West Allis’s identity resulted in a rallying cry of “That’s Why West Allis!” City residents are proud to share why they live in one of the Midwest’s most connected cities, with a diverse business community.
Many parts of West Allis are enjoying beautification and modernization efforts, especially the area surrounding the famous open-air farmers market. In fact, The West Living knew better than to sleep on this opportunity to bring sustainable, modern apartment homes to a once-again thriving community.
We couldn’t be happier with Savage’s work and we’re excited about the future.