Finalists’ Deliverable – Community Branding Project

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Bigfish: PresentationResearch FindingsDigital Execution Opportunities Booklet

North Star: Presentation


  1. Design and conduct a research effort that tests the hypothesis below. 
  2. Use whichever research methodologies you think provide the most reliable, valid, and meaningful results.
  3. Do not identify Cary, NC or the Town of Cary in your research.
  4. Do not include/communicate with anyone (citizen, business, visitor) in or in the vicinity of Cary, NC.
  5. Develop a presentation of your findings and how these findings may/should affect the branding project. You may have up to 30 minutes for the presentation, which you and your team will make to stakeholders during your visit to Cary in late/February/early March.  You will have access to a white board, flip charts, computer, projector, and projection screen.

Research Topic: Town vs. City

Hypothesis: Being known as a “town” negatively impacts achieving the goals of the Imagine Cary Community Plan. “City” offers advantages over “town” when it comes to realizing the Imagine Cary Community Plan.


Unlike other states, a North Carolina municipality’s official name is that which has been approved by and registered with the State of NC. The name is not related to nor does it change with a community’s population; names change with a formal request from the municipality to the State to approve the change. Cary’s official name is “Town of Cary,” and Cary’s population is 161,000. Cary is part of the “Raleigh-Cary” metropolitan statistical area. The largest communities smaller than Cary – Asheville and Wilmington – are “cities.”