For nearly two decades, the impactful stories and featured articles of Bethesda Magazine have graced coffee tables, newsstands, and office lobbies in and around the city. In the spring of 2014, the Bethesda Beat website was launched to complement the bimonthly lifestyle magazine, with breaking news that covered everything from government and politics to health and education.
As both printed and digital entities expanded their coverage, platforms, and social channels, Z-Pop Media, the publisher of Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat, wanted to avoid any confusion as to where to find the content their growing audience needed. The idea was to create a unifying brand that brought all media resources together—while also serving the needs and interests of ALL in Montgomery County; not just Bethesda and its immediate surroundings.
To help orchestrate and manage this seismic shift, Z-Pop Media tapped into the analytical and conceptual minds at FOVNDRY. The team began with a full-client immersion and the development of a new brand strategy that leveraged audience and competitive research, plus in-depth stakeholder interviews—all in an effort to gather real, actionable information to better inform the brand’s new mission, vision, values, and positioning.
With a solid brand strategy in place, FOVNDRY conducted a full brand development and rollout, inclusive of:
The overarching name was a major focal point of the brand rollout. After rounds of research and vetting, the name “MoCo360” rose to the top of the list. MoCo (a recognizable nickname for Montgomery County) was combined with 360, which represented the new brand as the single source for “All the news, stories, and events that surround our community.”
Following brand development, the MoCo360 team tapped FOVNDRY to develop a strategic launch plan and full spread of more than 200 assets across channels, including:
Complementing “360”, the launch theme line “Circle Up” served as a call-to-action and rallying cry for all of Montgomery County to gather ‘round and connect in one place.
Bethesda Magazine’s May/June 2023 issue included noticeable elements of the new brand, including the cover, for which FOVNDRY served as a collaborative partner on its overall design and execution; FOVNDRY will continue to support MoCo360 with cover designs and consultation throughout 2023 and 2024.