Business / Economy

Community asked to help brand San Juan Bautista

Schipper Design in San Juan Bautista has the task of "branding" one of the oldest towns in California
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San Juan Bautista, with the help of local advertising agency Schipper Design, is asking the community to help pinpoint the essence of the town through an online survey. Schipper Design owner Kathy Schipper did an interview with BenitoLink's Leslie David about the project.  

​What brought you to San Juan Bautista and when? We moved to San Juan 13 years ago. My husband, who grew up in Hollister, began a new position with Graniterock, so we decided to move back to the area. The new homes being built at the end of town were perfect and fit our needs exactly.

Schipper Design appears to have an all-women staff. Is that on purpose? Indeed, we are an all women staff today, but over the last 12 years we have had several men on staff. It is definitely not on purpose, just happens to have worked out this way as of today. Could change at any time.

Any personal feelings about the town you would share? I love San Juan Bautista. It is so quiet and surrounded by such beauty. As a designer and an artist, I am uplifted daily by the beauty of the fields, the hillsides and the architecture of town. Plus, I grew up on a ranch and being this close to ag and cattle brings my spirit home.

You are “branding” San Juan and that includes coming up with a tagline. What is a tagline?  Briefly put, a tagline is the promise a company or place can stand on and offer their customers or visitors. It has to be the truth, usually three words, summing up the emotional experience or the reason to return. Think of the most successful modern tag lines and you find they follow this structure.

I'm wondering if San Juan had any taglines before. Do you know what they were? I believe the current tag line is “City of History."  I am not aware, at this point, of any other taglines, but we have not done our historical research as yet.

Branding a town is an interesting challenge. How do you approach it?  Branding, in general, follows a very specific process and branding for a small town does as well. We will do research and discover, we will survey and ask questions, and then collate information to find the single strongest and most authentic truths about the town and the area. We will then develop key messages from those truths, and visuals that will support the message. All of the work will lead to a clearly focused look, feel and promise that can then be used in public facing materials.

Anyone interested in helping to identify San Juan Bautista’s unique charms can contribute to the process. There is a San Juan Survey online ( for anyone willing to answer Schipper Design's questions. 
The survey was officially released to the public on Jan. 27 and the deadline to get responses in is Presidents’ Day, Monday Feb. 15.


Leslie David

Leslie David is a Bay Area independent reporter/producer and is a BenitoLink founding board member. She has produced for radio, television, newspaper and magazines in both California and Wyoming. She was with KRON-TV News in San Francisco as camera-woman, editor and field producer, where she won the Commonwealth Club's Thomas Storke Award with Linda Yee for their series on the Aids Epidemic. She started as a small market news reporter shooting her own 16mm film at KEYT-TV Santa Barbara. Leslie lives on a ranch with her family in San Benito County.