Metro Spokane is going through a rebranding exercise led by Visit Spokane, our local tourism promotion organization. Because change is a tough business that stimulates questions and speculation, below are the facts behind why Creative by Nature is perfect for Spokane.
Affordable by Nature
Your tax dollars didn’t pay for the rebranding exercise. Tourists and donations did. The total bill for the two-year process is expected to be around $250,000, which (mostly) comes from a bucket of money specifically designated to stimulate metro tourism; a lesser amount of money was donated by our local business community. The same bucket of money that underwrote the rebranding campaign may not be utilized to fill potholes or increase public safety. The City of Spokane (and Spokane Valley and all metro municipalities) did not contribute or divert money to underwrite the process. The money that paid for the new slogan did exactly what the law intends it to do.
Poetic by Nature
Creative by Nature means our workforce, entrepreneurs, artists, business community, educational system – all of the unique human-driven aspects of Spokane’s regional economy – are creative. It means our natural landscapes – waterfalls, mountains, lakes and all – are naturally creative. A slogan that means different things to different people provides for broader deployment of the brand and opportunities for, you guessed it, creativity.
Analytical by Nature
Creative by Nature wasn’t conjured in the back room over a bottle of whiskey. Two years of data, analytics, focus groups, and community meetings were held to capture the essence of Spokane and how it speaks to a 21st-century marketplace.
Adaptive by Nature
“The Lilac City” does not distinguish metro Spokane from other places because plenty of other places have an abundance of lilacs, too. Rochester, New York, for instance, is also known as The Lilac City. Outside the orbit of metro Spokane, no one knew we were The Lilac City. However, all is not lost because the design scheme of the brand incorporates deep purple as one of its primary colors, paying respect to the old Lilac City brand. Not to mention, if you’re into botanical branding, the inverted nested hearts represent a Ponderosa pine.
“Near Nature, Near Perfect” suggests we’re some ways from both. Developed in the early 2000s, it was our first attempt to adapt our brand toward a 21st-century marketplace. Near Nature, Near Perfect now serves as a fine bridge between The Lilac City and Creative by Nature.
Home-Grown-Talent by Nature
A marketing firm from Seattle won the bid to lead the rebranding exercise. One of the two owners of the firm is a home-grown-Spokane native intensely committed to the effort and, not to mention, an expert in the field of marketing. Local talent drove the rebranding process, not snobby outsiders.
Good Economic Development by Nature
Metro areas are products, just like shoes, fast food, coffee, cars, and beer. Consumers from all sectors (tourists, job creators, students, families looking to relocate, etc.) have plenty of choices when it comes to cities. Well-branded metro areas have a competitive advantage over those that are not.
Leadership by Nature
In the public realm, no good idea goes unpunished. Initiating a rebranding campaign is one of those initiatives that’s conceptually simple yet ripe for criticism in practice (because everybody is an expert, right?). Visit Spokane has stimulated an introspective discussion about ourselves – a healthy exercise. Are we mature enough to thank them, or are we going to slunk back into the cool comforts of bygone eras? Local public organizations that show the courage to be out-front with new ideas suggests that Spokane is creative by nature.
*Images courtesy of Visit Spokane.